8.30 p.m. Sunday night. It’s a cataclysm – the heavens have just opened, there’s a massive downpour of frightening proportions, apparently the power has gone out in parts of the city, and my internet is down. I’m writing this in the hopes of uploading it later.
And meanwhile, on TV, I’m watching ordinary people being arrested and handcuffed by hundreds of riot police in the rain. The police have boxed people in, including people who were walking home and got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. As the reporter has said, no one was warned. There were protesters there, peaceful ones, as has been said often, when suddenly hundreds of police arrived and war was declared. They’ve arrested several media people, including those with full G20 accreditation hanging around their necks
This is not a surprise to me, though, because of the event I attended on Friday night. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now told the same story about American police, at one point during the Republican convention, arresting her and taking her away in handcuffs, despite HER obvious media accreditation. Intimidation, pure and simple. The reporters on-camera feel that even the police are not sure what’s going on. Who is in charge? People who are stuck there, hemmed in on all sides, need water, a bathroom, just to get home. But the police will not let them move.
First thing this morning, I wrote a letter to the Editor to the Star, about yesterday. I sent it to a few friends to get feedback, and then sent it in. I feel viscerally connected to what is happening to and in this city. But this event now is beyond stupid and horrendous – so absurd, nothing violent was happening, and the police arresting indiscriminately and more pouring in. It looks like a totalitarian state. Hundreds of police, herding a motley group of passers-by. Is this a show of temper because they made fools of themselves yesterday?
Wait. Life goes on. My garden writing workshop took place today – smaller than usual because people didn’t want to brave the chaos – but marvellous nonetheless. We spent the day writing, delving into memory and telling stories. W*yson came for lunch, warming us with gifts and his wisdom about writing, telling the truth and publishing. Good to remember there is life beyond the chaos.
Posted Monday morning.