Well, That Was Fun!

What a weekend!

Lots of rain, an old lady’s cat got stuck in a tree, and oh yeah – mayhem and rioting in downtown Toronto!

As much as I’d love to turn the subject back to real estate after what seems like a somewhat detached couple of weeks, I would be remiss if I didn’t weigh in on the G-20 “protests” with my own thoughts and reflections…

g20riot1.jpg

I just don’t understand.

I really, truly do not understand, and I want to know “why” and “what for.”

Why the need for senseless violence and mayhem?

What do they think they’re going to accomplish and who do they think are listening?

The most incredible part about all this, is that I don’t think they understand either.

I don’t think they know why they’re doing what they’re doing; they just know that they’re doing it.

The protestors, or, to take a page out of David Miller’s book, we’ll just call them “criminals,” were destroying everything and anything in their path on Saturday afternoon as their “organized protest” turned into “pre-mediated chaos.”

But in my heart, I really, truly believe that these criminals, majority of them from the “Black Bloc,” have no idea why they’re rioting, causing mayhem, and destroying the windows of mom-and-pop stores when their agenda was supposed to serve otherwise.

blackbloc.jpg

I think they’re bored.

I think they’re sad.

I think they’re unhappy, unemployed, uneducated, and overlooked by society.

I think most, not all, of these criminals just want to “belong” to something as they represent the social outcasts and misfits who refuse to simply accept their place behind the deep fryer at McDonald’s.

I truly don’t think they know what “anarchy” is.  They just know they want it.

Anarchy is defined as:
1.  A state of society without government or law.
2.  Political and social disorder due to the absence of government control.
3.  A theory that regards the absence of all direct or coercive government as a political ideal and that proposes the cooperative and voluntary association of individuals and groups as the principal mode of organized society.

Those three definitions actually cast anarchy in slightly different lights, but they all have one thing in common: lack of government.

I’m going to continue referring to Saturday’s violent “protestors” and “anarchists” as “criminals,” because that’s what they are.  To call them anything else is akin to calling Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold “mis-guided youth” instead of “mass murderers.”  Protestors don’t carry pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, and bags of nails and broken glass with explosive devices.

These criminals don’t believe in government, many of them believe in anarchy, and some believe in the former without believing in the latter.

But I’m of the mindset that without government, you will have anarchy.  And you won’t have the free-spirited, pot-smoking, love-making, happy-go-lucky anarchy that many of these criminals so desire.

The world’s political leaders met this weekend to try and collectively sort out the world’s woes as we stand on the edge of the economic abyss.

The world’s financial picture is blurry and whether we like it or not, all our fates are intertwined.  Countries are no longer self-sufficient we rely on trading partners to keep us moving.  As Stephen Harper said today, “There is no longer a Canadian economy; there is a world economy.”

The criminals would have us go without government, but what would result?

What would we experience via anarchy instead of capitalism and democracy?

Maybe a 700% increase in crime?

How about 60% of the world’s population being unemployed?

Picture a post-apocalyptic scene from any Hollywood movie: I Am Legend, The Book of Eli, The Postman

Do the criminals actually believe that without government, we’ll all just live off our crops and surf all day?

Or maybe, just maybe, they don’t actually understand what they’re preaching.

Maybe, just maybe, the world’s political leaders, with their Harvard business degrees and their Oxford poly-sci educations, might actually know what’s better for the world than the Black Bloc.

g20riot6.jpg

I saw one clip on the news where a criminal was arrested for smashing a Starbucks window with a brick, and when asked what he was protesting, he said, “I’m against the New World Order.”

Really?  Please, elaborate.

What is this “new world order” that you speak of?

Do you simply mean “people that have money and nice things, that I’m jealous of,” or are you referring to Woodrow Wilson’s call for a League of Nations back in 1918?  Does the “new world order” represent anything substantive to you?  Or was it just the name of a wrestling tag-team in the W.W.E.?

I understand the right to protest, really, I do, and organized protests were an important part of this weekend.  But let’s not confuse protesting with criminal acts.

Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s try to understand “rights.”

Because in another news clip, a criminal was arrested for possessing a duffel-bag filled with pipes, nails, and explosive devices.  While being handcuffed, he submitted, “My rights are being violated.  This is an illegal search and seizure…”

Listen up buddy, you could have injured and killed dozens of people with bombs made of nails, ball-bearings, broken glass, and whatever else you could muster up.  I think some of your “rights” went out whichever window your fellow anarchists did not smash in with a baseball bat…

Lost in all this are two major ironies:

1.  Many of these criminals are crying afoul that the government spent $1 Billion on security for the G-20, yet they are out causing millions of dollars worth of damage, and necessitating the need for all that security in the first place.

