CCLA’s Call for Independent Inquiry into G20 Police Action

CCLA’s general counsel, Nathalie Des Rosiers, says that the inquiry into police action during the G20 Summit should look into 5 specific incidents: http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/06/29/civil-liberties-association-g20-police-force-disproportionate-arbitrary-and-excessive/

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22 Responses

  1. avatar M says:

    READ THIS:
    I have spent 20 years under Ceausescu Romanian Dictatorship regim. This kind of qualifies me to smell state abuse don’t you think? There is no doubt in my mind that what happened here is “by the book” repressive regim actions. This is exactly how it works: use media to prepare the the population with words like : “violence”, “we expect violence”, “stay out of downtown” etc etc. (by the book “scare tactic”). Then all you have to do is make sure to create the pretext.

    In the years ‘70s you would not believe the standard of living we had. Everyone guaranteed a job and every family a house. By the time it began going downhill it was already too late and everybody afraid to even speak with their neighbors. It all started with police arresting for no reason under the pretext of mental disability while media was calling them “disturbed people” and “vandals”. That is right: “vandals destroying public property”.
    “No it can’t be like that, this is not the same country, you will say …” well think again. Why should you take for granted everything you are told? Look for the truth and the truth is always simple. Who would benefit from violence? I’d say there are 1 billion reasons to help that happening. They spent 1 billion and they needed to justify that. It HAD to be violent or else many eyebrows would have raised. Get media to cooperate and let 10 or more thugs to go lose for few hours, make it look like the whole city is on fire. Easy enough don’t you think? In the mean time you have now the pretext and cover to arrest 900 ppl, tag them like cattle and then let them go. Because guess what? now the big brother knows you, they have you recorded and on file and they can always claim you are a criminal / vandal / thug from now on. What is next? Well … lets preemptive arrest them in their home to protect the safety of the rest of the population. Preposterous you will say … Think again, and go read history and about how dictators came to power. It is called deceit and manipulation and to much trust in the authority.

    It is the police duty to protect the demonstrators not to arrest them. They were doing great in going into the demonstrators and pick up guys that were looking funny to them but kept comfortable distance to the real destroyers … how convenient is that? Police is acting under direct orders, don’t insult my intelligence and call them incompetent and “taken by surprise”. Chief Blair said that the police knew ahead what is coming and how well organized the criminals are but interestingly enough they were “taken by surprise … ” or should I say “incompetent” when needed. The fun part is that Chief Blair said that the Black Bloc was surrounded and shielded by demonstrators hence they were accomplice. What would Chief Blair expect the Black Bloc to be surrounded by ? maybe Tibetan monks ? Give me a break and don’t insult my intelligence.

    People just fail to see that because they want to believe in truth and honesty and in the good fair police that they have always known. It is a trust build up in years and this is exactly what they are counting on. I’ve seen to much in my life to let my guard down and get numb and also buying everything that so called “free” … pardon “private owned” media wants me to believe. If only one of 900 is wrongfully arrested then it is one abuse too many. Wait sorry they were carrying un-disclosed substances and bandanas don’t they? It cannot get more ridiculous then that, you know .. hands can be used as a dangerous weapon. It is not ridiculous it is actually heart breaking to see normal people buying into this explanation as a pretext for any arrest.

    I does not matter to me what they want to chant, all I want is to make sure is that their right to demonstrate and speak their mind is guaranteed and protected from abuse and infiltrators. I will fight for that the best I can.

    “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
    Benjamin Franklin

  2. avatar James D says:

    Hello Natalie as I just finished watching you on CBC Politics news and let me start out as I was one of the people that got arrested at Spidina and Queen St and spent 5 hours and most of them in the pouring rain and close to 2 hours handcuffed for no reason at all as I was not part of the protest.My trade is that I am a electrician but I am also a retail display photographer for a magazine and some stores here in Toronto so store windows are my business and I was worried about my friends store on Queen West as he has some vintage display mannequins on display in his windows.

