June 27, 2010
TORONTO — Toronto police used tear gas and arrested 75 when a violent mob tried to hijack a peaceful protest by tens of thousands of people against the G20 summit, the city’s police chief said.
“We have never seen this level of wanton criminality on our streets,” chief Bill Blair told a press conference hours after the protest, adding police were still scouring the streets fearing more trouble.
Some 30,000 people, according to rally organizers, marched against the G20 summit Saturday demonstrating in favor of social causes, in a largely peacefully rally until violence erupted on its fringes.
The main body of the march was a well-marshaled event, led by older activists and organized labor, but splinter groups of young hardliners scuffled with riot officers and set fire to three patrol cars.
At least three more vehicles and windows in downtown Toronto’s financial district were damaged, and the air was thick with the smell of vinegar-soaked rags used to ward off police tear gas.