G20: Why didn’t police stop the Black Bloc?

By Alison@Creekside

A photojournalist followed and filmed 75 to 100 Black Bloc for 90 minutes and 24 blocks as they rampaged through the streets of Toronto smashing windows and torching police cars while police looked calmly on from several different locations:

Why was this rampage allowed to happen? Police say they had already infiltrated a Black Bloc group and knew what to expect, but on Monday night the head of G20 security operations told an incredulous Susan Ormiston on CBC that the police had better things to do than attend to the Black Bloc. So much for “serve and protect” then if you’re not a G20 fence.

The photojournalist is interviewed (above) by Paul Manly, who shot the footage of the three rock-toting police provocateurs at the SPP protests in Montebello back in Aug 2007 and wonders if this is a repeat performance. There’s the question of the abandoned police cruisers and it was only after the rampagers dumped their black gear and dispersed into the crowd that the police attacked the peaceful protesters.

Well, perhaps not all of them dumped their black gear. Below some 20 plainclothes, including a couple of blackclad guys in hoodies, are seen making a run for safety behind a police line. The crazyangry woman who attacks the photographer scampers off with them:

After Montebello, we should demand to know exactly what these guys were up to here.



  1. says

    Newsflash: Cops were ordered not to intervene in vandalism

    So much for the “theory” part of “conspiracy theory”.


    “The orders went from engage to, no, don’t engage to engage to, no, don’t engage,’ ” said an officer. “It was an absolute shambles. Everyone was talking over each other on the radio. Nobody seemed to know what to do. It was just a mess.”

    The officer said that eventually there was “a clear order from the command centre saying ‘Do not engage’ ” and, at that point, smelling weakness and no repercussions, the downtown was effectively turned over to the vandals while police, up to 19,000 strong, were ordered to stay out of it.

  2. =0O says

    wow, i didn’t realize how many of those anarchists/dummies there were. I don’t agree with crime. Peaceful protest. Why destroy anything? Wasn’t the 1.3 billion price tag enough? It went on for an hour and a half? Why didn’t they water canon, pepper spray, manhandle, arrest and actually charge the anarchists. They arrested me for sitting in the rain. Odd, they would just let this destruction happen. So, basically when the shit hit the fan, the police were no where to be found. But, when the anarchists finished with all their destruction, like stomping on police cars, spray painting walls and breaking windows. And after walking down and then back up unhampered by our 20 000 officer strong police force back to the designated free speech zone. And after quickly removing disguises and assimilating with peaceful protesters the police felt that was the time to step in and rough up the entire crowd. Obviously something went wrong or I was obviously misinformed of the objectives.

  3. Kai says

    to “G S”

    That’s the first tactic of quelling dissent, ad hominem attack. Accuse of being a conspiracy theorist, accuse of being crazy, etc etc, without any intelligent response. Please gtfo. It is painfully obvious that there were agent provocateurs that you must be blind not to see it. How much did they pay you to post here?

  4. Fyoder Larue says

    Protesters planning to adopt black bloc tactics should assume that some of those running alongside them are cops and under no circumstances drop the disguise in the presence of the same protesters one was running with. If you’re going to do that, then forget the blacks — just paint your body bright blue like the Picts of old and make a real impression.

    I suspect the cops took a leadership role in directing the group operating on a principle that if it was impossible to stop without use of extreme force, it could none the less be directed, with the added bonus of collecting information on who participated, information which was probably used on Sunday morning when they went around dragging people out of bed to arrest them. It looked bad on video — “Hey, I was just sleeping and they arrested me”, but the question isn’t what they were doing Sunday morning, but rather the day before. I don’t think those particular arrests were arbitrary.

    Give the devil his due, adopting a strategy which allowed them to control events and collect information at close quarters like that was well done. And while damage to private property was unavoidable, they managed to deflect at least some of it toward police property.

    This is assuming, of course, that’s what they did. They still seem to have a degree of deniability. They weren’t wearing standard cop issue footwear, after all. As for any statements to the effect that they have better things to do than attend to “the Black Bloc”, well, they’ve got zero credibility, so they might as well be speaking in tongues — it’s meaningless. They can only be judged by their actions.

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