Soldiers with guns. In our cities. In Canada. Turns out Paul Martin was right

“…Every day I see people with huge fat memos trying to discuss all the various things they have to do to prepare for G20,” said the IT director for RSM Richter, a mid-sized accounting firm based just one block north of the G20 barricade running along downtown Toronto’s King Street. “It is being down-played but there is a lot of fear…”

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G20: Anti-globalization protests wedded to violence

In truth, the anti-globalization protest movement always was composed of two distinct groups: (1) Legitimate left-wing activists with placards, flyers and websites; and (2) full-time criminals and delinquents who used anti-globalization as a pretext for street violence in the same way that English hooligans go at each other during soccer matches. In this second category, the most militant types affected a dimly understood attachment to anarchism, and played dress-up in combat attire, usually under the banner of the “Black Bloc.”

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G20 summit puts Toronto in a new league

Despite all of these negatives and limitations, hosting the meetings is worthwhile for Canada and Toronto. And I think so not only because I am just old enough to have been alive when Churchill and Roosevelt had the effrontery to agree not to invite Mackenzie King to attend the second Quebec Conference. It is evidence of the rise of Canada in the world that it has a place at these meetings, and Toronto has become a presentable enough city by world standards to showcase to world leaders. All the money spent will be spent in-country and qualifies in the recessionary argot as economic stimulus. Of course a lot of it is pretentious nonsense: the platitudes, the staginess, the vapid communiqués at the end (which have probably been written already). But this is one of the rites of passage as this country has made its way from the back to the front row of the world’s nations. Let’s just see these pompous meetings as a celebration of that.

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