Riots disrupt peaceful protests in Toronto

More than 500 people were arrested in Toronto over the weekend after trouble erupted between police and masked protesters.

Toronto city centre descended into chaos over the weekend, as masked protesters clashed with riot police just blocks away from where the leaders of the G20 countries were gathered.

Trouble began when angry demonstrators broke away from the main peaceful protest involving trade unions and other groups.

Footage from the Canadan broadcaster CTV showed protesters smashing windows of banks and chain stores, torching police cars, as well as looting and threatening photographers.

Riot police responds by firing tear gas.

Over 500 protesters were arrested and taken to temporary holding centres, built especially for the summit.

In an effort to prevent further disruption, police have since raided a university building in order to round up more protestors and prevent similar instances.

‘We have never seen that level of wanton criminality and vandalism and destruction on our streets,’ says Toronto police chief Bill Blair.

‘There are limits to free speech, and these limits really end when it infringes on the rights and safety of others.’

One masked protestor kicked back by insisting: ‘This is violence. This is vandalism against violent corporations. We did not hurt anybody.’

Toronto riots - World News - Marie Claire

Police have since adopted a more aggressive approach by going straight into the crowds on demonstrators to make arrests, rather than standing back to witness damage as it occurs.

Marie Claire would like to hear your thoughts on the Toronto protests and progression of the summit. Are the leaders of the G20 countries taking the right steps, or are you frustrated by a number of efforts? Tell us today by posting your comment below.

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