Contributing to the sociological literature on protest policing at international summits, this article analyses security intelligence practices related to the 2010 G20 meetings in Toronto, Canada. Drawing from the results of access to information requests with policing and intelligence agencies at municipal, provincial and federal levels, the authors demonstrate the central role of intelligence and threat assessments in international summit policing. Focusing on intelligence practices and police training targeting the 'anarchist threat', they show how intelligence agencies conflated anarchism with criminality and targeted this purported menace for strategic incapacitation through a process referred to here as threat amplification. After analysing intelligence and police training for the Toronto G20, the authors discuss the implications of their findings for the sociology of protest policing. Comparing the ideas of strategic incapacitation and 'intelligent control', they suggest that the enfolding of security intelligence into international summit policing has intensified the practice of 'making up' threat categories and strategically targeting groups that fall outside the institutionalized spectrum of negotiation and accommodation.

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Keywords Anarchism, G8/G20, intelligence, protest policing, security
Persistent URL
Journal Current Sociology
Monaghan, J, & Walby, K. (Kevin). (2012). 'They attacked the city': Security intelligence, the sociology of protest policing and the anarchist threat at the 2010 Toronto G20 summit. Current Sociology, 60(5), 653–671. doi:10.1177/0011392112448470