    So as for warning I would be arrested if I was close to the protesters I got NONE at all my Sunday started out early as I went out looking for a Latte I could not find as the Starbucks across the street from me was closed so I walked over to the Eaton Center and it too was closed so where to get my latte of course I had my camera as I was taking pictures of what was happening to our city. So I walked to Bloor St and I was ever so happy to see all the stores there Safe and sound as Holt Renfrew is one of my stops for shooting windows then I texted my friend and told him his store was fine at Bloor St so I found my Latte there are Timothy s. Then I decide to walk back down Yonge St and then over to Queen West I witness teens being arrested so I stopped like everyone else with a camera and one Toronto Police Office offered us to feel free to shoot these DOGS were his words I was offended by those words as these are someones children and he should of been a professional then I was also offended that when booking the teens they displayed the full names of the teens so everyone can take pictures of their names what happen to their rights till the courts prove they are doing wrong?? So after that I still seen no protesters on the street as I walked over to Queen West when I got there I took some pictures of the damage stores and I was please to see my friends store was and where the police left their cars as presents to the protesters as what ever the media says the cars were left there for them so they will destroy the cars instead of the stores as who in their right mind would drive the cars into a crowd of people when most of their cars are parked on Richmond St and other side streets. But still no protesters so before heading back home I decided to take to some security guards in front of H&M then before I knew it I seen Protesters waking down Queen towards us so I went across the street to the CIBC bank and it was a peaceful protest and everyone was happy and singing so I stayed around I did not know of that new law and I ever took a picture of a Young Family and his children so everything was fine then as soon as I notice I see police on bikes like we always see in protest every year in Toronto then the riot cops came next as I was standing close to them NOT once as they could see I was not with the protesters and the people next to me were not with them did they say leave or you will be arrested so I stayed maybe I would make new friends who knows hopping as I so single. Then without warning the Riot cops came charging forcing us around the comer to go north on Spidina only to fine more riot cops so we asked can we leave and to our surprise they said no I was shocked and then I saw this young girl starting to cry calling her love ones on the phone which broke my heart and I ever looked at one of the riot officer and a said how could you as she wasn’t part of the protest at all she was shaking and in fear. So then again they did not tell us what was going on then one yelled out you are all under arrest then more people got scared and more young people started to cry … we didn’t know anything the people next to me were coming home from a bar after watching soccer game one was heading to a Fido Store it was a mess we all pleaded with the cops to let us just go home as we didn’t do anything wrong. But no comments from them as I bet most of the people didn’t know of this new law Chief Blair as most people are tuned into the games not the news and we don’t carry a TV around with us. Then it started to rain I had a umbrella so some huddled next to me to try to stay dry but we were getting so wet people were shaking and shivering from the rain but still no word how to get out of this mess. They left us to get wet and we were cold and then as the crowd got smaller one of my group went to ask how do you leave then he returned and said we just like up to get arrested to get out of her. So I did and I had to put my umbrella in my bag with my camera and stand in the pouring rain with my hands cuffed behind my back. I was assigned to a nice officer we talked and he was from the 41 Division and I told him what I do and I guess I was in the wrong spot at the wrong time. I was so cold as we walked towards the coffee shop as they were taking our stuff and being searched I knew the bricks on the building would hold heat so I leaned next to them and I told this shaking girl to do the same. My hands got numb and the officer checked and he even change them for bigger ones to make it more comfortable I think they knew this was wrong to arrest the innocent and to see people crying and the TOUGH Chief fail on Saturday then finally we were put onto empty bused the searched for to see if I had a record and I had none so he put my hands in front of my as I have a bad shoulder at it was in pain so that was nice and I was ever so thankful … then like this never happen a officer came onto the bus and said we were all free to go.

    As we talked I made a suggestion to him maybe it would be a good idea to make it not legal to wear a mask in a protest and none of this would happen and these good people on Saturday would not stop the riot cops from arresting the Bloc if they came into the crowd and nab them as they broke the windows as most people would cheered them all as all they wanted is a peaceful protest … All I have to say the Police Failed on on Saturday and then Failed again on Sunday by taking our freedom and rights away I was NOT a Canadian on Sunday as I wish I was wealthy if I was I would file a million dollar lawsuit against the Chief Blair as I lost my trust and faith in him

    James
    Sorry for going on but I wanted to share my side of this

  3. avatar Greg Warren says:

    Whom do I contact to support your cause? I was disgusted with the political intervention of the Ontario Government enacting “special powers” for police (thugs) that has since been deemed by many to have been unlawful, illegal, and criminal. As a patriotic Canadian, I’m not letting these people off the hook on this one. Where were these ‘limp dick’ riot police on Saturday when anarchy prevailed? Enclosed in there expensive riot gear trying to emulate a USA style of violence against the populace. The Police / Politicians are there to serve at the electorates pleasure, not at the behest of some moronic Police Chief that if not for a potential 80 IQ, would not be able to breath.

    I’m ashamed. Where do I send money in support of this travesty of fundamental, Charter freedoms.

