Thursday, June 03, 2010

G20 - the excitement builds

Update June 7: In just a few short weeks the G20 Summit will take over downtown Toronto and hold it in it's billion dollar security grip. Today the first sections of concrete blocks and fencing started to go up around the Metro Toronto Convention Centre - part of the Red Zone. The photos show Simcoe Street south of Front St West.
The nearby CN Tower was reflected in the Convention Centre Windows.

You can see more after the jump.

Everyday we get more and more information regarding the security planned for the G20 Summit. The $1 billion (plus) dollar cost of the security has got everyone upset. The police seem happy to get some new toys, some new cameras and the chance to strap on some riot gear and get their mounted police ready to roll. We were treated to the Long Range Accoustical Device (LRAD) demonstration - it was displayed as a harmless body mounted directional speaker - just fine for broadcasting simple information or maybe a tune or two (it's the iPolice). It's like the police pulling out tasers that also come equipped with squirt guns.

The photo above shows a panorama of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre which will be at the centre of the Summit. The fences and no travel zones are still some weeks away. Garbage cans and newspaper boxes are being removed from the streets, if you want to dispose of some trash then you can use the transparent garbage bags taped to streetlight poles.

I hear people talking about leaving the city in the week leading up to the Summit, finding other places to work, or dressing down so they don't look like bankers. Many people are seriously worried that anarchists and protesters will flood the streets destroying everything in their path. The security plans call for high fences, no travel zones, questions and searches. Well I intend to be there covering the event, taking photos of the preparations and of the days immediately before and during the Summit.

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