What the G20 protests are really about

What the G20 Protests are Really About

The G20 (Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors) Summit which took place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, during June 26–27, 2010. During this time, violent protests have taken place for multiple reasons which I will discuss today. An infamous group known as the Black Bloc, made up of both anarchists and activists were responsible for the upbringings that occurred in the violent protests.

During the week of the summit many protests took place in Downtown Toronto which led to the police being involved to control the riots. The protests started off peaceful but Black Bloc tactics were used which caused individuals dress in black to start a rampage. Fast food restaurants, retail shopping stores, and banks were damaged and vandalised, even police cruisers were set on fire. The situation became so bad that hospitals, shopping centres and hotels were put in lockdown while public transit services were rerouted from Downtown to other locations. As police with riot shields and tear gas moved in, nearly 1100 protesters were arrested throughout the entire week. A few protesters even had to be treated because of injuries to the head caused by some police officers. At one point tear gas had to be used by officers after a warning was issued and even a few officers received minor injuries from fending off the protesters.

The few main issues for the uprising of the protest and why the summit made everyone upset were poverty, climate change, gender equity and immigration. Not to mention other related problems such as labor rights, socialism, Aboriginal land claims, drug law reform, disability rights, anti-globalization, animals rights, anti-nuclear proliferation, and pacifism. During the two day summit in Toronto, costs added up to $1 billion dollars coming out of taxpayer’s wallets. That money could have covered the cost of social benefits in the province of Ontario for the next five years. Another concern not considered by the leaders of the G20 summit is immigration. An example of this is Canada’s immigration policy which states that Canada will be more willing to accept immigrants if they fill the jobs that will help the economy but the real problem is assisting immigrants that are attempting to flee their country because of humanitarian and climate crises that do not have the required skills. It has also been said that the G20 does not pay enough attention to queer issues because it is illegal to be homosexual in more than seventy countries in the world. These are just some of the reasons that led to the protest of the G20 summit.

This article is relevant to geography because all the issues mentioned in the article in some way affect human geography. Problems touched upon such as poverty, climate change and immigration are all factual things concerning human geography. Most of these geographic problems were not looked at by the G20 summit which is why protests emerged in order to have these issues noticed. Human geography is the study that considers all human related aspects like immigration, demographics, culture, farming, health, industry, etc. In other words, it is the study of the world, its people, their activities, communities and cultures. The main focuses of the G20 summits are to discuss key issues in the global economy. Economy is a big part of human geography because it deals with the wealth and resources of a country/region. This is why protesters targeted the G20 summit held in Toronto, so they could share their opinions and have the problems mentioned to be fixed.

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