    Signed,

    MAJORLY PISSED from Winnipeg.

  4. avatar Ex-Pat says:

    This law was not even passed for the extra powers to arrest people wo did not identify themselves this is disgusting a throw back to The Gestapo get on the case and start lawsuits against the police and make them accountable…

  5. avatar M says:

    @Greg
    By posting here you are already taking action. This is how it is done !

    I will add my actions:
    - I will actively post my point of view anywhere I see a petition request
    - I will write to my MP demanding action
    - I stopped watching CP24 as I have seen with my own eyes how they lied by manipulating filmed sequences
    - I have canceled my Rogers (owner of CP24) subscription as of now I consider them accomplice to media manipulation.
    - I am planning to join future demonstrations that demand public inquiry
    - Make sure you will go to vote when the time comes

  6. avatar patti says:

    I was on the ground protesting and observing on the weekend. I think that it is interesting that it was the OPP who were involved in Sunday’s fiasco and not the TPS. Bill Blair is the only one who is being criticized (and he does deserve part of the blame) while the RCMP, OPP, and the police from other regions were the ones who were creating most of the problems but none of the blame is being directed at them. I recognize that Blair was the one in charge but i also want to recognize that his cops tended to act with more humanity than the others.

  7. avatar Anonymous says:

    I’m disgusted with your orginization. You have absolutly no concern for the commen citizen. Stop enabling all these liars and people crying foul because they have no self control or respect for the law. An inquirey is simply a waste of time and resources. By being at the protest, whether involved or not is taking risk of having your actions questioned. The detension of such a large amount of people (totally necessary) does make it difficult to process people quickly, not the fault of the police just physics. The majority of your complaints against the police don’t have a leg to stand on. Someone willing to break the law by confronting police does not make a reliable witness. Without proof, these allegations appear to be fictional. Also I have not seen a single video showing anything near police brutality or abuse of powers. Stop supporting the criminal element of our society.

  8. avatar Alex says:

    Hello, Nathalie
    Sorry for my English
    I was taking pictures for unusual day for Toronto History. I was follow small group of Peaceful protestors. (It was funny because probably none of these protesters even know what he protest for)
    About 5.45 pm huge police forces surrounded all people who were on Queen and Spadina and pushed us to small sidewalk on North-East corner of Queen st. In first half in hour the police arrested about 15 guys (probably these who were captured on Police videos as troublemakers). Rests of the INNOCENT people were blocked for couple hours. It was group of Press guys as well.
    Start rain and thunderstorm. All of us were absolutely wet and cold staying there for about 2 hours.
    We did ask police officers let us go, explained privet situations of each of us, but it was same as talk to rock.
    After about 2 hours all of us were arrested. Ours hands was tie on back with snap ties, our privet belongs, and packets were brutally checked. All of us got personal officer who fill up the arrest form.
    When my officer asked if I need the lawyer I said- No! I think you need a lawyer who will show me where in Canadian Constitution I can find that people can be arrested when they take pictures in public space.
    Almost 2 more hours I was staying in line with rest of arrested and waiting for something.
    About 9-9.30 pm we went to TTC buses. And then after ½ hr. all of us were Free!
    I got back my personal belongs but…my driving license was lost. I did ask to find it and return. I did ask to give me paper that Police lost my Driving License, but officers just smile and send me to Ministry of Transportation to get new license.
    When I come home I could not sleep. I could not believe that it happened with me in Canada!!!!
    I thought why, what is the reason I was arrested for?
    I don’t have answer. Just comment- what happened to me and all these innocent people on Sunday is Clearly Crime against our Human rights
    I definitely would like to have an explanation from Police and Definitely looking for compensation for this awful case!
    If you need more information please contact me by email

  9. avatar Smith says:

    Disgusted, horrified, incredibly saddened by the treatment of fellow Canadians is the only way I can describe the feelings I have regarding the incredulous response to peaceful demonstrators. The so-called ‘law’ passed in secret is exactly what the first poster said, a pre-lude to dictatorship. This is Canada the stong and free!!! Remember what our anthem says and “Stand on guard for thee”. I was at a function on Sunday and O Canada was played. I never felt more compelled to stand and sing than ever before. I’m a peaceful, non-activist but never before has an event stirred my feelings of national pride. Fight for an inquest into how these events could happen and don’t give up. To all the ignorant people who feel this was justified, read some history about any dictatorship – start with the rise and fall of Hitler. Democracy is a precious flower that needs to be protected by its citizens AT ALL COSTS! Write to your MP, write to the Harper gov’t, sign petitions, march and demonstrate. Its not the fault of our police officers, they’re just following orders. This came from the top, no doubt, and the top needs to fall!

