By Kieran Bergmann
Tens of thousands of people gathered to peacefully march and demonstrate. But sadly, it does not look as though that is what will be remembered of Saturday’s “People First: We Deserve Better” G20 Rally and March in Toronto. Instead, the images and media coverage of the very small percentage of protesters who chose to use violence and cause destruction will be the images spread across the world in the coming days and weeks.
But that is not what I will remember and that is not what I will write about here.
I will remember the people coming together in the pouring rain under umbrellas, ponchos and raincoats at Queen’s Park. I will remember the hundreds of men, women and children wishing for a free Tibet. I will remember the women holding banners plastered with the pictures of Iranian women’s rights activists, and demanding their release. I will remember the sea of green hard hats representing a desire for a green economy in Canada and around the world. And I will remember the 10 grandmothers that I marched with, hoping for a better future for their children and grandchildren.
I hope that this is what the world leaders inside the G20 meetings a little further downtown choose to remember as well. I hope that they listen to the voices of those peaceful protesters and make strong commitments to finance climate change, phase out fossil fuel subsidies and institute policies and programs to improve maternal and child health worldwide. And I hope that they stick to their commitments in the future.