Saturday, July 3, 2010
Stephen Harper - has to be mentioned because he is ultimately responsible for everything that happened, from the burning police cars to the police brutality but he didn't have much to lose, his support in Toronto was almost zero anyway and he probably will have no further comment unless forced so he breaks even.
____________ _________________: Whoever this is, Toronto and progressives across the country are waiting for someone to come forward who will lead calls for inquests and accountability. Whoever it is will rise quickly in local and national prominence.
Anarchists: They got a ton of press out of this and while many who weren't sympathetic before are less sympathetic now, it has caused more people to look into anarchist groups and they will gain some support or at least understanding in some quarters.
Local Media: With a few notable exceptions local media did an exceptional job of covering events - CTV, CP24, the National Post, the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, blogs like BlogTO, Spacing and Torontoist - even the Toronto Sun has been reborn to an extent as a defender of civil rights. Above all TVO and Steve Paikin have risen to whole new levels of respect in Toronto.
Alternative Media: As some of the media mentioned above have begun to move on to other topics the alternative press is still going strong and gaining reader/viewership for it.
The Green Party and the NDP: The Federal Green Party was the first to call for a public inquiry, followed by the provincial NDP and some members of the Federal NDP. Progressives in Toronto will likely swing to one of these two parties in future Federal or Provincial elections at the expense of the Liberal Party.
Canada: The G20 set horrible new precedents for human rights and, for the moment, the majority of Canadians seem to be celebrating the fact that their right to peaceful assembly, their protections against police brutality and unlawful arrest, even their ability to walk down the street have all been eroded.
Toronto: Toronto has been seriously damaged - not by the "rioters" most of that damage is already fixed but there is now a division in Toronto and a lack of trust. People who care about their civil liberties and the rights of their fellow citizens to speak freely have had their trust in the police and in city hall shattered. There is also a division between people who take their citizenship seriously and people who were lead to believe they were in some kind of danger and therefore support the police. These rifts are dividing friends and families and not until the end of a full, impartial public inquiry will any of it begin to heal.
The Toronto Police: the Toronto Police have lost the trust and respect of the very citizens who are most likely to help them make this a better city. To a lesser extent this applies to the OPP and the RCMP too - but anger for the moment is focused on the local police who failed in their job to protect the city and it's people.
Police Chief William Blair: After heading the police (see above) and being caught in at least three major lies to the public and the media Blair has destroyed his personal and professional credibility and can no longer command any respect or even be believed when he makes a statement.
David Miller: As the G20 weekend unfolded and afterward Miller, did not support the rights of the people of Toronto, he did not even remain neutral. He offered a blanket defense of the police and everything the police did and lost the trust and respect of many Torontonians including those who had been steadfast supporters of Miller from the beginning. In October there is a local election in Toronto and Miller is not running. The mass arrests of law abiding citizens and unlawful actions by police will be Miller's legacy. It is all people will remember about his time in office likely ending his hopes for a political career beyond city hall.
Dalton McGuinty: He willingly played along with William Blair's lies about new police powers, refused to apologize for it, refused calls for a public inquiry and otherwise remained silent. The loss of support in Toronto and amoung progressives in Ontario will likely cost him any chance at a third mandate.
Michael Ignatieff: The downtrodden Liberal leader who claims to be a former journalist and human rights expert failed to stand up for journalists and human rights. His silence on anything that happened at the G20 will cost him support in Toronto and among progressives across the country - not being particularly popular going into the G20 this could mark the end of Michael Ignatieff as party leader and risks the future of the federal liberal party itself.
The Liberal Party: See above under Dalton McGuinty and Michael Ignatieff.
The CBC and McLeans: Of all of the media organizations in the country our national public broadcaster's coverage of G20 events was the weakest. I'm sure that the CBC is happy that none of their journalists were arrested however it also speaks to how far from the action the CBC remained. On Sunday night, as a humanitarian crisis unfolded at Queen and Spadina the CBC was showing the Wizard of Oz. The Ceeb also made more use of the "burning police car loop" than any other. There has been little follow up on the CBC the network quickly moved on the the Queen's visit. McLeans editor Andrew Coyne also told you everything you need to know about McLeans when he declared on June 26:"Can we PLEASE stop calling them "protesters"? They're not protesting anything, any of them, including the "peaceful" ones." That Coyne is also a regular guest on CBC's the National only compounds the network's credibility problem.
Tony Clement: His growing reputation as an amiable guy, a moderately progressive Conservative and potential future leader of the party was shattered on Sunday when, in the middle of the Queen and Spadina standoff he Tweeted "Wow, what a successful #G8 + #G20! Lots of substance on economic, security & devt issues. I'm proud of Muskoka, Toronto & Canada." Clement may still be leader of the Conservative party but with no more support among progressives or Torontonians than Stephen Harper.
Peace, Justice, the Environment, Human Rights and Poverty: Drowned out by the violent actions of a few and then violently attacked by Toronto Police the messages of peaceful protesters were lost.
The G20: Anarchists win the G20 loses should speak volumes about how things went. After this weekend in Toronto who in the world is going to want to host a G20 meeting? The organization has become synonymous with riots and police brutality. Citizens everywhere should shudder at the mention of the name.