  10. avatar Sun says:

    It seems these days that “security” is often used as justification to quash constitutionally guaranteed civil rights. I am left to wonder whose security? Often I have heard speeches about how we must send people to fight in countries far away to help preserve our cherished democratic rights and freedoms here at home. I feel betrayed and deeply saddened when our own government takes away the very rights that many people have fought and died for. To what end? How does that make citizens more secure? It certainly does not make me feel more secure.
    The powers granted by the implementation the Public Works Protection Act remind of those of the War Measures Act implemented during the FLQ crisis many years ago. For those that may not be familiar with the FLQ they were relatively small group of people who were willing to use, and did use, violent acts towards the goal of Quebec independence. FLQ members committed homicide, kidnapping, and bombings. Even so,the legality of the implementation of WMA was much debated at the time and it has not been used since. Is the PWPA the WMA, just in prettier clothes? Are we at war with our own citizens? Why?
    I support the rule of law, and esteem the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms highly; I believe that it is best if people obey the law, particularly our law makers and enforcers. I am not so naive as to think that our laws are perfect or that all persons are treated with equal respect and dignity within Canada but if you did commit a crime you should face consequences. However, a democratic system is not based on “do as I say, but not as I do” but on a basic equality of persons which should equate to “do as I do” in terms of the law. I feel that the recent actions of the government and law enforcement in Ontario did not comply with either the letter or spirit of the law and should be closely examined and that restitution be made.
    I think it is critically important for all Canadians read and think about the Charter and what it would mean to them personally if those rights and protections were taken away.

  11. avatar alex says:

    I would like some context about this event. Why were the police so brutal and dehumanizing? What was the point? A lesson? Demonstrate, protest and this is how you will be treated? The police were clearly trained, indoctrinated and specifically given free reign to abuse other human beings during arrest, transport and detention. What was the police objective in doing this? Scare and warn all of Canada that freedom of speech, assembly, peaceful protest are no longer to be tolerated? What was the police objective?

    I can’t figure out what the narrative here is other than welcome to Kanada, a police state modeled on the Israel IDF

  12. avatar Haunting Ghost says:

    Alex,

    What was the point of the protest? Did it accomplish anything? Did it have anything to do with what was going on in the meeting? Or was it just a bunch of loud mouths who wanted to get in a fight with the police so they can then tell their bleeding heart friends how did of victims we all are?

  13. avatar alex says:

    What was the point of the protest? I don’t even know how to begin to answer that one. If you don’t know then you are not paying attention to what is happening to humanity and the earth we live on.

    Did it accomplish anything? It showed how repressive state power is and what the future looks like in Kanada. For the protesters (I am in BC) it will likely make them more determined. Just as the IDF murder and brutalization of people on the flotilla now means more boats and more people. More repression=more rebellion until ultimately the state falls. History repeats itself.

    As for “bleeding heart friends” I don’t think you have a clue about what happened. Here are a few first hand accounts and there are tons more
    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/829921–i-will-not-forget-what-they-have-done-to-me?bn=1

  14. avatar François says:

    Moi je dis bravo aux policiers qui ont fait un excellent travail. Les ratés de la société qui ont été arrêtés n’avaient tout simplement qu’à ne pas à y aller.

    Ce sont toujours ces déchets de la société qui vont manifester alors qu’ils n’ont aucun but dans la vie et qu’ils se laissent vivre aux frais des contribuables.

    Alors je le répète, bravo à tous les policiers!!!!

  15. avatar alex says:

    @François

    “Bravo to the police”? “Dregs of society”?

    You are either a victim of media propaganda, severely misguided, or a troll. The brave people who protested and were arrested, some 1100 people, were standing up for your rights and mine. The state, through police repression in Toronto last weekend, demonstrated, to anyone paying attention, that freedom of speech, assembly and peaceful protest are rights, supposedly guaranteed by the charter, are granted merely as a concession and can be revoked at any time.

