Report: Toronto police rough up journalists, arrest peaceful protesters at G20

By Daniel Tencer
Sunday, June 27th, 2010 — 1:29 am

g20burningpolicecar Report: Toronto police rough up journalists, arrest peaceful protesters at G20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reporters covering the G20 summit in Toronto say they were the target of police violence overnight, as riots blamed on anarchist groups left four police cars burning in the financial district and resulted in the arrests of some 150 people.

"A newspaper photographer was shot with a plastic bullet in the backside, while another had an officer point a gun in his face despite identifying himself as a member of the media," reported the Canadian Press news agency. The agency did not say if it was its own reporters who were targeted.

Previously: Toronto gets ‘secret’ arrest powers ahead of G20 protests

In a remarkable series of Tweets early Sunday morning, journalist Steve Paikin of public broadcaster TV Ontario said he witnessed "police brutality" against a reporter and the arrests of peaceful demonstrators.

"I saw police brutality tonight. It was unnecessary. They asked me to leave the site or they would arrest me. I told them I was doing my job," he Tweeted.

"As I was escorted away from the demonstration, I saw two officers hold a journalist. The journalist identified himself as working for ‘the Guardian.’ He talked too much and pissed the police off. Two officers held him a third punched him in the stomach. Totally unnecessary. The man collapsed. Then the third officer drove his elbow into the man’s back. No cameras recorded the assault. And it was an assault."

Paikin had been at a demonstration in Toronto’s Esplanade neighborhood, a densely-populated area near the waterfront. He said police moved in on a crowd of peaceful, "middle class" protesters and began arresting them.

"Police on one side screamed at the crowd to leave one way. Then police on the other side said leave the other way. There was no way out," he Tweeted. "So the police just started arresting people. I stress, this was a peaceful, middle class, diverse crowd. No anarchists. Literally more than 100 officers with guns pointing at the crowd. Rubber bullets and smoke bombs ready to be fired. Rubber bullets fired."

Paikin, a respected journalist who has hosted national election debates in Canada, said he was "escorted" away by police before he could see how many people were arrested, "but it must have been dozens."

"I have lived in Toronto for 32 years. Have never seen a day like this. Shame on the vandals and shame on those that ordered peaceful protesters attacked and arrested."

Earlier in the day, police told media that a small group of "Black bloc" demonstrators broke off from a protest of 10,000 people and began smashing storefront windows along the city’s trendy Queen Street.

The CBC News Network reported that protesters smashed in the windows of an American Apparel outlet, pulled out the mannequins and spread feces on the floor. The storefronts of McDonald’s and Starbucks locations were also damaged, as were numerous bank branches.

Police shut down all public transit in the city center, including subway and streetcar lines. They also shut down a large downtown shopping complex after reports of looting. AFP reported that some 200 people were trapped inside, unable to leave after the mall was put into lockdown.

Watch: Protesters seize police car

Captured cop car

"When the G20 protest began turning violent Saturday, police abandoned some of their police cars," reports the Toronto Star. "This one was briefly occupied on Queen Street."

 

Toronto police use tear gas to combat G20 ‘thugs’

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By Michel Comte (AFP) – 11 hours ago

TORONTO — Toronto police used tear gas and arrested 75 when a violent mob tried to hijack a peaceful protest by tens of thousands of people against the G20 summit, the city’s police chief said.

"We have never seen this level of wanton criminality on our streets," chief Bill Blair told a press conference hours after the protest, adding police were still scouring the streets fearing more trouble.

Some 30,000 people, according to rally organizers, marched against the G20 summit Saturday demonstrating in favor of social causes, in a largely peacefully rally until violence erupted on its fringes.

The main body of the march was a well-marshaled event, led by older activists and organized labor, but splinter groups of young hardliners scuffled with riot officers and set fire to three patrol cars.

At least three more vehicles and windows in downtown Toronto’s financial district were damaged, and the air was thick with the smell of vinegar-soaked rags used to ward off police tear gas.

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Firefighters moved in to douse the flames, but chaos erupted nearby as police forced back protestors and bystanders were caught in the action.

The violence "was shocking to every citizen," Blair said, adding 75 people had been arrested, many of them already "known to police."

He confirmed that tear gas had been used against a black-clad crowd of demonstrators after they refused to disperse following a warning, and many officers were pelted with bottles and stones.

But he denied reports on the microblogging service Twitter that rubber bullets had been fired.

Government spokesman Dimitri Soudas said: "Free speech is the principle of our democracy. But the thugs that prompted violence earlier today represent in no way shape or form the Canadian way of life."

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Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, which organized the main rally, also condemned the "destructive activities" of the "small group of anarchists," lamenting that it distracted from unions’ message "that there can be no recovery from the economic crisis unless (G20 leaders) place a priority on the creation of good jobs."

