Riot. Bomb scare. Policy making. Debates. All you can eat buffets. A fake lake. World Cup drama. Writing up a storm. Seeing a side of one’s home they’ve never seen before. Welcome and farewell to my first G20 all in 48 hours.
This final G20 Notebook entry is a bit late but sometimes a writer hits the wall, runs on fumes and the crash is sometimes worse than the fall itself.
BOBCAYGEON & G20 VIOLENCE: Isn’t it funny that the acts of marauding wannabe anarchists end up overshadowing legitimate, credible protest on issues which were G20 related?
The fact you live in a democratic state, not a police state, allowed you the platform to be losers and unfortunately, hundreds of misguided, naive, rhetoric-filled protestors defend you, the same people who truly did abuse THEIR RIGHTS to free protest and dissent.
Our cops are tops. The professionalism and poise by the ones I saw and engaged with was beyond reproach for my eight hour experience, just mere feet and sometimes inches away from me. As I said, the only cop action I can judge is what I saw right infront of me.
As I avoided and engaged in arguments with protestors. Avoided stampedes and debris thrown by protestors and was sometimes trapped by riot cops… one line from a favourite Tragically Hip song, called Bobcaygeon, echoed in my mind, “In the middle of that riot, I couldn’t get you off my mind.”
FAKE LAKE SHORE SIGHTS: Above you will see a photo of NDP leader Jack Layton near the $57,000 G20 media centre “fake lake”. Remember the evidence of this Jack photo-op if ever he complains about the lake, it sure didn’t seem to bother him that afternoon.
Along the fake lake shore, on World Cup Sunday, the potential for World War Three was set. England vs. Germany were playing and scribes from both nations filled the lake and coffee bar area of the media centre.
Each goal and near miss produced cheers and groans which echoed throughout the centre. Needless to say, G20 coverage for both of those nations suffered a tad that morning. When England got robbed by a missed call on a legitimate goal they scored, we all got worried. Thankfully, all Austrian reporters avoided the game viewing area.
INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CENTRE RANDOMNESS:
The hum and noise you get when you have almost 400 journalists typing away on their laptops or conducting interviews in various languages, all in one large space, creates a unique experience. However, make all these journalists evacuate early in the morning, before they have had their first coffee, thanks to a bomb scare and the true danger is not the bomb, that I can assure you.