Walter Lippmann on Progressivism

In his recent cover story for The Weekly Standard, Matthew Continetti praises CNBC’s Rick Santelli effusively for erupting against Barack Obama’s redistributionist policies on 19 February 2009 in such a fashion as to inspire the Tea Party Movement. Then, he blasts Fox News commentator Glenn Beck for seizing upon the current crisis as an opportunity for urging on the part of his fellow Americans a serious reconsideration of the country’s first principles.

“What distinguishes Beck from Santelli is,” Continetti writes, “the breadth and depth of his critique.”

In his broadcasts, books, and stage performances, Beck provides his audiences with a dark vision of American life. In this bleak tableaux, rich, highly educated, radical elites are using the instruments of power to control the common man and indoctrinate his children. The elites, Beck says, seized on the 2008 financial crisis to shape America according to their socialist, fascist, globalist vision. The only remaining obstacle to the elitist agenda is the pro-freedom movement that wants to return to America’s founding principles. The elitists fight the patriots by calling them racists and extremists.

Beck is not simply an entertainer. He and his audience love American history. They are hungry for new ways to interpret current events. And Beck is creating, in Amity Shlaes’s words, “a competing canon” of texts and authorities. This competing canon is not content to assault contemporary liberalism, but rather deconstructs the very foundations of the New Deal and the Progressive Era. Among the books Beck regularly cites on his programs are Shlaes’s Forgotten Man, Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, Larry Schweickart and Michael Allen’s Patriot’s History of the United States, and Burt Folsom Jr.’s New Deal or Raw Deal? And books like Matthew Spalding’s We Still Hold These Truths, Seth Lipsky’s Citizen’s Constitution, and William J. Bennett and John Cribb’s American Patriot’s Almanac all belong on the list as well.

This intellectual journey has led Beck to some disturbing conclusions. Whereas Rick Santelli says the housing plan and the stimulus aren’t sensible, Beck says the Obama administration is the culmination of 100 years of unconstitutional governance. On the “We Surround Them” episode, Beck said, “The system has been perverted and it has to be restored.” In between bouts of weeping, he asked, “What happened to the country that loved the underdog and stood up for the little guy?” That country, he implied, is vanishing before our eyes. In Beck’s world, politics is less about issues than it is about “us” versus “them.” We may have them surrounded. But “we can’t trust anyone.”

The reason no one can be trusted, Beck says, is that the political system is compromised by the ideology of progressivism. At his keynote speech to the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference, Beck wrote the word “progressivism” on a chalkboard and said, “This is the disease. This is the disease in America.” He said again, “Progressivism is the cancer in America and it is eating our Constitution.”

When he refers to progressivism, Beck is not only highlighting the liberals’ latest name for liberalism. He is referring to the ideas of John Dewey, Herbert Croly, and Walter Lippmann. According to Beck (and many others), these early 20th-century thinkers believed that there is no such thing as natural right. The Constitution, in their view, was not equipped to deal with the complexities of modern society. They argued that government should do more to protect free competition by busting trusts, and also promote equality and individual development through redistribution. The progressive tendency found political expression in Theodore Roosevelt’s “New Nationalism” speech of 1910 and in Woodrow Wilson’s presidency from 1913-1921. It became the foundation for FDR’s New Deal.

Continetti believes that Beck is “engaging in a line of inquiry that – interesting though it may sometimes be – is tangential to the political realities of our day.” Where Beck claims that the “communism and progressivism” are at odds with regard to “means not ends,” contending that “‘there is no difference except [that] one requires a gun and the other does it slowly,’” Continetti retorts that “progressivism is a distinctly American tradition that partly came into being as a way to prevent ideologies like communism and fascism from taking root in the United States,” adding, “Not even the stupidest American liberal shares the morality of the totalitarian monsters whom Beck analogizes to American politics so flippantly.”

Who is more nearly right? Matthew Continetti or Glenn Beck? Do our problems arise from over-reaching on the part of Barack Obama? Or do they have deeper roots?

