I spent two days in Toronto on June 26-27 during the G20 summit of world political leaders. I was doing communications-related work for a peaceful rally and march organized by labour and citizensâ€™ groups (including some churches) on Saturday. It was a day that was to turn nasty late in the afternoon when a small group of people began to commit acts of vandalism. I took the photo shown here on Queen Street while upwards of 30 thousand people were marching peacefully in the rain. In the left corner of the frame, a young girl walks carrying an umbrella and behind her a man holds the hand of his female companion. In the centre is a banner that says people should come before profits and that public services essential to citizens must be protected. There are also people carrying flags identifying their unions â€“ the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the Service Employees International Union and others.
The People First rally began in the pouring rain at Queenâ€™s Park, Ontarioâ€™s parliament building. A group of dark-clad police officers were ranged in front of the entrance. They treated any demonstrators who came near to them in a friendly but non-committal manner. The eventâ€™s sponsoring organizations included the Canadian Labour Congress, the Ontario Federation of Labour, the Council of Canadians, Greenpeace and the Canadian Federation of Students. The march began after about 30 minutes of introductions and speeches. The route was to take about 90 minutes, although it was awhile before the crowd of thousands could file its way into the street.Read More