2.  If they are against capitalism and big business, then I understand smashing the front window of a bank.  But why smash the front window of some mom-and-pop store?  Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?  Is it possible that maybe these anarchists and criminals don’t understand their own agenda and just play follow-the-leader?

If I could make one final point, I would like to publicly decry the actions of the police, riot squad, and other security, or rather, I’d like to publicly decry their inactivity on Saturday afternoon.

I understand their mandate: keep the protestors and criminals away from the G-20 Summit.

But to allow this?

g20riot5.jpg

g20riot4.jpg

I’m a tax-payer, and it’s some of my money that was used for the “security” this weekend.

I’m appalled by the lack of police force that was used to intervene and apprehend these criminals and bring them to justice.

And what about the store owners on Yonge Street who had their windows smashed and their wares looted?  They’re tax-payers!  They should be outraged!  Is the city going to pay for the damage, both compensatory and punitive?

It’s not like the police were outnumbered!

It’s not like the police had rocks and the criminals had guns!  I’m pretty sure it’s the other way around!

In those photos above – where are the police?  Where is the riot squad?  Where are the helmets, shields and batons?

These are criminals and they should be treated as such.

As soon as the first window was smashed, the riot squad should have been making arrests.

But they let it go on, for reasons that still remain unclear.

I’d love to hear an explanation from our esteemed Mayor Miller as he finishes prepares to finish his term this fall.

Well, those are my thoughts on the weekend that was.

I don’t pull my punches, and I’m not afraid of offending anybody.

I truly believe in everything that I wrote, and I hope I’m speaking up for those people that feel the same way but don’t want to voice their opinions.  And for those that don’t agree, I welcome and encourage your own thoughts.

Tomorrow, we’ll actually talk about real estate…

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  2. […] (CLICK HERE for the original blog post from 6/28/2010 and the 29 comments from readers) Email this article to a friend […]

  3. David Fleming says:

    @ Meet The Fockers

    Thanks for posting that link. I heard about this story through the kids that I coach, but as you’d expect, they told a very different version about how unfair it was…

  4. David Fleming says:

    @ Kyle

    ZING!

  5. Kyle says:

    @ Jana

    I am sorry that you took offence to the criticisms of your generation, but you really haven’ provided any counter points to the contrary. In fact I can sum your post up in one sentence: You feel previous generations are to blame for all that ails your generation, and they owe your generation better and it’s because of them you guys are unable to succeed. Did i miss anything?

    Typical Millenial response: blame someone else (see example 1. below), describe what you are deserve, are entitled to or owed (see example 2. below) and use it as an excuse for your failures (see example 3. below):

    1. “Their generation is responsible for social security being a mess, for tuition costing what it does (in the States at least) and for the current recession we find ourselves in.”

    2. “This is the world the younger generations have inherited and my God, we should be pissed, and we should be holding someone accountable.”

    3. “It’s unfortunate that chaos and anarchy become the chosen means of expression”

  6. George says:

    I don’t think all of today’s youth is to blame for the actions of a few idiots. Are kids generally more entitled than they used to be? Probably…but so are adults. A lot of us think we are pretty great and deserve more than what we have.

    One of the biggest problems in this rioting situation was that the media was only going to give attention to this story if violence, vandalism, or arrests were involved. Writing letters and chanting will not get you on CNN or CBC. These people wanted a voice and a platform to raise an issue, and the only way they could get it was by acting like hooligans.

    Of course, an even bigger problem is that they had no viable solutions to the issue they wanted to raise. You can’t just complain…you have to offer viable alternatives.

  7. MeetTheFockers says:

    Sorry the html tag didn’t work..here’s the clip

    http://bit.ly/cA2tvz

  8. MeetTheFockers says:

    It’s called Gen-0, as in ‘you OWE me’.

    To borrow a line from Family Guy…they mill about like Kevin Federline, with an underserved sense of accomplishment.

    And it’s parents like those noted in the following clip that are ultimately responsible for encouraging the warped mindset

  9. LC says:

    The newsclip that said it all for me was the one showing a few of the leaders in a room watching a World Cup match. They couldn’t care less for the protesters or their messages, so why bother?

    The Black Bloc are just a bunch of terrorists and should be treated as such by the law. I can’t bring a bottle of water with me on a plane, but these losers are allowed to torch police cars and vandalize store windows in every G20 city around the world?