Lara Garrido Herrero, 33, a weekend visitor to the city who was shopping in the downtown Eaton Center mall, told AFP by telephone: "Around 200 people are stuck in a lock-down in the shop and the staff are handing out water."

Toronto police also used Twitter to deny a rumor that rioters had breached the security barrier erected around the conference center where the leaders of the world’s richest countries were gathering.

"Dispelling more rumors: The fence has not been breached," the message read.

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The center was nonetheless temporarily locked down and a busload of photojournalists was turned away amid fears of possible fire-bombings.

Saturday’s arrests bring the number detained in summit-related incidents since mid-June to 107, for various charges including assault, wearing disguises, weapons and immigration violations and three separate bomb plots.

"I’m profoundly disappointed by the vandalism that has taken place, windows have been broken and police cars have been burned," Blair said. "Those responsible will be held accountable."

Canada spent more than a billion dollars to secure this week’s back-to-back G8 and G20 summits, hoping to avoid the serious street battles that marred recent gatherings of these global forums.

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Thousands of police reinforcements backed by riot officers on horseback and spotter helicopters were drafted into the city center, much of which is sealed off behind concrete and steel barriers.

"It wasn’t the workers of the world that caused the financial crisis," Sid Ryan of the Ontario Federation of Labor said in a speech. "We don’t want to see a transfer of wealth from the public sector to the private sector."

"The people, united, will never be defeated," steelworkers and their unionized brethren shouted back, placards poking through rips in a tapestry of umbrellas that read: "Long live socialism" and "Scrap the summits."

Their issues include the legitimacy of the G20 itself, and jobs. "We don’t want G20 countries to cut stimulus spending until jobs recover," Jeff Atkinson, spokesman for the Canadian Labor Congress, told AFP.

Greenpeace International Director Kumi Naidoo argued that if G20 countries could spend one trillion dollars to rescue banks in trouble, why not find money to help unemployed workers, for the environment and for social causes.

Student activist Liana Salvador lamented that she was 50,000 dollars in debt to pay for school. "I’m an ordinary student whose parents taught me that knowledge is power, but whose government says education is just expensive."

"Do only the rich deserve to learn?" she demanded. "One billion for education, not fortification."

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Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

 

G20 Protests Heat Up

Russia Today
June 27, 2010

Reports say black-clad demonstrators broke off from a crowd of peaceful protesters at the G20 summit in Toronto, torching a police cruiser in the financial district and smashing windows with baseball bats and hammers.

 

G20 protesters torch police cars

Subway, GO train shut down, stores in lockdown

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The streets of Toronto descended into anarchy Saturday as the city’s police chief warned of more mayhem on the last day of the G20 summit.

Hard-core, balaclava-wearing anarchists burned police cars, smashed and looted stores and threw bricks, bottles and bags filled with urine at police Saturday.

Two cruisers were set alight at King and Bay Sts. and another two cars went up in flames on Queen St. near Spadina Ave.

Violent protesters left a trail of shattered glass along Queen St. W. and then up Yonge St.

The stench of their vinegar-drenched clothes, soaked in a bid to ward off any teargas, followed the anarchy through the streets.

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Police Chief Bill Blair said late Saturday as protesters continued to trash city streets that 130 people had been arrested and warned his officers would hunt down all the vandals.

He also confirmed that police used tear gas.

Mayor David Miller condemned the “criminals” who vandalized the city’s streets, expressing outrage at the way some protesters chose to make a political statement as world leaders met here for the G20 summit.

“We were concerned about people coming to Toronto to deliberately commit violent acts and I have no doubt whatsoever that this is what we are seeing. Torontonians should be angry about it,” Miller said.

“People who want to deliberately break windows and burn cars. This has nothing to do with protests.”

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Torontonians watched with dismay as the kind of fiery violence that has plagued previous G8 summits played out on their own streets.

More than 30 people were arrested over the course of the day-long protest, which began peacefully at Queen’s Park.

But frustrated by an impenetrable line of security forces surrounding the downtown site where Prime Minister Stephen Harper was hosting the G20 summit, activists turned on the city.

Police let them get as far as Queen St. W. and then brought them to a halt.

Skirmishes broke out at several intersections as the officers were pelted with bottles of water, protest signs, urine and manure.

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Protesters pulled rocks from gardens and bottles from recycling boxes to use as projectiles.

Some came armed for trouble with bats, hammers, and metal ball bearings.

The TTC shut down subway service on both the University and Yonge lines and told GO Transit to stop trains at the Danforth GO station.

Anarchists from the notorious Black Bloc left a trail of their trademark black clothing along Yonge St., shed to blend in with more peaceful protesters.

