July 6, 2010

G20 - First hand reports

RY will be featuring a series of first-hand reports from the G8-G20 protests.

Events witnessed between 12:35-1:45 June 27th 2010 at the corners of Elizabeth and Dundas by the Bay Street Bus Terminal.

By Kate Garvie - Graduate of Environmental Science and International Development Studies at Trent University and member of the Sierra Youth Coalition.

While walking to the Bus terminal to leave Toronto I saw a man being thrown to the ground and hit by 4 police officers with several other officers present. Another citizen was being pushed into the street by an officer. The man was clearly upset that his friend was being assaulted by the police so I stopped to speak with him to see if I could help.

According to this man he and his friend had been walking down the street after eating lunch. (They were attending a conference connected to their PhD research as far as I understood.) They saw a man being pushed around and searched by police across the road and the man's friend had gone across the road to ask if they were inside the security perimeter and if they man was in trouble because as far as they could tell he was getting in trouble for just taking pictures.

As soon as the man asked if they were inside the security perimeter he was thrown against the wall of a restaurant. he tried to pull away and four officers jumped on him. This is when I started watching. The man was handcuffed with a plastic zip tie and was kept lying on the ground for several minutes. He appeared to have injuries on his knees and head. A police officer kept his foot on his back with significant pressure even though he wasn't resisting.

When an officer saw us across the street he came over and asked if we knew the man being arrested. The friend explained that they were just staying in Toronto for a conference. When I asked the police officer what had happened he started yelling in my face "What's in your purse? What's in your purse?" and made me open it. He then said that "This is never going to happen again in this city." I told him that this man appeared to have nothing to do with the protests, peaceful or otherwise. He replied "you're all responsible for this."

A man then came across the road and asked us if we knew the man being arrested. He had been sitting inside the restaurant when the assault took place and had taken pictures of the man on the ground surrounded by police. He had his camera taken and the pictures were erased. When he protested the police response was "this is a whole new world today."

Another officer then came over and started telling us that the man was being charged with assault and resisting his arrest. He would spend the night in prison and maybe get bail. He couldn't promise this though because "Harper is pissed." He then went on to say that we were dressed just like the black bloc. The man who had been arrested was wearing a polo t-shirt and cargo shorts. I was wearing jeans, and a green t-shirt. He then said like the other officer that "this would never happen again in Toronto." When we said we had nothing to do with the black bloc he said that the terrorists were in the sewers and were going to contaminate our water system and we would all die. He also said that yesterday during the protests on Saturday that they had no idea what people were doing behind the big banners and people could have been heating up super glue to produce cyanide and killed everyone.

They then took away three people in a police van. The second police officer came back over and said that they were going to take him to a holding centre and not to worry because they weren't going to "beat the crap out of him." He then told all of us to leave or we would be searched. Right when he was telling me that if we didn't leave I would be searched another officer started yelling "down run from me" and I saw two girls who had been walking away stop and wait for four to six police officers to come over and ask to see their bags. The police proceeded to open all of their bags, take everything out. They appeared to turn on their computer and go through pictures on a camera. One girl was put in hand cuffs. She was just standing talking with them. they were detained for about twenty minutes. I recognized her from peaceful protests the previous day so I stayed to make sure she was alright. The eventually released her and she left with her friend.

During the hour that I was on the corner of Elizabeth and Dundas I saw three people arrested, 5 people searched and 1 person beaten by police. Several people were yelled at for taking pictures and had pictures deleted from their cameras.

For more information about this eye witness account contact Gtwentyresponse@hotmail.com
- Comments


  1. I represent the young man who was arrested. Could Kate Garvie please contact me? My name is Gary Grill (416) 657-3332. Thank you!

  2. Thanks Gary we will be in touch.

  3. interesting post from a soldier disgusted at the cops:



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