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Toronto

Peaceful G20 protest at Queen & Spadina from Meghann Millard on Vimeo.

I’ve spent all weekend watching things like this.

I’ve spent all weekend following my twitter feeds, reading current news and personal accounts of what has been happening in Toronto this weekend, tales of people being cleared out of ‘free speech’ zones, boxed in and held in the rain at Queen and Spadina, or chased from location to location, hemmed in and shot with rubber bullets.

Right now I’m still reading tweets from people being released from or still stuck in the detention centres, which by most accounts seem to be poorly equipped and inadequate for the number of people arrested and the amount of time they’ve spent there.

I think that this article in the New York Times comes very close to describing what I saw. The police let the violent protest go unchecked as they instead cracked down on peaceful protesters, journalists, legal observers and bystanders.

This article in the Georgia Straight comes part way to summarizing my thoughts. I support the use of police force against violent protest, but nothing that I can find indicates that this happened. At best, the conduct of the police indicates that the management was incompetent and incapable of handling the situation in a rational manner. At worst it’s intimidation and the brutal suppression of free speech. I hope it was the former.

I am disturbed by the suspension of peoples’ Charter rights and by the Toronto Police’s tactics and unnecessary arrests. It’s hard to watch and not to be angry about it.

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