I know of no clearer testimony pertinent to this matter than that of Walter Lippmann. As followers of Glenn Beck’s television show presumably know, Lippmann was the prince of the progressives. At Harvard College, he dabbled in socialism. Some four years after his graduation, he joined Herbert Croly and Walter Weyl in founding The New Republic. In 1914, he published the influential progressive tract Drift and Mastery: An Attempt to Diagnose the Current Unrest. For a brief time, during the First World War, Lippmann served as an advisor to Woodrow Wilson. Among other things, he drafted Wilson’s Fourteen-Points Speech

After that war, however, having witnessed the effectiveness of propaganda, Lippmann began to harbor doubts about the progressive conviction that popular sovereignty and governance by experts can easily be reconciled. In Public Opinion, published in 1922, he called into question the capacity of ordinary citizens to discern what was going on; and, in The Phantom Public, published five years later, he expressed doubts as to whether it made any sense at all to speak of the public interest in the manner in which the progressives did: as something radically distinct from and in tension with individual rights and the diverse private interests of the citizens.

In 1932, thinking that there was no alternative, Lippmann voted for Franklin Delano Roosevelt. But by 1937, when the shape of the Second New Deal had become clear, he had come to entertain grave misgivings. And at that point, in a book entitled An Inquiry into the Principles of the Good Society, he issued a damning judgment – which I quoted at length in my book Soft Despotism, Democracy’s Drift, and which , I believe, we should all take to heart:

Although the partisans who are now fighting for the mastery of the modern world wear shirts of different colors, their weapons are drawn from the same armory, their doctrines are variations of the same theme, and they go forth to battle singing the same tune with slightly different words. Their weapons are the coercive direction of the life and labor of mankind. Their doctrine is that disorder and misery can be overcome only by more and more compulsory organization. Their promise is that through the power of the state men can be made happy.

Throughout the world, in the name of progress, men who call themselves communists, socialists, fascists, nationalists, progressives, and even liberals, are unanimous in holding that government with its instruments of coercion must by commanding the people how they shall live, direct the course of civilization and fix the shape of things to come. They believe in what Mr. Stuart Chase accurately describes as “the overhead planning and control of economic activity.” This is the dogma which all the prevailing dogmas presuppose. This is the mold in which are cast the thought and action of the epoch. No other approach to the regulation of human affairs is seriously considered, or is even conceived as possible. The recently enfranchised masses and the leaders of thought who supply their ideas are almost completely under the spell of this dogma. Only a handful here and there, groups without influence, isolated and disregarded thinkers, continue to challenge it. For the premises of authoritarian collectivism have become the working beliefs, the self-evident assumptions, the unquestioned axioms, not only of all the revolutionary regimes, but of nearly every effort which lays claim to being enlightened, humane, and progressive.

So universal is the dominion of this dogma over the minds of contemporary men that no one is taken seriously as a statesman or a theorist who does not come forward with proposals to magnify the power of public officials and to extend and multiply their intervention in human affairs. Unless he is authoritarian and collectivist, he is a mossback, a reactionary, at best an amiable eccentric swimming hopelessly against the tide. It is a strong tide. Though despotism is no novelty in human affairs, it is probably true that at no time in twenty-five hundred years has any western government claimed for itself a jurisdiction over men’s lives comparable with that which is officially attempted in totalitarian states.

But it is even more significant that in other lands where men shrink from the ruthless policy of these regimes, it is commonly assumed that the movement of events must be in the same direction. Nearly everywhere the mark of a progressive is that he relies at last upon the increased power of officials to improve the condition of men. Though the progressives prefer to move gradually and with consideration, by persuading majorities to consent, the only instrument of progress in which they have faith is the coercive agency of government. They can, it would seem, imagine no alternative, nor can they remember how much of what they cherish as progressive has come by emancipation from political dominion, by the limitation of power, by the release of personal energy from authority and collective coercion. For virtually all that now passes for progressivism in countries like England and the United States calls for increasing ascendancy of the state: always the cry is for more officials with more power over more and more of the activities of men.

Yet the assumptions of this whole movement are not so self-evident as they seem. They are, in fact, contrary to the assumptions bred in men by the whole long struggle to extricate conscience, intellect, labor, and personality from the bondage of prerogative, privilege, monopoly, authority. For more than two thousand years, since western men first began to think about the social order, the main preoccupation of political thinking has been to find a law which would be superior to arbitrary power. Men have sought it in custom, in the dictates of reason, in religious revelation, endeavoring always to set up some check upon the exercise of force. This is the meaning of the long debate about Natural Law. This is the meaning of a thousand years of struggle to bring the sovereign under a constitution, to establish for the individual and for voluntary associations of men rights which they can enforce against kings, barons, magnates, majorities, and mobs. This it eh meaning of the struggle to separate the church from the state, to emancipate conscience, learning, the arts, education, and commerce from the inquisitor, the censor, the monopolist, the policeman, and the hangman.

