Right now I am visiting Toronto for a scientific conference. Yesterday evening, I was strolling the streets with my best friend Yoshi Tamori and several students. It was a nice evening, and we were looking for a place to eat.
All of a sudden, we saw a human wall made by police officers. Of course we immediately understood. The G20 summit was being held in Toronto. There was this greatest concentration of the world's most powerful men, (whether they would reach a critical mass for any significant chemistry this time or not), and it was only natural to make necessary precautions.
As I strolled on, the atmosphere was quite peaceful. There were people taking snapshots with the police officers, who stood on patiently. I and Yoshi got the idea, and took a memory photo, too.
There were signs of good will and spontaneity. "Peace" was drawn on the road. A number of people were dancing to relaxing music in front of the barricade. We could not see the faces of the police people, but my guess was that they were smiling, too.
Having experienced the Toronto evening this way, it was quite a shock to return to my hotel room after dinner and to know what has been happening in the city through the news channels.
We observed peace, and then something else apparently happened. I do not regard that particular process worthy of all the efforts. Discussing is good and interesting, but I see no point in clashing in physical forces. Reaching a critical mass for the chemistry of mind is meaningful, forging new ideas, bringing about attitude changes. Going over the threshold towards violence is just plain wrong.
Here's the golden rule. Look, but don't touch.
I and Yoshi Tamori with the G20 police officers.
"Peace" drawn on the Tronto road.
People dancing to peaceful music in front of the barricade.