G20 Toronto

Here’s another open thread to start the minds of the great designers on core…

Currently (or as of this weekend), the G20 Will be held here in Toronto and lately has been in the news as of the great disruption and cost of security for the event (est. $20B). To me, (and others for sure) this seems crazy…

The entire downtown core will be shut down, residents in the security perimeter require passes, saplings are being uprooted to prevent protestors from using them as weapons (WTF?), and pretty much the whole city is on lockdown. Doesn’t make much sense…

Looking at post G20s (London, Pittsburgh, etc.) it’s pretty much guaranteed some crazy people will riot and burn stuff…

The high cost of security seems like and issue of poor planning and design from the top down.

Some alternate ideas I’ve come up with -

  1. have the G20 on an already secure place such as a army base.

  2. have the G20 on a remote place like some random island in the middle of nowhere.

  3. have the G20 on a an aircraft carrier in some random remote location. no better deterrent to protesters than 50 fighter jets and anti aircraft guns :slight_smile:

  4. have the G20 at anyplace and don’t tell people when or where. Have the media Q&A via video conference. Problem solved.

Sure, people have the right to protest whatever they like, but riots and military policing in a good city is just crazy. Half the people there just want to bust something.

Any other good “design” solutions to the issue?


When they were in Pittsburgh a bunch of students went to silent/peacefully protest, but they got arrested anyway. Huge controversy about it. I think a couple hundred students got those little zip tie handcuffs and a spot on their record just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Provide a stadium sized rumpus room for the most aggressive, complete with foam batons, effigies of the leaders attending, and fake shop fronts…

Why have a physical meeting anyway?

  1. We have the technology. Teleconference. Save a lot of pollution and trouble.

  2. Most of the negotiation happens in the months leading up to the meeting. Cut out the celebration at the end and just send out a press release.

The G20, much like the Olympics offends me deeply, but I don’t expect it to change. It’s part of the spectacle that is becoming a greater and greater part of our economy.


I was supposed to go to Toronto this week for a site visit. So the coversation with the boss on why I didn’t steered to politics. I hate talking politics at work.

Maybe I’m too naive. I understand your opposition to G20 with all the economic imbalance in the world, but what’s wrong with the olympics now?

but what’s wrong with the olympics now?

Nothing that the total abandonment of commercial sponsorship, and association with the broadcast industry wouldn’t fix.

Amateur sports? No such thing exists … maybe school yard “marbles”.

hhhmmm, we just had an earthquake here about 1/2hr a go
My first thought was someone with a rental truck bought a bit more fertilizer than they were allowed.

Can they not just have these meetings at the UN building in New York ?
Surely they are all set up there for this kind of thing. Everyone bungs in a bit of money to cover the cost of security, New Yorkers wouldn’t even notice the difference.

Apparently they cannot provide enough security to keep out God lol.

I only watched hockey & curling this time around, so I guess I missed all the crass commercialism. Thanks for the insight.

There’s an old saying, “watch the fires burning across the river”. A week before it starts, commence a preliminary summit inviting leaders of the opposition, somewhere outside of town. Choose from disparate and diverging camps to insure division. The protests will still go on but they will be more easily contained, fraught with infighting, and spent by the time the real meeting starts.

During the real conference, instead of a central meeting. Plan several small meetings on the periphery of the city. This will split the protests. Position riot police on the city side of riots to give the marauders an easy escape route to the countryside. People fight hardest when they feel there’s no escape.

Position riot police on the city side of riots to give the marauders an easy escape route to the countryside. People fight hardest when they feel there’s no escape.

“Do not interfere with an army that is returning home. When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.”

Classic Sun Tzu :wink:


Right on.
Another nugget, “Our own flags should be substituted for those of the enemy, and the taken chariots mingled and used in conjunction with ours”

In conjunction with the conference, have a big music festival. I’m talking parades, bazaars, exclusive afterhours parties, raves. Call it One World Party or maybe G-infinite. Book the biggest rock bands. If they refuse to show up, then hire the hungriest, cutting edge local acts and dump a truckload of money on their stoops. Steal the protest’s thunder.

Perhaps the solution lies in a deeper look at the origins of these protests , and not in squashing the symptoms with excessive force…


I do admire the idealism & sentiment, but, like a broken clock that’s only right twice a day, the same tired, stagnant ideas aren’t going to help much. People are angry, but not because they are in a political awakening. They are protesting the old political awakening. History isn’t a straight line. Like the oil spill, we may just have no choice but to wait this one out

Thanks for the links mgnt8 - looks like some interesting reading!

Sure thing bro. I was researching trends and how to better predict them, and came across the theory of K-waves. A lot of people think it’s no better than voodoo, but it couldn’t get much worse than what the so-called experts have been shoveling.

Looks like things have not been too good in Toronto, and Richard was right on when he wrote this post. You can see this coming from 100 miles away so why continue to have these in downtown areas? I never could understand why a rioter would want to smash up his own city, and hurt their own businesses and neighbors? What does smashing window’s have to do with the G20? What does the Toronto police have to do with it, they would be happy to just keep the peace I believe. No one inside the G20 is going to say, “did you see that burning car outside, lets change our policy.”

They could call it Live 8.

Signs of agent provocateurs?

Ugh, those look like really standard Vibram soles used on like every other work boot?

Majority of the people who cause trouble are either teenage shitheads or are not local, to answer the question “Why would they destroy the city they live in?” They travel from all over the place to protest. And most of the stuff we see in the pictures in action - the perfectly framed black bloc smashing Starbucks - is probably planted (police or press) to justify either future police violence or to create a more compelling narrative. And speaking of the police, at least in the USA, most of them at these events are not local, as well.

Concerts don’t help. They are an excuse for police to arrest everybody attending for unlawful assembly and conspiracy to riot, basically (in US)

Unfortunately, I worked and lived in a mile radius from 2008 Republican National Convention - Wikipedia

I managed to avoid most of the drama by leaving work a few hours early and staying in, but on the last day I ended up stranded downtown because all of the overpasses were closed by the police, anticipating protesters. Being shoved by a Blackwater dude thrice my size is not something I want to go through again.

I know people whose houses were raided, they didn’t plan protesting at all, just lived in the wrong part of town, I guess? A few people I know who lived in the area were maced. Again, not protesting, just trying to go home.

For every protester there is probably at least 3 policemen. They tend to overuse their powers during big events, and since I’m the resident tinfoil hat wearer, I think the practice of having these meetings in urban densely populated areas will continue to create a sense of fear in general public and to justify police militarization that’s been going on for a while. Sort of a “How far can we push civil rights and get away with it?” litmus test (in US)

Or something. Blurgh. I need coffee.