Anarchists run wild in Toronto

Toronto police and other security agencies had their hands full last night after anarchist activists wreaked a swath of havoc in downtown Toronto.

The day started calmly enough, with thousands of protestors gathered in Queens Park to peacefully make their voices heard. These were diverse groups with numerous causes...labor unions, libertarians, Marxists, Ethiopians, Vietnamese...and yes, the obligatory hippies, conspiracy theorists, and crazies.

At 1:30 pm a march was scheduled for 'peaceful protest' nearer the site of the summit, but that's when the anarchist crowd stole the show.

The problems started when a young man from the anarchist group broke from the crowd and leapt onto the windshield of a police squad car on Queen Street -- while an officer was still inside. The car's tires were slashed and the windshield shattered, but additional officers were able to clear the scene (no word on whether the officer was injured).

Not to be deterred, the anarchists then turned down York, setting fire to two squad cars. Ill-prepared officers beat a hasty retreat, literally fleeing before the mob.

Police were not the only recipients of violence...public transportation vehicles were vandalized, and major news corporations had their on-the-scene vehicles' windows bashed out (vehicles from the local station appeared to be spared intentionally).

Finally, the mob spent its rage down the length of Yonge Street, bashing in shop windows with blunt objects and bricks pried from the sidewalk. Again, officers were sent running for cover under a shower of thrown bottles and rocks.

Riot police arrived on the scene and hemmed the mob back towards Queen's Park, but no attempt was made to surround the instigators.

Two more squad cars were later burned, but whether or not this was the work of the same individuals remains unclear.

While the anarchists no doubt intended their violence to send a political message, it seems to do little more than vindicate the measures undertaken at the Pittsburgh summit. Although Pittsburgh security forces took fire for 'coming down too hard' on protestors, after what's happened in Toronto tonight, Pittsburgh measures seem justified.

When asked prior to the riots if the protests would grow violent, one officer responded, "10,000 hippies camped out on the [Queen's Park] lawn? I think we in Toronto deal with worse than this all the time."  Perhaps this attitude was part of the problem to begin with.

 For American Thinker, Joe Corica in Toronto
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