Saturday, June 26, 2010

G20 part 2

The striking thing about the entire time I was downtown was the massive police presence, including this circling chopper.

The biggest source at first were the multitude of bike cops;

But as the crowds reached Queen St, from no matter what street, they started seeing the riot police. We saw some from London, Calgary, RCMP, Waterloo and Toronto.

This officer is holding what I assume is a shotgun holding rubber bullets;

I believe this is another version of a gun for shooting rubber bullets.

While I believe this is a paint ball gun which most likely shoots pepper spray.

Again, another rubber bullet shotgun;

In the middle of downtown, the RCMP brought in a truck, and surrounded it with officers;

Later in the day, we drove up to the Queens Park area, which was the designated Free Speech zone. This is where for me, it became very scary.

The police line was thick along the University Street split for Queens Park. They spread out in a long line, at least two deep. Unfortunately we couldn't hear most of the time, but the police declared it an illegal demonstration, and moved in.
The police line moved forward, creating a mass panic as people began to run.

Then the ranks split, and the horse police came in, wheeling around the crowd.

They then pushed everyone back, to the north side of Queens Park.

Then, as we headed north, the police line began to surround the east side of the park, while still pushing from the south, basically trying to surround the entire protest group.

Thats when I called it quits, and ran to the car, as the crowd surged north. It just wasn't safe at all.

I think the most profound statement I heard was from someone on the north side of the park, who stated that they were there to protest the fact that they couldn't protest!

It was very unfortunate that this all happened. To me, the big issue was simply those who took advantaqe of the crowds to become trouble makers. Rather than face the police as they claimed they would, they simply caused vandalism.

G20 adventures part 1

Well, my brother convinced me to go downtown and check out the planned protests in the streets of TO. The action started at Queens Park, where 2-4 thousand people began a march down University. The adventure started off pretty festive, even with the rain. And I must say that the vast majority of those involved in the march were in good spirits, and although not happy with the police presence, respected their lines.

This guy balanced on the head of the statue at Queen and University.

There was a group of "clowns" who slowly approached the police line, trying to bring a smile to the police officers faces.

This woman danced with a pinwheel;

While this guy assured us that everything is ok!

Lots of news orginizations were on hand to document the protest.

CNN, NBC, CP24, CTV, Global, News 1010, 680, all were on hand.

Pam Seatle was at Queens Park, doing a live shot when a vuvuzela playing gentleman decided to enter the shot!

And from Global, Alex Pierson was in the thick of it doing reports.

During the initial march, the only action was at the US Consulate. As the protestors started to surround the area, RCMP riot member streamed out the door, and manned the barriers. One man got in before they could stop him, but was quckly subdued by 5 police officers, before being hauled away.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Canadian Warplane Heritage Fly Fest

The Canadian Warplane Heritage museum at the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport has an amazing collection of both static and flying aircraft, with both prop and jet versions. They are most famous for having one of only a few flying Avro Lancaster bombers, done up to honour Pilot Officer Andrew Charles Mynarski, VC, of 419 (Moose) Squadron, 6 (RCAF) Group.

Every year they have a Fly Fest, which is a small airshow, but really an opportunity for memeber to have a flight on one of the many aircraft.

On hand were some Harvards;

A few biplane Stearmans;

Two C-47 Dakota's were onhand, with one from the Warplane museum, while the other was from the 1941 Historical Aircraft Group. Both flew in formation.

another aircraft offering rides was the Beech C-45 Expeditor;

along with the B25 Mitchell bomber;

Being towed across the airport property (followed for some reason by a Aiport Fire Truck), was the beast of a plane, the Consolidated's PBY 5A Canso. This is a very large float plane, which was used for recon.

On the grounds, many of the static aircraft were also on display. The Golden Hawks Sabre was finished with some platstic covers to replace the skin of the aircraft, giving people a view of the interior of the aircraft.

The Vintage Wings of Canada also brought along the Curtiss P-4ON Warhawk

With a wide angle lens, it may be hard to figure out what this aircraft is;

But from the side, its a very distinct, rocket like CF 104, done up in a Tiger Meet colour scheme.

In fact, its so much like a rocket that a group has converted one to attempt the land speed record for a car, the North American Eagle, a combination canadian/american team effort.