Friday, June 4, 2010
The G20 summit, where leaders from 20 developed countries talk about various issues, is coming to Toronto June 26 and 27.
As the date looms closer, there are daily news stories about security; inconveniences to business owners, Torontonians and tourists leading up to and including the summit weekend; and the potential for violence and destruction.
It is the violence and destruction by those protesting the G20 that I don’t get.
Can someone tell me how holding a city and its people hostage, destroying businesses and attacking those with money help your cause?
A coworker wrote a story about the Toronto Community Mobilization Network (TCMN), a group of activists fighting for equality for women, the disabled, the queer community, Aboriginal Peoples, migrants, workers, Arabs and other groups. The TCMN hosted a news conference in May detailing their plans for protesting the summit.
According to the story, the group said the G20, as well as the G8, which is taking place north of the city prior the Toronto weekend event, does nothing to help the margalized.
It’s likely a valid point. The G8 and G20 events may not do anything to help those who need help the most.
But is this group, which can’t promise it won’t be violent in its protests of the summits, helping their causes by hurting the very people who can help?
It’s not governments that help people, it’s people – it’s Bay Street bankers who host large-scale charity events to help the United Way; it’s business owners who donate their time and services to raise money to help earthquake-ravished Haiti or war-torn Sudan; it’s downtown residents who participate in Out of The Cold programs to help the homeless; and it’s every day Torontonians, Ontarians and Canadians who believe that everyone has a right for happiness and equality.
Perhaps G8 and G20 protestors should remember that before they destroy the city and hurt the people who actually help anyone in need.