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G20 Protests; Is it Really Over?

Filed under: Human Rights — feyMorgaina @ 20:09

Follow me on Twitter – @feyMorgaina. Things are happening too fast for me to keep blogging about them right now – and I’ve been blogging all weekend.

Here’s a few other videos:

“Watch: Union president Dave Coles lays down the line to police”

Dave Coles told “At one point a row of police with masks and balaclavas got down on their knees and got ready to shoot C.S. gas at us. That’s when I started talking to them. It seems to have worked because they didn’t gas us.” (See “Eyewitness accounts of police brutality and indiscriminate arrests”.)

“Toronto Police attack peaceful protesters and journalists”

In this video you can clearly see the police arbitrarily grabbing people. I’d like to know since when it was criminal to be filming in public? It certainly isn’t violent. This video can also be found here.

Toronto Police Attack Peaceful Protesters and Journalists at G20 Protests from brandon jourdan on Vimeo.

And here’s a video of plainclothes cops getting in on the action against peaceful civilians. Some people have noted that someone dressed just like the Black Bloc runs through. Police don’t even stop him. Agent provocateur? Watch: 45 seconds into the video, he comes into the video on the right side.

Now, for some news articles I didn’t get to yesterday.

“G20: Police arrest at least 70 at University of Toronto”

A number of protesters were found wearing black clothing, though Ms. Mulle didn’t say how many. Protesters wearing black clothing, who dubbed themselves the Black Bloc, were believed to have caused the majority of damage at Saturday’s protests. Ms. Mulle also did not say how many weapons of opportunity have been found.

So, they arrested 70 who may have been the cause of vandalism. Does that really justify suspending civil liberties and trampling on human rights for the week? “Weapons of opportunity”? And the police only carry “tools”?

“CCLA denounces the sweeping arrests at G20”

Reporters arrested, CCLA civil rights monitors arrested, over 500 people in detention, police unwilling to provide access to lawyers, cellphones seized, what is going on? Police will say that 4 to 7 police cars were set on fire and that there was much looting and spray painting, pop cans and rocks were thrown and more vandalism was planned at the fence or elsewhere. Is the policing proportionate to the threat?

It is still unclear why the people gathered at Queen’s Park at 5 pm were suddenly charged by riot police. It appears that the small group of black clad vandals was still out to spray paint and throw rocks in windows. Certainly, however, not all those at Queen’s Park fell into this category. Since then, over 500 people have been arrested and none are being released. It would appear that the presumption of innocence and the protection against arbitrary arrest had been suspended during the G20.

CCLA is concerned about the conditions of detention: people were being denied access to lawyers, they were unable to contact their families and were not promptly released.

“G20: Post photographers spend night in detention centre”

They were taken into custody at about 6 p.m. on Saturday while attempting to photograph clashes between police and demonstrators. Both men were charged with obstruct peace officer and unlawful assembly. Neither photographer was accused of any violent act. Instead, they were “amongst violent people,” and allegedly failed to comply with a police order to disperse, a Crown attorney alleged in court on Sunday. The two men spent about 24 hours in custody before the Crown consented to their release on bail.

“Guilty by association” too? We have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty under both the Canadian and the UDHR.

Here’s a recap on the weekend from –
Photo blog: Toronto police arrest and release G20 protesters;

and also from the Toronto Star‘s photoblog – “Peaceful beginnings, violent ending as G20 protests grip Toronto” and “Arrests, releases and rain”

Elsewhere, the New York Times writes “Police in Toronto Criticized for Treatment of Protesters, Many Peaceful”.

Here’s a commentary from the Guardian
“May Toronto’s G20 be the last”.

Today, protesters gather outside Toronto Police Headquarters. Their cause? Fighting against the illegal arrests and detention of hundreds of people this past weekend, a characteristic of a police state.

The G20 may be over and O. Reg. 233/10 may be revoked as of today, but the anger and hurt over what’s happened this past weekend isn’t going away any time soon.


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