Conceivably the lessons of this history no longer have a meaning for us. Conceivably there has come into the world during this generation some new element which makes it necessary for us to undo the work of emancipation, to retrace the steps men have taken to limit the power of rulers, which compels us to believe that the way of enlightenment in affairs is now to be found by intensifying authority and enlarging its scope. But the burden of proof is upon those who reject the oecumenical tradition of the western world. It is for them to show that their cult of the Providential State is in truth the new revelation they think it is, and that it is not, as a few still believe, the gigantic heresy of an apostate generation.

This is a passage that should be read and re-read time and again. The present discontents may be a function of over-reaching on the part of Barack Obama, as Matthew Continetti implies. But the difficulties we now face are also deeply rooted in the prevalence within this country of a political doctrine that has been around for some time; and, as one repentant progressive testified three-quarters of a century ago, the difference between the communists and the progressives turns on means and pace – and not on ends.

I do not have a functioning television set. I have watched Glenn Beck’s show elsewhere only twice. On both occasions, he handled himself well. He may sometimes go overboard. I do not know. But this I can say: the inquiry that he is pursuing is by no means “tangential to the political realities of our day.” It goes to the heart of the matter. If we continue to temporize with progressivism, as we have in the past, there can be no question that we are cooked.

Police arrest more than 400 after vandalism at Toronto economic summit

une 26: A protester kicks a burnt-out car as a police vehicle burns in the background during an anti-G-20 demonstration in Toronto. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)

TORONTO (AP) — Police made more than 400 arrests after black-clad demonstrators broke off from a crowd of peaceful protesters at the global economic summit and went on a rampage in downtown Toronto that lasted into the early morning hours, authorities said Sunday.

The roving band of protesters torched four police cruisers and shattered shop windows with baseball bats and hammers for blocks, including at police headquarters, then shed some of their black clothes, revealing other garments, and continued their rampage.

Police used shields, clubs, tear gas and pepper spray to push back the protesters who tried to head south toward the security fence surrounding the Group of 20 summit site. Some demonstrators hurled rocks and bottles at police.

The vandalism occurred just blocks from where U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders were meeting and staying.

“What we saw yesterday is a bunch of thugs that pretend to have a difference of opinion with policies and instead choose violence to express those so-called differences of opinion,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s chief spokesman Dimitri Soudas said Sunday.

Toronto Police Sgt. Tim Burrows said Sunday that at least 412 people had been arrested in the rampage that began Saturday afternoon. Those arrested were taken to a temporary holding center constructed for the summit.

The streets of downtown Toronto were quiet at daylight, but Burrows said police were expecting a large protest later Sunday morning at a park near the detention center.

Burrows said many of the violent protesters were Canadian. He added that authorities had known of their plans for some time.

“We’re not sure we have the leaders, but we have a large proportion of those people and the people who decided they wanted to be influenced by these violent protesters and join with their cause,” Burrows said. “A lot of them were home grown. There’s a lot of Canadian talent in the group.”

Thousands of police headed to Toronto to reinforce security there after the smaller Group of Eight summit ended Saturday in Huntsville, Ontario, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) away. Security was being provided by an estimated 19,000 law enforcement officers drawn from across Canada, and security costs were estimated at more than US$900 million.

Saturday’s protests began with a peaceful march, sponsored by labor unions and dubbed family friendly, that was the largest demonstration planned during the summit weekend. Its organizers had hoped to draw a crowd of 10,000, but only about half that number turned out on a rainy day.

Police in riot gear and riding bikes formed a blockade, keeping protesters from approaching the steel and concrete security fence a few blocks south of the march route. Police closed a stretch of Toronto’s subway system along the protest route and the largest shopping mall downtown closed after the protest took a turned for the worse.

The black-clad demonstrators broke off from the larger crowd of peaceful protesters and began torching police cars and smashing shop windows.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said the goal of the militant protesters was to draw police away from the security perimeter of the summit so that fellow protesters could attempt to disrupt the meeting.

Some police officers were struck by rocks and bottles and assaulted, but none was injured badly enough to stop working, Blair said.

“We have never seen that level of wanton criminality and vandalism and destruction on our streets,” Blair said.

