More than 150 people took part in the march, which lasted over three hours and travelled from China Creek South Park to Andy Livingstone Park.
During the opening speeches, Kwakwaka'wakw activist Gord Hill told protesters that they were not just assembled to condemn the police repression that targeted activists, journalists, and bystanders in Toronto, but to celebrate the resistance shown during the G20.
“Four police cars were burned,” Hill said. “Nearly a million dollars in property damage was inflicted. And we should be clear that vandalism is not violence, because the vandals targeted banks and corporations.”
Hill called the G20 summit a “training ground” for future social conflicts, which he said would take place more often as social conditions decline.
Before Hill spoke, Vancouver activist Mathieu Levesque encouraged protesters to wear black in solidarity with the black bloc activists who smashed windows and torched police cars in Toronto.
He said activists should not let the state “de-legitimize” any form of political protest.
As they marched, protesters chanted “Cop cars up in smoke, anarchy ain’t no joke”, “No borders, no nations, fuck deportation”, and “Drop all charges.”
Some of them taunted the police officers escorting the protest, calling them “pigs”.
Several officers were seen guarding a Starbucks café on Terminal Avenue as the march passed.
Earlier on, at the intersection of Clark Drive and East 12th Avenue, where the flag was set on fire and then stomped on, a few protesters scrawled chalk messages on the ground, such as “Up with trees, down with capitalism.”
Sitting on the grass at China Creek South Park at the start of the march, Simon Fraser University students Alicia Tallack and Brennen Smith told the Straight that they attended in order to show their support for the G20 protesters arrested in Toronto.
“I think the treatment of the protesters in Toronto was unacceptable,” Tallack said.
“It’s everyone’s right to freedom of speech and freedom of political expression, and the government needs to respect that," added Smith, who commented that a public inquiry into the G20 summit "couldn't hurt".
Asked what they thought of the protest also being held in solidarity with black bloc activists, the two students were taken aback.
“With them? I didn’t realize that. I actually wouldn’t be here if I knew that, because that, I think, was not the right way to get messages across,” Tallack said.
“I don’t agree with destruction of property,” Smith remarked.
“Destruction, just anarchy in general, it’s just not the way to get a message across. Peaceful protest is the way to go,” Tallack finished.
Logan McIntosh, a University of Alberta student who’s from Vancouver, watched with a friend as the march crossed East Broadway and continued north on Clark Drive.
McIntosh noted that she’s “less comfortable” with the use of black bloc tactics, but said she agrees with the general sentiment of the protest.
“I think that what happened in Toronto is ridiculous, messed up, disgusting, embarrassing,” McIntosh told the Straight. “The police brutality was ridiculous.”
A masked activist kicks off the protest, and Mathieu Levesque talks about solidarity with black bloc protesters.
Gord Hill condemns the tactics of police in Toronto and discusses the vandalism during the G20.
A black bloc activist burns an Olympic souvenir flag.
You can follow Stephen Hui on Twitter at twitter.com/stephenhui.