June 8, 2010

Tear Down the Wall

Ahh, poor parochial Toronto. This past Sunday an anti-protest barrier started going up in advance of the G-20 summit that starts in the city on June 26th. The fence will be about 3 metres tall and only those with proper identification will be allowed inside its chain-link and barbed-wire walls. The gate will have security zone checkpoints (maybe named Checkpoint Steve). It surrounds a good chunk of the business and theatre districts of Toronto, north of the Metro Convention Centre where the meetings will be held.

This part of Toronto will become a virtual ghost town in the days leading up to the Summit. Workers are being asked to take the Friday as a holiday. Union Station, apparently Canada's largest transportation hub, will be closed. Blue Jays games have been shifted to Philly. Theatres on King Street will cease production for the week leading up to the meetings. The "Path" linking 28 kilometres of underground shopping will be shut. Queen's Park, our Provincial Legislature, will be closed and boarded up. The University of Toronto will be closed for a week.

The CN Tower, a virtual roman candle just waiting for trouble and attached to the Convention Centre on Front Street will be closed.

Downtown patios will be closed for two weeks leading up to the meetings. It will be no mid-summer night's dream - "O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss!"

Back whenever our helmet-haired Prime Minister decided it was Canada's turn to host the G8, he offered up Huntsville as a venue; small bucolic tourist destination. It must have slipped his mind that the G20 would follow and the subsequent need for more hotel and meeting space. Therefore downtown Toronto at the start of the tourist season was the (logical?) choice.

What about the United Nations in New York, Geneva, Vienna or Nairobi? Isn't this sort of what it's for? What about G192 instead of G8 or G20?

I was going to include a video clip from  Pink Floyd's The Wall, but I really didn't want to subject my gentle readers to Roger Waters' ranting. 

Top image: The Globe and Mail
2nd image: Mark Blinch/Reuters
3rd image: Peter Power/ Globe and Mail


Giulia said...

Oh, it can't be connected with UN. For reasons ever-so boring right now.

But I'm sorry...we (in DC) have to put up stuff you cannot imagine every single day...so here? No, no. Did I say NO. (We already have to deal with World Bank, IMF, motorcades, etc etc.....please no. I'd like to get somewhere on time for once.)

I do dislike that Harper fellow, I must say, & his hair is the least of it.

Why checkpoint Steve? Just curious.

I don't go to any of these demonstrations...they can turn violent & I'm of more than 2 minds about it all. I'm just glad that they allowed in more countries. If you let in all 92...see the Copenhagen Climate conference...

Still...if you & others would go to Giulia Geranium & sign the petition to force the UN to make good on its promise re: women's rights, would be much appreciated. Women within the UN are pushing it, too, as they put up with...


enough of that.


Giulia said...

My mistake. You did not say DC.

ciao, pup

Giulia said...

Apparently, I'm the only one who cares about you poor devils & this subject. I feel guilty now about saying, oh you take it for once. We're hearing all sorts of awful things on NPR about the big mess this is causing parks, neighborhoods, shops, etc. We do have large-ish zones that can be shut down (though it's annoying as hell)...in DC. Oh dear. Sorry.