The moment Global TV’s camera hit the ground, the August 20 protests in Quebec City became about violence. For too many journalists that afternoon, it was now personal.
The white-supremacist group La Meute organized a rally. Anti-racist protesters organized counter rallies. When the dust settled and the news came out, La Meute was widely reported as being “peaceful” and having “won” the air wars. Anti-racist protesters were either painted as violent or ignored entirely. News outlets chose to feature masked protesters in their photos, and to focus on violence: two or three fireworks shot at police (who responded with tear gas canisters), a scuffle among about 15 people, and a smashed camera. Most of these things happened within a span of 15 minutes.
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