Circled in yellow is a crossbow, in red are two machetes and in green it is either a taser or a small handgun (if you know, let me know). There is also a chainsaw in the background, as well as a sledgehammer and a few baseball bats. This is a picture of just a sample of the weapons taken off the “peaceful protesters” during last weekend’s G20 riots. Not having protested a larger international summit before, I wouldn’t know from experience whether or not this is acceptable equipment for the average protesters, but I am pretty sure it isn’t. The original unedited picture itself comes from the National Post article by Kenyon Wallace published earlier today.
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair displayed a shocking array of weapons and tools obtained from arrested G20 protesters this morning at police headquarters.
The recovered items included body armor, sledgehammers, machetes, an electric drill, saws, crowbars, shields, aluminum bats, dog repellent, bamboo rods and bottles of hot sauce.
Although the display of items took up half the lobby of the headquarters, officers on hand said more than five times the amount on display had been seized by police.
Speaking to reporters, Mr. Blair said the items on display demonstrated the extent of the criminal conspiracy surrounding the violent G20 protests over the weekend.
“No one should be so naïve as to think these people were there for the purpose of lawful protest,” he said, noting that the items were capable of “delivering deadly force.”
“We are all deeply disturbed by the crimes that were committed here.”
Suffice to say, the protest was far from peaceful and the police have the evidence on display for all to see. The media is largely ignoring this story, instead focusing on Police Chief Bill Blair’s statements about how he knew that the five-metre rule didn’t extended to the front of the fence. Did he outright lie? Blair bent the truth, but no, he didn’t outright lie. Why does this matter anyways? Laura Blondeau, a spokeswoman for Community Safety Minister Rick Bartolucci stated that no arrests were made under this act, so it is clear that this is a non-issue. The media, instead of doing their job, is obsessing over this moot point and non-existent issues, deflecting attention away from the violent actions of the protesters. As Rex Murphy stated in his recent article, these hooligans have been coddled for far too long, that these malcontents need to be punished severely. As long as reporters aren’t willing to put the blame where it really belongs, however, this isn’t going to happen. They are given free reign to terrorize without fear of considerable repercussions.
As I discussed previously, this nonsense has gone on for far too long. The Black Bloc and its supporters have been given far too much freedom to commit these random acts of violence. With all the media coverage there has been on the G20 riots the last few days, it would be nice if the apologists for these radicals would stop for a second and examine the facts. These weren’t “peaceful protesters”, especially when they were carrying these weapons. How does anyone justify such behaviour? Blame the police, blame the provincial government, blame Prime Minister Stephen Harper, but not the people who actually committed the violence? This is the kind of twisted logic we are seeing from protest supporters and it is downright disgusting…
Take your blinders off, see what the police confiscated, watch the videos of the protests, and then tell us that this was simply a misunderstanding. There is no way to misinterpret the desires of political radicals carrying hatchets, machetes and crossbows… Pathetic…
UPDATE: There have been a few reports raising questions about some of the weapons seized by police. Jim Mahoney of the Globe and Mail put out a slanted and seriously questionable story about the weapons seized by officers during the riots. Even amateurs have weighed in on this, trying to twist the facts of the event. Mike Fahey from Kotaku wrote a downright ignorant post on the G20 riots, arrests and weapon confiscations.
Justifying the harsh handling of protesters at the G-20 summit this weekend, Toronto police invited journalists to a viewing of dangerous confiscated weapons, including foam swords, sock-headed arrows, and a suit of scale mail. Did someone call forth a flame bolt?…
…25-year-old landscaper Brian Barrett was heading to a live-action role-playing game at Centennial Park when police detained him, confiscating his gear but letting him go free.
His gear next appeared as part of a police display, demonstrating to journalists just how much danger was present during the G-20 summit. During the demonstration, Police Chief Bill Blair singled out Barrett’s safety arrows – normal arrows tipped with pool noodle covered in socks – as devices meant to be soaked in flammable liquid and set on fire.
Also on display were a pair of foam shields, several ‘swords’ made from PVC tubing and foam, and a lovely set of scale mail. Mr. Barrett was taken aback by the sight of his armor displayed beneath a pair of machetes, and worries that folks who see him in his gear will now associate him with some of the G-20 summit’s real violent criminals.
Doesn’t surprise someone like him would try to spin these events. As for his other claims, Mike tries to say that the majority of these weapons weren’t really weapons.
The rest of the items, which included a staple gun, bandanas, a skateboard, goggles, and bicycle helmets, were all completely legitimate, if a bit silly.
How about the two machetes you pointed out but ignored? The handguns? Hatchets? Baseball bats? No, Mike would like us to believe that they only had foam swords and that the shields were for role playing (even the spray painted trash can lids with the anarchist logo Mike?). I find it suspicious that someone would pick that weekend to play dress up in the park, but let’s give this individual the benefit of the doubt. He is probably just that socially inept to not realize that you don’t go outside and role play when police are arresting rioters who are also dressing up, but not for “make believe.”
As for this talk about how the crossbow and chainsaw weren’t related to the protests, this is what is known as “splitting hairs”. Another Globe and Mail story, this one done by Kate Allen and Siri Agrell.
The RCMP Integrated Security Unit says the arrest of a man carrying a crossbow and other dangerous items in his car in downtown Toronto Thursday was not related to the G20 summit.
Constable April Dequanne said the 53-year-old man’s arrest “was not believed to be” related to the upcoming summit, but the investigation would continue. Police do not believe the man was targeting a nearby picket line of striking hotel workers either.
Gary McCullough, 53, of Whitby, Ont., has been charged with one count of weapons dangerous and he’ll appear in court on Friday at 2 p.m.
The case is “not a concern of the ISU,” said Constable Tony Vella.
Mr. McCullough was arrested after a car containing a cache of equipment in a makeshift storage container, including a crossbow and chainsaw, was stopped near the G20 security zone in Toronto.
Not related to the G20 summit? He might not be connected to a specific protest group, but let’s not pretend that he showed up outside a G20 security zone because he liked the “scenery.” This is what we saw with Joseph Andrew Stack, the man who flew his plane into an office building with Internal Revenue Service offices, a deranged individual looking to make a political statement before taking his life (being caught by police probably wasn’t part of his plan). Gary McCullough did pose a threat to those attending the G20 summit, though a small and incompetent one, and was arrested for it. Let’s take a closer look at what he was carrying.
Circled in yellow are gas cans, in red the crossbow, and in green the arrows. If Police Chief Bill Blair’s comments about flammable arrows are laughable, explain to me how all three ingredients for such a weapon are found here? Seeing that four police cruisers were set on fire with fire bombs, how are flaming arrows a stretch of the imagination? All this strikes me as a perverse way of excusing the violence of the protesters while continuing to place the blame on police for what occurred.
Even if you excuse some of these items (the chainsaw, the crossbow, etc), the fact remains that you still have a slew of machetes, hatchets, nail guns, baseball bats and various other weapons that shouldn’t be found on “peaceful protesters”. Can you explain that Mike? How about you Jim? Pathetic…