First the general word going around is that most if not all damage being done is by “provocateurs.” Being there near the front of the pack documenting, I can tell you that the damage done along Toronto’s downtown core including the fire set to the cop car at Bay Street and King Street was not done by anyone but a small group of about 20-30 protesters between the ages of 18 and 24. Many people have been saying or assuming that it was all started and caused by undercover cops but this I can tell you is not true. This is simply the people not wanting to ever take blame for what happened and always needing to create an enemy, in this case the police. However, what is true is this.
The cop cars they left in the streets were nothing more than a complete provocation to have damage caused to them. At Bay and King 3 cop cars were “conveniently” parked right in the streets where the protesters were headed and there were very little cops in the area to protect or stop anything from getting damaged. It was a clear set up to invite the people to begin damaging anything in their path. Early in the day we spoke to a few cops getting their storm trooper gear on and they had said “we are here to protect and stop the city from being damaged, those were our orders and reason for being here.” Based on the way the police had reacted the entire day, that statement was either a lie or was true but there was never a real intention to stop any damage. As they set up cars to be freely destroyed and allowed protesters to destroy many parts of the city while cops moved entirely in the other direction, it was clear they had no intention of stopping them. It was only later as protesters made their way back to the only designated free speech zone did cops come in full force. And when they were finally in that restricted zone of free speech, the police began to rough people up, make random arrests on people who were doing absolutely nothing wrong and completely lock and shut down the area. I understand there have been many videos including what we have heard and been told by the media, but I was there first hand in all of these regions filming and I can state clearly and honestly, the police allowed this to happen and then completely shut down the area of free speech.
The few violent protesters did and are responsible for all of the damage, there were no undercover police personnel taking part in that. Neither party did what would have maintained any level of peace. Peace Joe .
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