Previous global summit protests have turned violent. In 1999, 50,000 protesters shut down World Trade Organization sessions in Seattle as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets. There were some 600 arrests and $3 million in property damage. One man died after clashes with police at a G-20 meeting held in London in April 2009.

At the September G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, police fired canisters of pepper spray and smoke and rubber bullets at marchers.

Watching the watchmen is no crime

Traffic cameras watch your speed, security cameras watch your comings and goings, but is anyone watching the police? Police in Maryland, Michigan and elsewhere would rather you didn’t — particularly not on YouTube. Just last Saturday, Yvonne Nicole Shaw, 27, was arrested in Lexington Park, Md., for recording deputies in her apartment complex responding to a noise complaint. Sheriff’s Cpl. Patrick Handy’s report explained the arrest: Shaw “did admit to recording our encounter on her cell phone for the purpose of trying to show the police are harassing people.” This sounds like she was more of a threat to the jobs of public safety officers than to public safety itself. One is not the same as the other.

Another recent example of contempt for the average camera-wielding citizen in Maryland: Anthony Graber’s home was raided by police, after which he was arrested and jailed, charged with violating Maryland’s wiretapping statute. What did he do? He posted video of a traffic stop during which a Maryland State trooper drew his firearm. For this offense, Graber faces five years in prison.

Reason magazine’s Radley Balko notes that in 2000, Maryland Attorney General Joseph Curran Jr. issued an opinion on whether a plan by the Montgomery County Police Department to install recording devices on patrol officers’ vehicles would violate the wiretapping law. He said that even if an officer inadvertently recorded someone without informing him first, it [was still legal]. Curran wrote that any conversation between a driver pulled over by a uniformed police officer “is difficult to characterize” as “private.”

But Maryland is hardly the only state where watching the police is unwelcome. Several missionaries in Dearborn, Mich., were passing out copies of the Gospel of John from the New Testament to the Dearborn Arab International Festival when they were confronted and arrested by police within three minutes of arriving. Their offense wasn’t merely exposing Muslims to Christian literature — they were also recording police activity on a hand-held camera. When one of the policemen noticed a cameraman monitoring the encounter, he approached and told him to turn it off.

In the line of duty, officers of the law encounter many threats no doubt. But a citizen who knows his rights and owns a camera is not such a threat. As the Roman poet Juvenal asked “Who watches the watchmen?” We do, and should.

Dark horse Brian Murphy means business in Md. gubernatorial race

Baltimore Business Journal – by Scott Dance

Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Gov. Robert Ehrlich each say they know how to help small-business owners. But there is another gubernatorial candidate who says he knows better — because he is one.

Brian Murphy is facing off against Ehrlich in the Republican primary. A Chevy Chase resident, he worked for a decade in Baltimore at Constellation Energy Group Inc. And today, he’s behind a small-business investment group whose first startup to date is the Smith Island Baking Co., a maker of Maryland’s official state dessert.

Murphy is looking to separate himself from both Ehrlich and O’Malley with a platform that includes no tax increases, a phase-out of the corporate income tax altogether, and support for Arizona’s controversial anti-immigration legislation.

And his campaign could benefit from several political trends — the wave of anti-incumbent sentiment, the ultra-conservatism of the tea party movement, and the rise of successful businesspeople-turned-candidates like Californians Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman.

While Ehrlich and O’Malley’s campaigns don’t see the upstart Murphy as a dark horse, his presence in the race could still help stir and refine a developing discussion over how government can help small businesses thrive.

“It’s credibility,” Murphy said of the benefit of his business background. “Even a Republican who’s not a businessperson doesn’t have the same credibility. When I go to a businessperson, I have more credibility than a politician.”

Murphy is indeed new to politics — this is his first campaign. But he has been a lifelong Maryland resident, attended the University of Maryland, College Park and worked for both one of the largest and smallest businesses in the state. He turns 33 on June 29.

Most of his career was spent at Constellation, where he helped develop and oversee the company’s business managing the risk in commodities trading on behalf of utilities across the country. He managed a $4 billion power portfolio across New England and the Southeast — that is, until Constellation had to hastily exit the business in late 2008.

Murphy says while he played an integral part in that business, the risk crisis that crumbled it wasn’t his responsibility — he likened it to being one baseball player whose teammate drops the ball. But regardless, all the players were given the choice to play for another team within Constellation or take a severance package, and Murphy chose the latter.

