On the heels of yesterday's post, Ontario Government Quietly Give Police Greater Power, the downtown area of Toronto was turned into a virtual war zone. What started as a peaceful demonstration for abortion and women's rights quickly turned into a nightmare as the Black Bloc virtually took over the protest. The Black Bloc are an anarchist movement rather than an actual group. They dress completely in black wearing masks or bandanas over their faces to prevent identification. They are well known for the damage and vandalism that they cause. They avoid being caught later by changing their clothes mingling in with other protesters or onlookers.
As the Black Bloc mingled with the peaceful protesters is quickly became apparent that the demeanor of the crowd changed. Within a relatively short period of time the windows of a Starbucks were the first shattered. As the crowd moved down the Queen Street more Black Bloc came out of the alleys armed with rocks and anything else they could throw. They finally managed to set two police cruisers on fire. Their path of destruction was horrendous. Many buildings sustained damage and some were looted.
I, like many in Ontario, were glued to the television reports and following Twitter. I could not believe the violence and destruction that was happening. This is not the Canadian way!
Toronto Mayor David Miller condemned the rampage:
“They’re criminals who came to Toronto deliberately to break the law,”
“They are not welcome in this city.”
Comments from the Black Bloc included:
"This is what democracy looks like, that is what a police state looks like."
“This is vandalism against violent corporations. We did not hurt anybody. They (the corporations) are the ones hurting people,"