Starbucks, Swiss Chalet, American Apparel, Money Mart, all the major banks, TTC streetcars stalled by the protest, media vehicles, and the Zanzibar Tavern and its G-String Summit were all trashed.

G-String Summit

Buildings and vehicles were tagged with graffiti ranging from anarchists’ symbols to slogans like, “F*** the rich” and “Kill cops.” Protester Lucy, 24, who wouldn’t give her last name said she was marching for no cause in particular.

“I’m glad Toronto had the balls to stand up and do something,” she said. “I haven’t seen Toronto like this before.” Her view wasn’t shared by many Torontonians.

Comedian Dave Regnier was walking up Yonge St. to eat dinner when people started running past to get away from protesters smashing glass.

“It’s ridiculous,” he said.

Toronto resident James, who wouldn’t give his last name, was riding his Vespa on Yonge St. when people fleeing the violence told him to get off the road. “This sickens me,” he said after surveying the damage up and down Toronto’s main street. “It’s crazy.”

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The protests continued on throughout the afternoon, moving back to Queen’s Park Circle where pepper spray was used to subdue activists just a few hundred meters from the seat of Ontario government.

Later, a large crowd gathered outside the security fence at Bay and Front Sts. and the mayhem promised to go well into the night.

Hundreds of gawkers were drawn into the city by the demonstrations.

With camera phones in hand, they gathered behind police in riot gear and snapped pictures as the officers clashed with protesters at numerous intersections.

“I just came out to see what the fuss was all about and to see how crazy things would get,” said Matthew Marr, 19, a professional dancer who moved to Toronto six months ago from St. John, N.B.

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The surreal scene included a moment when residents of an apartment above the standoff puts speakers out their window and blared Bob Marley’s One Love and other peace songs.

At the south end of the security fence, there was little sign of any discontent, aside from a patient Buddhist monk from Japan faithfully pounding a drum.

But about 100 Black Bloc anarchists in head-to-foot black, leading a core angry crowd of about 300 more protesters, failed to heed the messages of peace and soon were seen destroying store fronts and generally creating the kind of havoc they’re known for at G8 summits worldwide.

When the march bunched up at Queen St. W. and Spadina Ave., a call suddenly went out and the Black Bloc could be seen running north through the crowd until they found a police car which they promptly demolished.

Then they took off, breaking windows as they went, until they came across the two cruisers which they torched.

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“They’re very organized — it’s almost like a cat-and-mouse game,” one observer said. “They are picking the few weakness they can find in the cops and targeting them and then quickly dispersing so they don’t get caught. They’re definitely the leaders.”

The number of protesters estimated at anywhere between 4,000 to 8,000 was down sharply from many previous summits.

In 2001, a G8 in Genoa, Italy, attracted an estimated 200,0000 protesters — one anti-globalization activist was shot dead by military police, more than 100 people were injured and the damage to the city was extensive.

The U of T’s Ella Kokotsis, director of external relations for the G8 and G20 Research Group, who has attended 15 summits, said this level of violence was not expected.

“I’m completely shocked to see what’s going on right now,” Kokotsis said. “I’m just surprised that it’s happening in Canada, to be quite frank with you, because it’s the kind of activity that we tend to see in Europe or we’re going to see in the United States but not necessarily here.

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Kokotsis said 4,000 protesters is a much smaller number than have shown up at previous summits but “it doesn’t mean that they can’t wreak havoc.”

Legitimate protesters who work within the law, who attempt to get their voices heard through less controversial means, may feel that their concerns won’t be heard above the chaos.

“When this kind of thing happens, it just diverts the entire world’s attention to what’s going on in the streets, takes away from what G8 leaders have done … it’s going to hijack the discussions, the press conferences, by the prime minister,” she said.

“But this is their aim; this is what these types of people do. The eyes of the world are on them so they’re going to do what they can in front of the cameras. And they know that those images are going to resonate around the world. It’s a real opportunity for them to make a statement.”

In the days leading up to the summit, city Councillor Kyle Rae told The Sun Toronto is getting all the pain and chain-link fences of international summitry and none of the spinoff benefits.

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“The federal government didn’t ask us if we wanted to host this thing,” Rae said.

“Part of it is them visiting as much disruption and dislocation as they felt they could do. They don’t care for Toronto, Torontonians don’t vote for them and they have just reinforced that for the next election.”

Meanwhile, the G8 meetings in Huntsville earlier in the week brought buckets of federal cash for civic improvements and new facilities throughout the region.

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The few protesters who made it to the town offered free hugs.

“Tony Clement isn’t a Toronto MP,” Rae said of the Parry Sound-Muskoka cabinet minister.

“It’s called pork-barrelling, isn’t it?”

