G20 Security Costs

An eyewitness account of how the police allowed the Black Bloc to rampage through the downtown core for one and a half hours before launching attacks with pepper spray and batons on legally assembled demonstrators

According to Linda McQuaig of the Toronto Star, here are the security costs for G20 conferences in Toronto, London and Pittsburgh, and it reveals a breathtaking disparity, particularly when you consider the outcome:

Toronto, June 2010 — $930 million

London, April 2009 — $28 million

Pittsburgh, September 2009 — $12 million

Arrests in Toronto: 900, the largest mass arrest in Canadian history — that’s almost double, by the way, the total number of arrests during the October Crisis of 1970.  Among those arrested or detained in Toronto: journalists, by-standers, people waiting for a bus, as well as hundreds of peaceful demonstrators exercising their constitutional right of free assembly.

And yet the police stood by while Black Bloc vandals smashed windows and set curiously abandoned police vehicles ablaze.

Thanks to Harper’s initiative, G20 countries are committed to cutting deficits in half by 2013, robbing our economies of much needed stimulus.  This will mean cuts to education, health care, and unemployment insurance.  Think how much the billion dollars spent on self-evidently bad security is needed now.  We can afford Harper’s debutante ball, but apparently not the maintenance of social services.

“Canadians Demanding a Public Inquiry into Toronto G20” Facebook here.

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