As the hardworking staff noted yesterday, Canada spent a billion dollars (a.k.a. a lot of loonies) on security at this past weekend’s Group of 8/Group of 20 hoedown.
And it sure paid off.
From Monday’s New York Times:
Police in Toronto Criticized for Treatment of Protesters, Many Peaceful
TORONTO — An escalation of aggressive police tactics toward even apparently peaceful protests at the Group of 20 summit meeting led to calls for a review of security activities.
After allowing a small group of people to burn police cars and smash windows unimpeded on Saturday afternoon, many of the 20,000 police officers deployed in Toronto changed tactics that evening and during the last day of the gathering.
There was a notable increase in both the numbers of police officers who surrounded demonstrations as well as more use of tear gas and rubber or plastic bullets. At the same time, there was a visible drop in the number of demonstrators in the city streets.
According to Amnesty International, it was a lose-lose proposition:
“The amount of money, reported to be in excess of $1 billion, that has been spent on security measures in Toronto over the past several days has been unprecedented,” the rights group said. “Yet on one hand extensive acts of vandalism and other violence were carried out and on the other hand thousands of individuals felt nervous and uneasy about exercising their right to engage in peaceful protest.”
Yeah. I got your billion dollars right here.