G20 Armed Criminal Camp Toronto

Toronto gets ‘secret’ arrest powers ahead of G20 protests

By Daniel Tencer
Friday, June 25th, 2010 — 3:00 pm

torontog20 Toronto gets secret arrest powers ahead of G20 protests

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TORONTO — A government changes a law to allow police to arrest people without probable cause. It does so without any legislative debate. Then it keeps the change a virtual secret, until someone is arrested under those new powers.

The Soviet Union circa 1950? Nope. Try Canada, June 2010.

Civil liberties advocates and political activists are up in arms after it emerged Friday that police in Toronto have been given special powers to arrest anyone near the site of the G20 summit if they fail to identify themselves.

What’s more, the government of the province of Ontario, which green-lit the new powers, didn’t tell anyone about it until after someone was arrested under the new powers.

Thirty-one-year-old Dave Vasey was arrested near the G20 perimeter security fence in downtown Toronto Thursday afternoon after refusing to identify himself to a police officer.

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“The officer told me, ‘I am going to have to place you under arrest if you don’t show your identification,’ and I replied ‘I’m not comfortable with that,’” Vasey said, as quoted at theToronto Star.

With Vasey’s arrest, it emerged that Ontario secretly changed its Public Works Protection Act to allow police officers unprecedented powers of arrest. That law allowed police to arrest people if they fail to identify themselves to a police officer when inside a government building or near a "public works" project. It has now been expanded to include the area around the G20 summit, meaning a significant portion of downtown Toronto.

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The Toronto Star reports:

The regulation kicked in Monday and will expire June 28, the day after the summit ends. While the new regulation appeared without notice on the province’s e-Laws online database last week, it won’t be officially published in The Ontario Gazette until July 3 — one week after the regulation expires.

According to the new regulation, “guards” appointed under the act can arrest anyone who, in specific areas, comes within five metres of the security zone.

Within those areas, police can demand identification from anyone coming within five metres of the fence perimeter and search them. If they refuse, they face arrest. Anyone convicted under the regulation could also face up to two months in jail or a $500 maximum fine.

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Toronto Chief of Police Bill Blair, who reportedly requested the arrest powers, denied Friday that it had been done in secret.

“We haven’t changed the rules," he said, as quoted at the National Post. "We have put up a fence. We have told people very very clearly that we will not be allowing the public access into that area. … Our authority comes primarily comes from common law, but also by the regulation that has been passed by the province of Ontario."

But the assertion that the change wasn’t secret was immediately challenged by reporters covering the G20 summit.

"Funny," writes Adam Radwanski at the Globe and Mail, "I asked two different spokespeople for the integrated G20 police unit — at least one of whom was from the Toronto force — about the legal justification for the measures being taken around the perimeter. Neither breathed a word about anything about the Public Works Protection Act, let alone any recent cabinet decisions that affected it."

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“It’s just unbelievable you would have this kind of abuse of power where the cabinet can create this offense without having it debated in the legislature,” Vasey’s lawyer, Howard Morton, told the Star.

Activist groups say that keeping the new police powers a secret means they have been giving G20 protesters inaccurate advice about how to deal with police confrontations. Vasey himself refused to show identification to police because he was following the advice laid out by theToronto Community Mobilization Network, which is organizing some G20 protest activities.

"This act values public property over the freedom of people and prevents community members from walking freely through the streets without questioning from authorities," the group said on its Web site Friday. "We will not be made examples of, but rather, we will publicly denounce oppressive activities of the state and highlight the solidarity in our communities."

 

LovePolice

Charlie Veitch: Arrested, Tortured, Caged by Toronto Fascist Police at G8/G20

The Alex Jones Channel
June 27, 2010

Charlie Veitch, founder of activist group The Love Police describes his ordeal at the hands of Canadian jackboots on the scene of the G8/G20 meeting in Toronto.

 
The Violence was more than likely started by a few well placed police provocateur as has been done in the past in Canada many time before so why not this time.It make it look like all the Taxpayer money was well spent when in reality the cop get to beat the shit out of many innocent peaceful protesters and it also makes the protesters look like the bad guys.The reality is the world Scumballs on the inside of this G-8 and G-20 are the real criminals being protected by the hosting countries police,and military in this case NORAD as well when they are suppose to work for the people by the people and under the peoples power not these criminal usurping scum balls called politicians and world leaders  which they are neither
 

I am disgusted to call myself a Canadian Citizen. But I am proud to call myself a Sovereign Freeman on the Land of Canada Canadian… and that being said I have no affiliation with Canada’s Criminal Government. I don’t vote for them or support them in any way.I am a paid member of the Canadian Action Party the only party in Canada to speak the truth to its people and tell it like it is That Canada is now a leading NWO Police State under its criminal Hannibal Harper Cabal

WAKE THE FUCK UP or DIE UNDER THE NEW WORLD ORDER

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