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How Byron Sonne’s obsession with the G20 security apparatus cost him everything


The fence, as the notorious G20 barricade was known, was three metres high and 10 kilometres long. It was put up at a cost of $9.4 million to cordon off the public from two parts of the downtown core during the summit’s two days in Toronto last year. The most crucial area to protect was the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, where the world leaders were set to meet. A second barricade enclosed Bay Street to Blue Jays Way and Wellington to Lake Shore Boulevard—home to the hotels where the Internationally Protected Persons would sleep.

In the buildup to the summit, Byron Sonne, a slim, balding 37-year-old computer consultant, shot photos and videos of security measures and uploaded them to the Internet under the nickname Toronto Goat. Sonne was obsessed with finding flaws in the security apparatus. Some of his comments on Twitter and Flickr derided the fence’s integrity and strength; a couple of photos showed climbing tools called tree steps that he said could be used to scale the fence or tear it down. Other security measures came under his scrutiny, too. Sonne posted a link to a Toronto Star map of the 71 new CCTV cameras that had been installed for the summit, and took photos of loose wires behind one of them, implying that they could be rendered useless with one snip.

As the G20 drew closer and downtown emptied out, groups of uniformed police with loops of plastic handcuffs strung on their belts began to take position at seemingly every corner, and Sonne posted pictures of them, too. (He titled one shot of bicycle cops rolling down University Avenue “Bacon on Wheels.”) For the benefit of anyone unlucky enough to be questioned, he posted a link to a pamphlet on protester rights put out by the Movement Defence Committee, a Toronto group of law students and lawyers.

By Tuesday, June 15, 11 days before the summit, he had uploaded five videos to YouTube—raw footage of...

2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Carlos Sanchez
Entered on:

 Making fun of the cops? What for?



Comment by Joe Tittiger
Entered on:

Read the comments  after the full article by the Canadians.  What idiots -  they love their servitude and the criminals that run their government.  A perfect example of mind control.  

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