From Corporate Bailouts To Austerity Measures: Shifting Further The Burden Of Crisis To The People

There was a security crackdown in the run-up to the summit with harassment and pre-emptive arrests of activists, forcible displacement of homeless people, and expanded police powers for violating civil liberties and political rights. The summit itself was held in the heart of Toronto’s financial district in the middle of a security zone ringed by six (6) kilometres of barbed wire and concrete barriers, and secured by over 20,000 soldiers, police and paramilitary personnel on foot, horseback, armoured cars, patrol boats and helicopters. Marchers were eventually dispersed violently with tear gas, truncheons, plastic bullets and pepper spray. The police had even prepared sonic cannons.

Nearly 1100 people were arrested, including many minors, journalists and bystanders, making it the largest mass arrest in Canadian history, with 714 charged with breach of peace before eventually being released. The prisoners were detained without reasonable and probable grounds, sexually harassed, denied access to counsel and left in handcuffs for extended periods of time in overcrowded cells with insufficient water and food. Sixteen people remained in police custody on July 5, 2010. It was a flagrant example of denial of basic human rights through aggressive state violence. The iron fist of Canadian capitalism was exposed to all the world, with the right-wing government of Steven Harper ready to do the dirty work to protect global capital and picking up where the Bush regime in Washington left off.

The huge mass protests against the G-20 in Toronto were driven by the deep inequities of the global order with bailouts for the rich and a vast and rapidly widening gap between the imperialist countries and the underdeveloped countries as well as between the ruling classes and the great mass of working people. The mass protests reflected and echoed the widespread strikes, protest rallies and other forms of popular resistance in the the G-20 countries and elsewhere in the world.

A broad range of issues were raised against the G-20, including the bailouts for the banks and corporations, high rates of unemployment and homelessness, the brutal attacks on the rights of the working people, the decline of incomes and the erosion of hard-won social benefits for the working people, the austerity measures to further exploit and impoverish the people, the imperialist aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US-Israel Zionist oppression of the Palestinian people, the maltreatment of indigenous peoples, climate change and corporate environmental destruction.

The broad masses of the people condemn the G-20, the IMF, World Bank and the WTO as instruments of exploitation and call for a world economy that promotes the well-being of humanity. They demand a new and better world, free from imperialism, exploiting classes and all forms of discrimination, truly democratic, socially just, all-roundedly progressive, peaceful and characterized by people’s solidarity and harmony with the environment. They assert that by their own mass struggles they can effectively resist imperialism and all reaction, liberate themselves and bring about fundamental social change. Posted by

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