Rather than find another corporate job, Murphy decided to be his own boss. He founded the Plimhimmon Group, a private investment capital firm, as well as its first portfolio company, the Smith Island Baking Co. The company has two full-time employees, including Murphy, and 18 bakers selling $42, 9-inch-wide, 10-tiered Smith Island Cakes, which were made Maryland’s official state dessert in 2008.

During a busy past winter, the company sold 1,000 cakes, Murphy said. And this winter, he hopes to make that 3,000, which would help land the company its first profit.

He also has plans to build a fund to buy or launch more companies, using $20 million to $30 million that investors have expressed interest in putting up, he said.

But meanwhile, he has also got plans for the state. He decided to make a run for the State House because he felt none of the other candidates were truly looking out for small businesses. He calls his methodology “the Smith Island test” — how would any given policy affect the bakers on the Eastern Shore home of the famous cakes?

Part of his plans in that strategy include cutting back government spending and, by three years into his term, eliminating the state’s 8.25 percent corporate income tax. His competitors, Ehrlich and O’Malley, meanwhile, have both discussed avoiding future taxes, but neither has made it a campaign pledge.

Ehrlich promised to roll back a 1 percentage point increase in the sales tax that O’Malley passed, and O’Malley spokesman Rick Abbruzzese said June 22 that with the state’s falling tax revenue nearing a turning point, new taxes could be avoided under a Democratic administration as well.

Neither Ehrlich nor O’Malley’s campaign is very critical of Murphy so far, as the two frontrunners are in a dead heat with more than 40 percent of the population expected to vote in their favor.

“We admire his passion for public service and believe he has a great future in the party,” Ehrlich spokesman Andy Barth said. And Abbruzzese recognized that his small-business background “will be a very powerful message among Republican primary voters.”

Murphy emphasized the potential advantage over the others because of his experience running a business, and it resonates with some small-business owners. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Fiorina and ex-eBay CEO Whitman proved that to be the case in California primaries earlier this month, when they won races for California senator and governor, respectively.

“I’m just looking for who will make it easiest for my business to grow,” said Christian Childs, president and creative director of Airplane Corp., a five-person advertising agency in Hampden. “I don’t know if that’s through tax incentives or tax cuts; I don’t know the specific tax policies. But that will be something I consider when I vote.”

Greater Baltimore Committee CEO Donald C. Fry said he thinks the timing is ripe for an emphasis on small business.

“When you go through a challenging time like we had, that certainly comes to the forefront,” Fry said. “I think having some business background and having some managerial experience certainly does help.”

But there are still plenty of voters who won’t look beyond Ehrlich and O’Malley regardless of the credentials of other candidates. Scott Macdonald, CEO of Maryland Thermoform Corp., a manufacturer in Southwest Baltimore, wouldn’t come out directly with his political leanings but suggested he supports Ehrlich, considering him the most business-friendly candidate as a Republican. It could be difficult to differentiate Republican competitors.

“Another guy in the mix, I don’t know if it means anything,” Macdonald said of Murphy. “He’s got to get his name out.”

Next Big Tea Party Event Now Closer to Nov.

by: Kimberly Schwandt

The “Tea Party National Unity Convention” has been moved from July to October, positioning itself closer to the November elections, it was announced Saturday.

After “deep and serious discussion for three days” it was decided that it would be more “advantageous” for the convention to be held in the middle of October closer to when voters go to the polls, one of the groups organizing, Tea Party Nation, said in a statement.

The convention was slated to be July 15-17 in Las Vegas at the Palazzo Las Vegas Resort, which organizers originally told Fox News they picked the Vegas location for several reasons. Among them that Nevada is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s home turf, who is in a tough re-election fight to hold on to his seat. They also wanted reach out geographically and have something out West, having held previous events on the East Coast and their first convention down South in Nashville in February.

Weather and summer vacations also appeared to be a factor, ” The heat in Las Vegas in July is keeping many who would like to participate from attending. We have also received numerous emails from people who were forced to decide between family vacations and attending the convention.”

Nevada also was picked as a spot before Tea Party favorite and Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle won the Republican primary in a bid for Reid’s senate seat. Angle was also added to give remarks at the convention, however it is unclear if she or any of the other scheduled speakers will still be attending since the date was moved.

Other speakers for the July date had included conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham, who is also a Fox News contributor, former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs, and conservative media entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart.