    Why bother even announcing a G20 summit? Why not make it a secret every year and save countries billions in tax payers money.

  10. Jana says:

    I am heartily sick of people bemoaning the current state of my “irresponsible” generation.

    Our grandparents came back from the war and built this nation up, yes. They also did so with little regard for the environment and got away with social justice attrocities that we have all mostly forgotten as just another footnote of history.

    Their generation is responsible for social security being a mess, for tuition costing what it does (in the States at least) and for the current recession we find ourselves in. Compared to the cost of living, we are earning LESS they were and this will continue.

    This is the world the younger generations have inherited and my God, we should be pissed, and we should be holding someone accountable. It’s unfortunate that chaos and anarchy become the chosen means of expression, but let’s not forget that the news coverage showed us violence for hours each day while largely ignoring the peaceful demonstrators who had a point and a genuine agenda.

    And that is what angers me the most — we can now only focus on the actions of these criminals and not on what the G20 actually is and what if anything the world leaders accomplished — largely nothing, as no agreement was reached on how to go forward in recovering the global economy!

  11. Daniel says:

    @ Greg

    20-something posts and you’re the first to disagree. How does it feel to be the odd man out?

  12. Roger Dodger says:

    I agree with Solange. This is how we all feel but either we can’t express it as well or we’re afraid of doing so.
    I’m continuously amazed and encouraged by your desire to speak your mind with no regard for the consequences. In a world where political-corectness is rampant you seem to have thrown caution to the wind. Kudos. And considering your business makes you somewhat of a public figure I commend you for having no fear of losing potential business to people who disagree with your no holds barred opinions.

  13. Anonymous says:

    @Greg

    So you don’t see a problem when police ask you nicely 3 times to leave a scene and you don’t obey? Perhaps there’s a reason why they asked you to leave. If you don’t, then you live up to the consequences. Simple as that. Saying stupid shit like “oh… I didn’t know how to leave” or “Oh, I didn’t know when the final warning was”, doesn’t cut it.

    As for the passing of the law, I’m glad that they did it. If they went through the “normal” channels, it would never have been passed in time. Tree-huggers, hippies, whale kissers, you name it will bitch and complain about how this is a violation of their rights, civil liberties etc. etc. What is the big deal of showing your ID to a police officer when you approach the fence. What is so unreasonable about that. I would much rather that they take these so called “extreme” security measures (although I would disagree with the fact that they are extreme) than risk having an idiot criminal walk past the fence and blow something up. If and when that happens, you’ll get another bunch of people who said that security should have been tighter in the first place. There’s no pleasing everyone. If that is the case, might as well piss off people anyway and get the job done right.

  14. Greg says:

    It’s scary that so many commenters (@Anonymous) are so quick to group together the idiotic ‘blac block’ with the people involved in the largest mass arrest in Canadian history at Queen and Spadina.

    These arrests were made possible by the passing of a law that skirted normal procedure and was done without media knowledge.

    To say that those people shouldn’t have been there in the first place and deserved what they got is a simplistic and entirely naive opinion.

    To group everyone arrested as anarchists who got what they deserved and to down play the arbitrary detention of hundreds is to ignore an important point: we caught a glimmer of a police state this weekend and civil rights shouldn’t be taken for granted.

  15. earth mother says:

    In the aftermath of the ‘peaceful demonstrations’: the whining from the ‘peaceful demonstrators’ continues… boo-hoo, nasty conditions at the detainment centre; lawyers & civil libertarians expounding on police brutality. ‘Innocent passersby’ who were ‘only watching’…. but no apologies for the damage & vandalism! Shop-owners picking up the pieces, tax-payers picking up the bill… what’s wrong with this picture?

  16. Kyle says:

    I believe there’s an old Chinese saying, that roughly translates to, “it’s the third generation that pisses is it all away”. And i think it describes exactly what we are seeing here. Grandparents returning from the war to work in factories could be considered the first generation for most of these black bloc criminals. This generation was all about: earning and giving respect, getting established, being responsible and saving. And these are values that they instilled in their children. They wanted to give their kids advantages that they didn’t have growing up, and man did they ever. They gave birth to the most successful, most driven second generation in history – the Baby Boomers, and in this case the parents of many of these Black Bloc criminals. These Baby Boomers have somehow perverted the messages they grew up with and are now instilling messages to their kids that: you deserve it all, don’t let anyone stop you, borrow now pay later, your parents will fight your battles for you, etc. And i see this as the far bigger problem, bigger than burnt cars and broken windows. Now we are seeing the prophecy unfold, not only in these Black Bloc jerks, but in entitled, disenchanted, restive Millenials everywhere.

