Video: Protests turn violent near G-20 summit

  1. Transcript of: Protests turn violent near G-20 summit

    LESTER HOLT, anchor: several other nations are talking economy and foreign policy, while on the other side of the city protesters have been facing off with police. We have two reports, beginning with NBC 's Kevin Tibbles , who's right on the edge of those protests tonight.

    KEVIN TIBBLES reporting: What started off as a very peaceful protest of about 5,000 members of various labor unions and other groups on the streets of Toronto essentially turned very violent very quickly later in the afternoon. A violent confrontation between a number of protesters, many who have came dressed in black clothing, often wearing balaclavas and masks, bandanas around their heads, they essentially faded to the back of the parade and then went off on their own through the business district of Toronto , smashing windows at several banks. We saw windows at Starbucks smashed, for example, and we also saw a police car that was turned over and set on flames right in the heart of the city . What has happened now is that hundreds -- literally hundreds of police officers in riot gear, gas masks and bicycles are now moving into the crowd, and they're moving this crowd off in the other directions down from the end of the street. This isn't over yet, Lester . Back to you.

    HOLT: All right, Kevin Tibbles tonight.

By Associated Press Writer
updated 6/26/2010 8:30:42 PM ET 2010-06-27T00:30:42

Black-clad demonstrators broke off from a crowd of peaceful demonstrators protesting the G-20 global economic summit in Toronto, torching police cruisers and smashing windows with baseball bats and hammers.

Police with shields and clubs earlier pushed back another small group of demonstrators who tried to head south toward the security fence surrounding the perimeter of the Group of 20 summit site. Some demonstrators hurled bottles at police.

"This isn't our Toronto and my response is anger," Toronto Mayor David Miller told CP24 television. "Every Torontonian should be outraged by this."

A stream of police cars headed to Toronto to reinforce security there after the smaller Group of Eight summit ended in Huntsville, Ontario. The vandalism occurred just blocks from where President Barack Obama and other world leaders were meeting and staying.

"These images are truly shocking to Canadians," Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said in a statement. "We are taking all measures necessary to ensure Canadians, delegates, media and international visitors remain safe."

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Previous major world summits also have attracted massive, raucous and sometimes destructive protests by anti-globalization forces.

3 police cars torched
The roving band of protesters in black balaclavas shattered shop windows for blocks, including at police headquarters, then shed some of their black clothes, revealing other garments, and continued to rampage through downtown Toronto.

Protesters torched at least three police cruisers in different parts of the city, including one in the heart of the city's financial district. One protester jumped on the roof of one before dropping a Molotov cocktail into the smashed windshield.

Police in riot gear and riding bikes formed a blockade, keeping protesters from approaching the security fence a few blocks south of the march route. Police closed a stretch of Toronto's subway system along the protest route and the largest shopping mall downtown closed after the protest took a turn for the worse.

A media bus taking photographers and cameramen to a hotel where the G-20 leaders will have dinner was turned back after police deemed it unsafe.

Dozens of police officers later boxed in a number of protesters from both sides of a street in a shopping district. The protesters encouraged the media to film it and they sang 'O Canada', Canada's national anthem, before being allowed to disperse.

At another location at the provincial legislature police also boxed in demonstrators before tackling some and making arrests.

As of Saturday afternoon, 40 summit-related arrests had been made since June 18, police said, with security being provided by an estimated 19,000 law enforcement officers drawn from all regions of Canada. The security costs are estimated at more than US$900 million.

Trying to be family friendly
Saturday's protest march, sponsored by labor unions and dubbed family friendly, was the largest demonstration planned during the weekend summits. Its organizers had hoped to draw a crowd of 10,000, but only about half that number turned out on what was a rainy day.

Toronto Police Sgt. Tim Burrows said before Saturday's protest that authorities were pleased by the demonstrators' orderly behavior. Hundreds of protesters moved through Toronto's streets Friday, but police in riot gear intercepted them, preventing them from getting near the summit security zone downtown.

