Thursday, June 24, 2010

G20 Security Concerns Force Cancellation of Sustainable Supply Chain Event

Although the UN chief has voiced his support for the green economy, security concerns for the G20 meetings in Toronto have forced the cancellation of the "Greening the Supply Chain" event.

More than 5,000 police officers will be on the streets of Toronto during the G20 summit meetings June 26-27.

The security presence is not only to ensure that foreign terrorists cannot use the event to attack the world's economic leaders, it is also in place to protect against domestic militants whose tactics have earned them the name Black Bloc. The self-described anarchists have declared war against capitalism and they seek violent confrontation with the authorities.

They are called the Black Bloc because they are commonly clad in black clothing. These 'confrontation junkies' often wear masks to conceal their identity. Black Bloc members will typically insert themselves into a large, peaceful protest march. In such large groups, acts of violence by masked troublemakers make it hard for police to identify individual culprits.

Police barricades will deny motor vehicle traffic and a 9 ft. high fence has also been constructed to defend the entire G20 perimeter. The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE), the CN Tower, the University of Toronto and the Art Gallery of Ontario, will all be closed during the G20. So will banks and grocery stores, even Via's train service has been interrupted.

Events were being cancelled days before the start of the G20. On Tuesday June 22, 2010, Green Enterprise Ontario and Live Green Toronto were prepared to present an event titled "Greening the supply chain - an eco-opportunity." However, instead of discussing ways of developing a green purchasing strategy, Toronto is closed for business.

Protecting infrastructure from vandals is an expensive proposition. According to Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty security for the G20 meeting in Toronto will cost Canada over $1 billion dollars. “In today’s climate, it’s unfortunately necessary to spend substantially in order to have good security,” Flaherty said.

The Black Bloc are amongst the reasons why we need to close public buildings, board up businesses and employ expensive security measures.

The vandalism of these masked militants drains valuable resources and interferes with the important work of developing a green economy.
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