Friday, July 16, 2010


Following last weekend's well attended demonstrations calling for a public inquiry into the police actions at the recent G20 summit in Toronto further actions are planned across the country this Saturday, July 17. Here's an item from the Globe and Mail about what happened last weekend in Toronto when thousands turned out to protest the "police riot" at the summit.
Thousands of protesters rally for G20 public inquiry
Published on Saturday, Jul. 10, 2010 11:33AM EDT

Last updated on Monday, Jul. 12, 2010 7:19PM EDT

Thousands of people turned out for a protest in Toronto Saturday afternoon, calling for more public inquiries into police treatment of protesters during the G20 summit.

In a route laden with symbolism, protesters marched from Queen's Park, where the first mass arrests took place during the G20 protests, to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the site of the summit itself, which became an inaccessible fortress during the G20.

As samba drummers played and blew whistles, a group of 16 people held up letters spelling "public inquiry" and "civil liberties".

The tension that permeated the G20 protests was largely absent, with police on bicycles blocking traffic for the march and protesters playing cowbells and carrying flags emblazoned with images of snakes the the slogan "don't tread on me."

"Two weeks ago, every official in this city and in this country said there will be no public inquiry," veteran activist Judy Rebick told the crowd. "Today there are three public inquiries being called. But it's not enough. We want a full inquiry at the federal level and the provincial level that will point the finger at who turned our city into a police state."

Protesters were angry with the police response to the G20, which saw 1,000 people rounded up in the largest mass arrests in Canadian history, and with the province's giving the police arbitrary search and seizure powers.

Lisa Walter, a writer and photojournalist for Our Times, a labour magazine, was arrested on June 27, near Bloor and Bay streets with two other independent journalists.

"Two of those journalists were threatened with rape and the third was tasered even after he indicated he had a pacemaker," she said.

Ms. Walter added that she was segregated along with other gay and lesbian protesters in solitary confinement at the detention centre.

Saturday's protest wound its way along College Street and down Spadina Avenue to Queen Street, pausing briefly at the intersection where riot police boxed in hundreds of people and held them in the pouring rain for four hours on the final night of the G20 summit.

The police presence at the march was light, with most officers on bicycles and none of the black-clad riot squads that policed the G20 in sight. Officers co-operated with the protest, blocking traffic and keeping protesters from straying onto a streetcar right of way in the median of Spadina Avenue.

The march continued down Queen and Peter streets to Front Street, and finished outside the convention centre with speeches from the back of a truck.

The crowd was an eclectic mix of middle-aged trade unionists, young students, aboriginal people and some who hadn't been to the original protests but decided to attend after seeing images of mass arrests on TV.

Paul Tornello, a 55-year-old IT recruiter, said he had never been to a demonstration before but felt compelled to attend – along with a home-made sign reading "I left my bat and bricks at home and brought my voice" – after he found out police had allowed the public to remain under the mistaken impression that they had arbitrary powers within five metres of the security fence.

"That's big government making an incursion into our rights," he said.

Beth Washburn, a 34-year-old PhD student who punctuated the lively march with the sounds of her alto tuba, said she was so intimidated by the police presence on the Friday of the G20 weekend that she didn't return on the other days.

"The police circled us in and boxed us in," she said.

Andrew Barber, 25, said he and his friends were stopped and searched several times during G20 weekend by police who dumped out their water.

"The options were 'show your ID and submit to a search, or face arrest,'" he said. "They said 'times are changing, boys.'"

The protest ended without incident around 5 p.m. outside the convention centre. Organizers estimated 5,000 people had turned up for the march; police officers at the scene put the crowd at 1,000.

Both the Toronto Police Services Board and Ontario auditor-general André Marin have announced probes into police and government decision-making at the G20, but activists say both are limited in scope and are calling for more wide-ranging inquiries.

Demonstrations were also planned in Halifax, Kingston and Montreal.

With a report from The Canadian Press
Well a week has passed, and it's time for yet more pressure. Here from Facebook is the call out and schedule for protests happening on the 17th.
Canadian Day of Solidarity
More Info Background:
In light of the actions of the police during the G20 towards innocent and peaceful protesters, and the fact that the Chief of Police wilfully misinformed Canadians regarding laws passed, we believe that it's time that Canadians all over the country stood together in solidarity and in support of our common civil rights!
For more information, please check out some of the helpful links provided below!

Our Goal:
We want an independent inquiry into the events surrounding the G20, the arrests, the treatment of those detained, etc.
And we want to send the message loud and clear that we will stand up for our civil rights!

How Can You Help:
If you're interested in starting a rally in your city, message a group admin today and we can help put you in touch with other organizers, get your rally details up, etc.
If there's already a rally planned in your city, offer a helping hand, and/or simply grab a few friends and come out to show your support!
Remember, the more people, the stronger our voice. Help spread the word! Take a minute to invite your contacts to the event, tell your friends and family, change your FB status to promote the rally details, hand out fliers, etc.
In the meantime, you can also write to your MP demanding an independent inquiry, write to your local papers to keep attention on the issue, and discuss the issues with people around you.

Planned Rallies:

Bancroft, ON: Starting at Freedom Skate Park ending at MPP Leona Dombrowsky's office.
Event Page:

Barrie, ON: Details pending.

Calgary, AB: Details pending. Volunteers contact:

Hamilton, ON: Event page:
Volunteers Contact:

London, ON: Details pending. Volunteers contact:!/group.php?gid=130628943644457&v=wall

Montreal, QC: Carré Phillips, Montréal (Coin Sainte-Catherine et Place Phillips)
Event Page:
Volunteers Contact:

Nelson, BC: City Hall. Event page:

Niagara, ON: Montebello Park
Event Page:
Volunteers contact:

Oshawa, ON: Details pending

Ottawa, ON: Human Rights Monument. Event page:

Peterborough, ON: Farmers Market and Trent Radio.
Event Page:
Volunteers contact:

Quebec City, QC: Église St-Jean-Baptiste, Québec,

St John's, NFLD: Details pending. Check out:

Toronto, ON: 1:30pm @ Queens Park, South Lawn. Volunteers contact:
Event Page:

Vancouver, BC: Vancouver Public Library. March to Victory Square.
Event Page:
Volunteers contact:

Winnipeg, MB: Details pending.
Group Page:
Volunteers contact:

**Volunteers are still needed-if you're interested in helping plan any of the above listed rallies, let an admin know and we'll fire off the contact info for the main coordinators. Or, contact the email address listed, if applicable**

Interesting/Helpful Links

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