Thoughts on Toronto G20 Violence

Why the violence?

Is it that these people don't agree with the fact that politicians dine in fancy restaurants while people in third world countries starve? Or is it that these people simply don't like rules and "want to do whatever they want whenever they want?"

In regard to the first: what about that box of Kraft Dinner you ate for supper last night, or the bag of Doritos you purchased from the 7/11, or Coke you bought from the vending machine? Even as a starving student; In Canada, you can eat with more variety than most people in the world. And what about last Friday night? If you had even one beer, you just spent at least three days wage of a laborer in Kenya. Ever buy a dime bag of pot? You just spent TEN days wage for that laborer.

In regard to the second: if it were not for rules, and for people who willingly follow rules for the benefit of others, the protesters who are now freely being allowed to destroy both Bloor and Young streets would have already had their carcasses dragged through the streets. I know that sounds harsh - but it's true. I'd rather be ruled by a few greedy politicians than the kind of war lords who are ripping parts of Toronto apart. The "freedom" being propagated by the violent protesters is not freedom at all. It is a dangerous mental slavery. The idea behind the violence is seriously flawed for (at least) this reason: All stores are at least on some level, independently owned and operated, even if the corporation the store represents isn't local. This is very basic economics. Step 1: buy the corporate name using YOUR money. Step 2: open a store bearing the corporate name using YOUR money. Step 3: use the resources of the corporation to bring in merchandise. Foot the bill using YOUR money. Sell the merchandise and hopefully have enough profit to repeat step 3 and pay your employees. *Wild Card: Someone throws a brick through your store window and lifts some of the merchandise .... guess who has to pay for it? YOU do through the insurance policy that YOU had to buy to protect YOUR store from this kind of damage. These violent protesters are not hurting corporations, nor the city of Toronto. They are only hurting themselves in the end, because they are hurting the very business that employ real people who need those real jobs to survive. That is, I think, the most upsetting part of it all.

The display of violence that people are engaging in on the city streets of Toronto is also based on the sever flaw in logic that politicians are worse than the rest of us because they have more power and access to wealth. The fact is that politicans represent the smallest fraction of people in the world who have access to wealth, and are only powerful because we entrust that power to them. Even the protesters in Toronto have more access to wealth than the majority of the world, and they are no better than any politician because a violent protester spits in the face of the country that provides that access to wealth. The ironic thing is that having access to wealth brings the opportunity for generosity, and since not every country in the world has the access to the wealth and resources that we as Canadians enjoy, shouldn't we be using our access to wealth for good, and not evil (i.e. feeding ourselves so that we can have enough energy to destroy downtown Toronto??)

Isn't the entire basis of protesting the G20 the fact that people are tired of the greed of the West, and don't want to see more people in third world countries enslaved so that the West can enjoy another iPod upgrade? Isn't the point of protesting the G20 the fact that Canada needs to reach out to the poor and be a catalyst for healing and renewal instead of a catylist for continuing the cycle of poverty?

If this is true, then the entire basis for violent protest, which seeks to destroy, is shameful. The effect of it is more of the same status quo. Business will have to spend millions of dollars on repairs to windows, replacing cars, and replacing stolen merchandise. The path to change will not come through violence. Only more violence and hate will result. So before any one tries to take what is no doubt a gigantic log out of the eyes of politicians, we would be wise to take a look at the million little ways that we are guilty of the same sins we project onto the G20 nations.


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