Ontario's provincial government quietly passed a regulation earlier this month allowing police to arrest anyone who refuses to show identification or submit to searches if they come within five yards of a security fence.

Toronto's downtown resembles a fortress, with a big steel and concrete fence protecting the summit site.

Previous global summit protests have turned violent. In 1999, 50,000 protesters shut down World Trade Organization sessions in Seattle as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets. There were some 600 arrests and $3 million in property damage. One man died after clashes with police at a G-20 meeting held in London in April 2009.

At the September G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, police fired canisters of pepper spray and smoke and rubber bullets at marchers.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: Security tight for G-20 summit

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  1. Police in Toronto, Canada, arrest a woman on Sunday, June 27, outside a building where others detained during the G-20 summit were being held. (Warren Toda / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Police speed off in an unmarked van after a "snatch and Grab" arrest of a protestor in Toronto on Sunday. (Jemal Countess / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Protesters run from police who were surging with shields and clubs during the G-20 summit on Saturday in Toronto. (Don Emmert / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Protesters stage a sit-in in front of riot police during a demonstration in Toronto on Saturday. (Christinne Muschi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Protestors burn a police car in Toronto on Saturday during demonstrations as the G-20 Summit gets underway. (Gerry Broome / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Riot police watch as two police vehicles set on fire by anarchist demonstrators burn in the midst of protests on the streets of downtown Toronto, during the G20 summit in Toronto on June 26. (Jill Kitchener / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Police officers clash with protesters during a demonstration of the G20 summit in Toronto on June 26. (Christinne Muschi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Protesters and police clash during a march against the G-8 and the G-20 summits in Toronto, Canada, on Friday, June 25. The G-8 summit is Friday and Saturday in Huntsville, Ontario, about two hours' drive north of Toronto. The G-20 summit is Saturday and Sunday in Toronto. (Sergei Ilnitsky / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Police officers use their bicycles to control demonstrators during a protest ahead of the G-8 and G-20 summits, in downtown Toronto on Friday. (Mark Blinch / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. A woman prepares a prop coffin before a rally ahead the G-8 and G-20 summits on Friday. (Mike Segar / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Police and protesters clash in downtown Toronto on Friday. (Mike Segar / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. President Barack Obama is greeted by officials upon his arrival in Toronto on Friday. (Charles Dharapak / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer salutes as Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his wife, Svetlana, disembark at Toronto's airport Friday. (Dmitry Astakhov / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. A family crosses a largely empty street in downtown Toronto on Friday. (Christinne Muschi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. The helicopter in center carries British Prime Minister David Cameron after his arrival in Toronto on Thursday for the summits. (Justin Lane / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. City of Toronto workers clear rocks from gardens in a park close to the security zone around the G-20 site on Friday to prevent protesters from using them. (Geoff Robins / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Police officers stand with riot gear as demonstrators move through the streets of Toronto on Thursday, protesting for indigenous people's rights and against the upcoming summits. (Carolyn Kaster / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Protester Rachelle Sauve yells during a march through the streets of Toronto for indigenous people's rights on Thursday. (Carolyn Kaster / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. A police officer patrols a security fence in downtown Toronto that walls off an area where the G-20 summit will be held. (Christinne Muschi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Protesters march from the Ontario legislature building in Toronto. (Jacques Boissinot / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. A police officer stands by items removed from a car they seized near the intersection of Scott Street and Esplanade in Toronto. The driver was arrested, but police said the incident wasn't related to the G-20 summit. Also in the car were gas cans, a chainsaw and a crossbow. (Carolyn Kaster / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Canadian police arrest the driver of a car laden with five gas cans, a chainsaw and a home-made crossbow close to the Toronto center where G-20 leaders will meet. (Geoff Robins / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. World Vision activists dressed as "pregnant with promises" G-8 leaders demonstrate in Toronto. (Christinne Muschi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
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