  17. Solange says:

    Dear David,

    A fantastic article, and great comments from your readers as well. I just wish it had been written on the front page of a national newspaper for all to read and appreciate. I believe this is how most people feel about this nonsense. We just can’t articulate it as well.

    Solange

  18. rock says:

    great read david..could not have said it better…i have better things to do with my time besides wasting it with debate on these losers..they got what they deserved..they were warned to stay away…go to china or russia,etc if u wanna pull this crap and see reality…criminals were lucky they were in toronto and quite frankly not sure any of the black bitches or what ever the cowards behind bandanas are called, are even qualified to work at Mcds……

  19. David Fleming says:

    @ Kyle

    I think you may be on to something.

    I described these “Black Bloc” members as the sad, uneducated, underpriviledged part of our society, when in fact they may be just the opposite.

    Here is a story to put things in perspective…

    I coach kids baseball; ages 14-16. The other day, I was acting like an old man and giving my “kids, today” speech and explaining how in the 50’s, kids were given the strap in school, yet today, a principal can’t even grab a camera that contains upskirt photos of female classmates out of a kids hand without being reported by that kid’s father. Whether that kid is wrong for having violated his classmates by taking photos of their private parts is besides the point; the principal shouldn’t have physically touched that kid or his camera!

    I went on to say that kids today get away with anything and everything, and it didn’t use to be like this.

    One of the kids then said to me, “Yeah…but that’s because kids today FIGHT BACK!”

    He just doesn’t get it.

    Fight back? What?

    How about this: your parents put you out on your own, and with no money, food, shelter, clothing, rights, or priviledges, let’s see how long you last and how well you fare.

    What is there to fight back against?

    This is the attitude that kids have today. They have a sense of entitlement the likes of which society has never seen before.

    Kids just expect to be handed the world, and they don’t want to work for it.

    This kid on my baseball team doesn’t understand that his parents work to provide for him, and he should respect and understand that.

    The misfits in the Black Bloc could be rich kids from the suburbs who don’t see the value in obtaining a (free) university education, working towards a post-graduate degree, and starting at a $65,000 salary when their parents gave them an SUV when they were 17 years old.

    There was a great article in the National Post today which called the Black Bloc participants as an “extreme sport.”

    That’s all it is to some of these kids. They have no agenda whatsoever. They just see rioting as “fun.”

    Ask them what their ideaology is, and “fuck the police” is about as intelligent an answer as you’ll receive.

    My thoughts are flowing. I’d better cut this off now…

  20. dogbiskit says:

    Everyone was angry and tensions were running high. I think the coppers did a great job overall although Sunday was weird. I still don’t know what really happened there but I would like to think they had damn good reasons for queen/spadina while letting the black bloc strategists have their fun on saturday. Those anarchists were not protestors, they were there for a day at disneyland. Hard to understand but some people thrive on destruction. I hope karma comes callin’ soon.

  21. LM says:

    I think they’re hypocrites. Give any of these have-nots $5m, a ferrari and a house in Forest Hill and I bet they would turn capitalist all of a sudden. Jealousy pure and simple.

  22. Kyle says:

    I’ll reserve my judgement on how the policing was conducted, it’s easy to judge in hindsight, but considering the umpteen alternate scenarios that could have played out. I think they managed to restore control and maintain it on Sunday. While i too wished they showed more force on Saturday, had they done so, there would be thousands more, “why are you stopping me in the rain, i was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and had nothing to do with it” whiners. Tough to keep everyone happy when the world is in chaos.

  23. earth mother says:

    Every G20 meeting has been disrupted by the self-named Black Bloc, who have gained the notoriety they seem to crave… Their black masks & attire give them some anonymity when they throw their rocks & bombs, & commit acts of vandalism. Too bad the police didn’t crack down sooner… but this way the public could observe exactly what kind of thugs we’re dealing with here.
    I have no problem with peaceful demonstrations, but these thugs deserve the police crackdown they finally got… Boo-hoo, 20 hours of detainment without lawyers! I’m delighted and relieved to hear that the temporary detainment centres were not at the Hilton!

  24. DP says:

    I explain these people’s rationale (if you want to be generous enough to call it rationale) to “Don’t let the facts get in the way of what I believe”. Even when confronted with the ironies discussed (and there are many more) the response is “Well I just feel as though…” There is no reasoning with people who refuse to accept the way the world works and why their ideas of what it should be would never work. Just let them have their weekend to express their ill-conceived ideas and move on. The Bay Street towers are full again and business is back to normal.

