Earlier we discussed the sloppy scene at this weekend’s G-20 Summit in Toronto, where the world’s foremost leaders discuss the international economy, while dissenters smash and burn shit. Around 500 have been arrested in the streets so far. It’s not a good look for anyone, especially considering the inevitable press coverage, which typically errs on the side of power, playing up the senseless violence in a sensational way, loathe to address any nuance in the demonstrators or the ever-dull peaceful protesters. Thank god for the internet. Raw Story is collecting some dispatches from the ground and — would you believe it — the press and the protesters are on the same side, because the police are beating them up.
“A newspaper photographer was shot with a plastic bullet in the backside, while another had an officer point a gun in his face despite identifying himself as a member of the media,” reported the Canadian Press news agency.
Then there are tweets like this from Canadian journalist Steve Paikin:
“As I was escorted away from the demonstration, I saw two officers hold a journalist. The journalist identified himself as working for ‘the Guardian.’ He talked too much and pissed the police off. Two officers held him a third punched him in the stomach. Totally unnecessary. The man collapsed. Then the third officer drove his elbow into the man’s back. No cameras recorded the assault. And it was an assault.”
There’s much more detail here, but the takeaway is clear: you’re not going to get this from the Associated Press, at least not consistently. As demonstrated time and time again, Twitter is an invaluable resource for events like this (or this) and the skill with which writers online scour, sort, arrange and present the work of lesser-seen reporters with equally valuable information is worth commending.
It’s all happening out there and mostly thanks to a brave few on the ground, we can know, never having been to Toronto. But dudes sitting behind their computers help, too.