Friday, June 25, 2010

The G20 Summit: Now They're Laughing at Us

Toronto's waterfront is one of my favourite places to hangout and play.

But I've never been so glad to get away from it as I was this evening. 

Because it's not a welcoming place anymore.

It's a scary place full of police officers from all over Canada.

More police officers than I have ever seen. Patrolling or lounging about in groups of ten or twenty.

With their black uniforms, their riot helmets, and their gas masks.

Cruising the bay in all kinds of boats.

Or stopping people in the streets.

And despite this police occupation the air is thick with menace.

Today it's a guy with a chainsaw and a crossbow... who knows what tomorrow will bring?

So you can imagine how I feel when I read this.

You have to feel sorry for the poor Canadians. With a right-wing government hell-bent on massive public expenditure cuts, they have to fund not just one grand international summit with the G20 this weekend, but two, with the G8 summit on Friday. And in separate places. The G8 summit takes place in Muskoska, the G20 meeting in Toronto. All the security, the transport and accommodation doubled.

And for what? So that Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, can play host to world leaders and preen himself on his and his country's continued importance? We're back to the worst years of the G8, when world leaders could parade themselves with an air of importance while achieving very little of economic value, and certainly nothing that couldn't have been done in a few telephone calls between the relevant premiers and their staffs.

Because ain't that the truth? That's what we're getting for our billion dollars. A bill we'll be paying for years. And the laughter of the world.

Oh boy. I hope Canadians remember this ghastly fascist spectacle, because I know I will never forget it.

Montreal may be my home, my city by the river. But I have come to love this city on a lake...a real lake.

And just like my country.

I want it BACK...

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