    I just wish I was in the plywood, window or fencing business.

    Final thought – the comment that wearing GAP sweatshirts is a sign of their middle class roots is ludicrous. They most certainly bought them from a second hand store as no one wears GAP anymore. I put mine in one of those clothes bins years ago. What is this, 1998?

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  26. Anonymous says:

    I heard on the news that it’s a common tactic taken by police to allow the criminals to break and destroy things until they get tired, making it easier for the police to arrest them. You have to keep in mind that first and foremost, the police are trained so that they maintain peace while making sure that they place their own safety as top priority, which I agree with. I don’t feel too too bad for the businesses that got their windows smashed and some of their goods looted since it is probably mostly covered under insurance.

    Overall, I truly believe that the police did a good job over the weekend, and I commend them for their efforts.

    What really pisses me off about all of this are actually all of the people who are condemning police for arresting “innocent” civilians. Really? Innocent? From what I heard on the Globe (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/g8-g20/the-morning-after-toronto-begins-recovery-from-g20-chaos/article1621198/), police warned people to leave the area multiple time before either making arrests or in the case of Sunday evening, before they effectively barricaded them at Queen and Spadina.

    In that same article, there was an idiotic 15 year old boy who said that he got arrested because he was simply “standing to watch” after getting told by police to leave the area. His excuse was “I didn’t know how to leave”. Really? How did you get here?

    There was also some other retarded person who said that he was simply “watching” and got arrested “innocently” because the police never told them “when the last warning would be” before arresting him. Wow, really?

    Lastly, for the people who got arrested, they were complaining that the cells were “cramped and cold”. I suppose they should’ve treated you to steak and potatoes and given you a massage. Retards.

    Again, I commend the police for doing what they did. They did a fantastic job, and I applaud them for the efforts.

  27. calico cate says:

    I agree with everything you said. Where were the police on Saturday? Why did we spend so much money on security only to have Toronto slammed around the world for inaction.

    Trying not to jump on my soapbox, I’ll wait for the explanations/cover-ups/justifications.

  28. Kyle says:

    “I think they’re bored.

    I think they’re sad.

    I think they’re unhappy, unemployed, uneducated, and overlooked by society.”

    I would add that they are mostly spoiled rotten, rich kids from the suburbs, who completely take for granted that they live in one of the richest, safest countries in the world. And who do not come from any socially disadvantaged background, but instead choose to be sad, bored, unemployed and uneducated.

    Look at the photos above, these are not the oppressed people by any means, they are wearing name brand backpacks, and GAP hoodies that their parents probably paid for. The reason they don’t want to settle for a Mcjob or any job for that matter is because they never had to. Their parents provided everything from food & shelter to transportation and gaming systems. What could working at McDonald’s ever afford them that they don’t already get for free. But because they never took the initiative to get out of their parents’ basements, they now find themselves completely ill-equipped and ill-prepared for the real world. Yes even the soft version of the real world we have in Canada, is for more reality than they can deal with. So like the spoiled, entitled brats that they are, they now blame the corporations and the government for all their own short comings, when really they have no one to blame but themselves…and well their parents.

  29. JG says:

    From my view point – as i was amongst the throngs of spectators on Saturday at Queen and University – the police were too concerned about protecting the G20. At one point, this ‘black bloc’ swarm ran across Queen to Yonge, right by all the riot police just south of Queen on University – they proceeded to head down Yonge St. trashing the windows and buildings as they went. Why were they allowed to run right pass the riot police? Why were they not stopped or confronted?
    Yet on Sunday, as a show of force, they barricaded innocent by-standers and locals at the intersection of Queen and Spadina for 5hrs in moonsoon rain? Only to eventually release the majority of them, while arresting others throughout the ordeal? Again why? Why show the force now and show it on the 90% spectators and locals?
    Granted – I do not think Queen St. was on the Police’s radar of possible areas of protest – but considering the police well outnumbered the ‘criminals’ – i am surprised more was not done.

    As one delegate at the convention in the Ricoh center over the weekend – (some aside convention for journalist etc – i believe was in that building at the CNE) – stated for the amount of police that were in the city – 15,000 plus and the preparations and expectations of what would arise – why were these ‘criminals’ allowed to loot and vandalise for 30mins? His impression was one of embarrasment for Toronto!

  30. Geoff says:

    I agree, I think we needed Chief Wiggum in town:

    “Set your batons on whomp, boys!”

  31. Alex says:

    Well said

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