    “Those who cherish rights granted by the State, such as the right to protest, shouldn’t be surprised when the same State limits and temporarily revokes them, since that is the right of the State, its citizens are its subjects and their rights are its domain.”
    http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/blog/oshipeya/4012

  16. avatar M (Mihai) says:

    Romania in the 70s: my grandfather was driving a Fiat 1800 that Italians could not afford, I was walking around with a fistful of the finest ham as a kid. Who in the right mind would have demonstrated against that? 15 years later we had 4 hours of electricity per day, rations tickets for half a bread, one egg per day, 1 pounds of meat per week. Police knocking at your door saying: “You have to come with us: we received information you desecrated a picture of our leader”
    1989, the revolution was simple: few ppl got on streets of Timisoara without approval in the last 15 years and they got shot. Next day the national tv stations were all screaming: “vandals, anarchists that destroyed public property and fired at the police”. Few days later our leader showed for a speech at a setup crowd and for the first time in his ruling history, he was booed. Later at night again few stayed to confront police. In my home city about 24 took stand in the middle of the street, 12 being shot and killed right there. In front of my house I could hear for the first time in my life how an AKM rifle burst sounds like. Next day I really don’t think there was one family without having someone in the streets. At least in the big cities that is. Knowing we could get shot, me and my grandfather went out too. Some might say: “You got it coming …” if that would have happened. Imagine my feeling when I saw the blood on the pavement. But that does not compare with my feeling when I got to finally hear the released protesters after 40 years of prison. They were now able to speak on TV and people would actually listen. They were talking about “human rights, civil rights, essential liberties, about the duty to listen even if you disagree …” 20 years later Romania is still in deep trouble and ppl still dreaming about the 70s. Did you know that, along the ruling communist party we actually had other political parties in parliament?
    So NO, I DON’T WANT to stay home, I want to get out there and hear everybody what they have to say: conservatives, liberals, socialists, communists, fascists, anarchists, royalists etc. . It is my right to listen and don’t anybody dare take that away for me.

  17. avatar Haunting Ghost says:

    Francois,

    J’suis avec toi 100%.

    Alex,

    Give me a break bud. You obviously gotta get out more. I mean, you could lecture me about the international banking cartel and police state, but my eyes may glaze over. The fact is, the protests had nothing to do with what was discussed at the G20. It’s a romantic idea to ‘fight for the little man’s rights’ even if the little man is not put down (see wimmin activists in 2010…LOL). That’s all there is to it.

  18. avatar M (Mihai) says:

    Francois,

    You speak like you know personally each and every one of the thousands of demonstrators. How do you know: “qu’ils se laissent vivre aux frais des contribuables” ? Just putting a stamp on people is plain wrong. It is like saying: “They have a relative in prison: they are a family of criminals!”

    Haunting Ghost,

    I am fine with “It’s a romantic idea to ‘fight for the little man’s rights’” What I fail to understand is why this can get you arrested? Why 19000 cops and 1 billion could not stop few dozens of thugs? That’s all there is to it.
    This is why I am concerned (special attention please to: “… more then we can imagine”):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yse4FdgXS6g

  19. avatar David Khan says:

    I was at the scene of the riot last week with my daughter and she videotaped Riot police coming out a bus in clear sight and earshot of the riot. I am convinced that the Police allowed the riot to happen for whatever reasons and could have stopped it but didn’t. Here the 3 videos on youtube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M2NKWve-z4&feature=channel

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeU8ObPrI3I

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlqHTUz3C9g&feature=channel

  20. avatar Penny Tarrant says:

    Stop the abuse of police power, protect our right to public assembly and free speach!!!

  21. avatar West Coast Senior says:

    I feel a debt of gratitude towards the thousands of Canadian who exercised their democratic rights and demonstrated for their various causes, most of which I support. Thank you. If you are looking to lay blame for the brutality of the police forces look to the Prime Minister of Canada and all 3 Opposition Leaders who now support the Corporate Agenda. As to Canada’s Police Forces….they all now behave like Hitler’s “Brown Shirts”. It is time for Canadians to see the similarity. This was all carefully plotted and planned. The brutality was to warn other Canadians they no longer have the rights they thought they had and the one’s they still have they can no longer exercise without being put at physical risk. This and worse is what Canadians can expect if they take to the streets. The people have no friends within the Government, the establishment or the media. Therefore we can only support each other. Unfortunately, as the economic situation worsens and as Canadians wake up to what has deliberately been inflicted on them we can expect to see very real suffering amongst the current middle and upper middle class economic sectors of our society. The poor will suffer dreadfully but they will be joined by almost everyone else.
    I am irritated by this because there have been so many warnings over the past few years that people chose to ignore. Our self-centered majority have been busy indulging themselves and have paid no attention to the needs of others. Now all of us will pay the price and pay we will. There will be few exceptions.

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