Were the Violence and/or the Arrests Staged? [Updated Again]

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June 26, 2010 A protester is overcome by the smoke after attempting to put out a fire in a police car at Queen Street West near Spadina during a protest of  G20 Summit are held in Toronto.  TORONTO STAR/STEVE RUSSELL

Eyewitness reports are circulating that, first, riot police allowed about 50 to 100 Black Bloc protesters to run amok in downtown Toronto for two full hours, even leaving three police cruisers abandoned at different locations to be torched; and, second, they then used the violence as a pretext to arrest hundreds of peaceful protesters and to deny them access to legal counsel.  In other words, vandals were left to smash windows and torch police cars and the violence was then associated with those who had been peacefully protesting.

Judy Rebick’s roundup of eyewitness accounts here.

Video of riot police charging a peaceful crowd singing the national anthem here.

New York Times story here.

Village Voice story here.

Steve Paikin of TVO was witness to some of this and will apparently talk about it on his show tonight at 8, according to a recent tweet from him.

A collection of Paikin’s tweets on police brutality upon peaceful protesters and a journalist from The Guardian here.

Given that police provocateurs have been caught out before disguised as “anarchists,” it raises the question: Did anything like this happen here?

Stories providing a history of police agents passing themselves off as Black Bloc here, here and here.

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