The Tea Party itself has grown organically through several grassroots groups and still isn’t necessarily one actual organizational entity, but for the most part events have been cobbled together through different factions within the larger movement. In its announcement Saturday, Tea Party Nation noted they have planning hurdles.

“Like most of you, we are new to this and are not professional event planners. Unlike many other national organizations involved in this movement, we don’t have huge budgets for PR and Marketing departments.”

There are several groups involved in putting together the convention, including Tea Party Nation and Free America, along with Leadership Tea Party, and the Tea Party Leadership Coalition.

After coming on the scene last year, political observers, Democrats and even some Republicans have had different views on the viability and impact that the movement will be able to have.

Despite those criticisms, the Tea Party has already held events this year relaying its message of lower taxes and smaller government. They held a cross-country caravan starting in Reid’s hometown of Searchlight, Nevada and ending in Washington, DC on April 15, Tax Day. Their first convention in February was headlined by former Alaska Governor and Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin.

Thousands protest summit in Canada; vandals smash windows, torch police cars

June 26, 2010: Riot police walk by a burning police car in downtown Toronto during anti G20 protests.

TORONTO (AP) — Black-clad demonstrators broke off from a crowd of peaceful demonstrators protesting a global economic summit in Toronto, torching police cruisers and smashing windows with baseball bats and hammers.

Police with shields and clubs earlier pushed back another small group of demonstrators who tried to head south toward the security fence surrounding the perimeter of the Group of 20 summit site. Some demonstrators hurled bottles at police.

“This isn’t our Toronto and my response is anger,” Toronto Mayor David Miller told CP24 television. “Every Torontonian should be outraged by this.”

The roving band of protesters in black balaclavas shattered shop windows for blocks, including at police headquarters, then shed some of their black clothes, revealing other garments, and continued to rampage through downtown Toronto.

Protesters torched at least two police cruisers in different parts of the city, including one in the heart of the city’s financial district.

Police in riot gear and riding bikes formed a blockade, keeping protesters from approaching the security fence a few blocks south of the march route. Police closed a stretch of Toronto’s subway system along the protest route and the largest shopping mall downtown closed after the protest took a turn for the worse.

A media bus taking photographers and cameramen to a hotel where the G-20 leaders will have dinner was turned back after police deemed it unsafe.

Dozens of police officers later boxed in a number of protesters from both sides of a street in a shopping district. The protesters encouraged the media to film it and they sang ‘O Canada’, Canada’s national anthem, before being allowed to disperse.

At another location at the provincial legislature police also boxed in demonstrators before tackling some and making arrests.

A stream of police cars headed to Toronto to reinforce security there after the smaller Group of Eight summit ended in Huntsville, Ontario. The vandalism occurred just blocks from where President Barack Obama and other world leaders were meeting and staying.

“These images are truly shocking to Canadians,” Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said in a statement. “We are taking all measures necessary to ensure Canadians, delegates, media and international visitors remain safe.”

Previous major world summits also have attracted massive, raucous and sometimes destructive protests by anti-globalization forces.

As of Saturday afternoon, 40 summit-related arrests had been since June 18, police said, with security being provided by an estimated 19,000 law enforcement officers drawn from all regions of Canada. The security costs are estimated at more than US$900 million.

Saturday’s protest march, sponsored by labor unions and dubbed family friendly, was the largest demonstration planned during the weekend summits. Its organizers had hoped to draw a crowd of 10,000, but only about half that number turned out on what was a rainy day.

Toronto Police Sgt. Tim Burrows said before Saturday’s protest that authorities were pleased by the demonstrators’ orderly behavior. Hundreds of protesters moved through Toronto’s streets Friday, but police in riot gear intercepted them, preventing them from getting near the summit security zone downtown.

Ontario’s provincial government quietly passed a regulation earlier this month allowing police to arrest anyone who refuses to show identification or submit to searches if they come within five meters (five yards) of a security fence.

Toronto’s downtown resembles a fortress, with a big steel and concrete fence protecting the summit site.

Previous global summit protests have turned violent. In 1999, 50,000 protesters shut down World Trade Organization sessions in Seattle as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets. There were some 600 arrests and $3 million in property damage. One man died after clashes with police at a G-20 meeting held in London in April 2009.

At the September G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, police fired canisters of pepper spray and smoke and rubber bullets at marchers.