Please Mr. President, Don’t feed the G-20 Rent-A-Mobs 

Open warfare! Revolution! Blood in the streets!

You don’t normally associate such upheaval and violence with safe, quiet Canada. But the $1 billion budgeted for security in Toronto, Canada later this month for the G-20 summit, when the city will host President Obama and other world leaders, suggests something serious is brewing.

Terrorism against such a high profile event is always a concern. However, much of that massive security budget is likely meant to defang another perpetual threat to this sort of international gathering. And that would be the ever-present violent rent-a-mobs and professional protesters who plague these meetings.

If only this G-20 could be different, and the usual “activists” decided to stay home. And why shouldn’t they? Everyone knows their agenda in advance; everyone can guess which issues they will scream about; everyone is familiar with their goals.

We’re bound to see TV footage from Toronto, for example, of crowds demanding action on “climate change” and in support of schemes like cap-and-trade. Some of crowds will chant words to the effect of “Mr. Obama, don’t forget your promises at Copenhagen!”

Translation: “Don’t forget, President Obama, that we’re counting on you to dilute American national sovereignty, so other leaders will follow your example.”

And we’ll see TV clips of the protesters’ on-the-ground spokespeople in Toronto talking about how the G-20 leaders “must” acknowledge the voices outside the summit, “must” act on climate change, “must” weaken their sovereignty and work more with the United Nations and other unelected international bureaucracies, and so on.

All this free media coverage gives the protesters plenty of legitimacy, at least in the eyes of publicity-hungry elected officials. During large international gatherings, like the Toronto G-20, some leaders must feel very tempted to try to strike some grand bargain with the protesters milling about outside, if only for the favorable media coverage that would follow.

That’s a temptation that must be avoided. To do so would only legitimize the protesters’ “movement” as a future negotiating partner at subsequent similar meetings. This would only mean further demands for the erosion of national sovereignty, for more unaccountable international bureaucracies, and for the adoption of additional trendy but dubious schemes like cap-and-trade.

Remember, President Obama – no matter how strong the urge to make concessions to them might be, please do not feed the rent-a-mobs in Toronto.

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Neil Hrab

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