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The G20 Summit is officially underway in Toronto. As has been reported widely throughout the week, the meeting of twenty world leaders in the largest city in Canada has brought with it great controversy leading to mass protests and rallies.
In support of many seemingly forgotten issues and in opposition to the monstrous cost of hosting the summit, citizens have gathered in abundance in an effort to make a point. Predicting conflict, police donning riot gear have been stationed all over the downtown core.
Today, Jenny Yuen of The Toronto Sun reports that protesters have been clashing with police and some arrests have been made. There has been pushing and shoving in addition to the throwing of random objects, but thankfully no major violence to speak of.
Some G20 protesters were marching along Carlton Street in downtown Toronto today. Organized by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, its organizer John Clarke warns that the protests that are approaching in the upcoming days “will not be friendly”.
Announced Clarke: “Down with the filthy G-20 and everything it represents. Your system is bankrupt, your system is vile and we’re going to fight it.” Yuen reports that, so far, police have made 18 arrests. Clarke’s words caution, however, that there may be more.
According to Ontario Community Safety Minister Rick Bartolucci, the police have responded very well to the security of the international event. Earlier today, he spoke about their ability to keep both the citizens of Toronto and the participants of the summit safe.
Said Bartolucci: “My understanding is that there has only been 18 arrests and only two of those 18 arrested are being detained. When you consider what has happened in the past in other jurisdictions, I think there’s something to be said for the level, the competency and the expertise of the policing in the province of Ontario.”
It is advisable, however, that if you are in the Toronto area, you may want to avoid visiting downtown this weekend. There are many barricades up that citizens are being requested not to come five metres within. Needless to day, police are taking the security of the G20 Summit very seriously.
In addition, with more protests to come, it is evident that many people plan on doing everything they can to express their displeasure with the event being hosted in Toronto.