Wednesday, July 7, 2010

'I will not forget what they have done to me'

“I will not forget what they have done to me”


20 people arrested at the G20 tell of ˜inhumane™ treatment at the hands of police


June 28, 2010, Toronto Star


Lulu Maxwell, 17, Grade 12, Rosedale Heights


Maxwell and a friend were hanging around near Queen and

Dufferin Sts. at a convergence centre for protesters on

Sunday afternoon when police started making arrests. “My

friend was blowing bubbles and I was scribbling peace signs

on the sidewalk.”


Within minutes, her friend was grabbed and Lulu was put up

against a wall. Her backpack was searched and Lulu says an

officer said she could be charged with possession of

dangerous weapons “because I had eyewash solution in my backpack.”


She was taken to the detention centre and almost 12 hours

after her arrest was allowed to call her parents. She was

released, without charges being laid, at 5 a. m.


Natalie Logan, 21, U of T student


Logan was taking photos at The Esplanade on Saturday evening

when she was arrested.


“I was documenting the protest when the police started

encircling everyone,” she said. She was taken to the

detention centre at 3:30 a.m. “Before they handcuffed me, I

peed in a bottle because I knew I wouldn't be able to otherwise.”


She wasn't charged and suddenly released at 3:30 p.m., more

than 14 hours after her arrest. “I am embarrassed for my

city, embarrassed for Toronto Police and embarrassed that

this could happen.”


Selwyn Firth, 59, Toronto mayoral candidate


Wanting a better view of a protest outside Queen's Park on

Saturday, Firth walked to an elevated U of T building. When

police told him to leave, he identified himself as a mayoral

candidate. He refused and was forced to the ground, his cheek

lacerated. He was arrested for obstruction.


“I wasn't obstructing anyone, I was asking questions,” said

Firth, who was taken to the Eastern Ave. detention centre

where he needed insulin for his Type 1 diabetes. Sunday

morning he was taken to the Finch Ave., courthouse and again

needed insulin, so was sent to hospital. He later returned to

court and was released on $1,000 bail. He is considering

suing the city and police.


Erin Boynton, 24, London, Ont.


She was arrested at The Esplanade early Sunday morning after

police boxed dozens of protesters in.


“I was with a protest marching peacefully down Yonge from

Dundas Square,” she said. “When the cops came at us, many

people scattered and those who were left in front of the

(Novotel) got arrested.” She said police came from all sides

and “squished us in. They didn't give us a warning to leave -.

just announced that we are arresting all of you.”


She said a lot of people at the detention centre were

innocent bystanders. “The police violated all our rights . .

. there was police brutality. Quite frankly, it was quite

disgusting.” Boynton wasn't charged.


Cameron Fenton, 24, journalist with Dominion in Montreal


“A bunch of us were peacefully protesting (near the Eastern

Ave. detention centre) at about 2:30 a.m. when police told us

that it was an unlawful assembly and we had to leave,” said

Fenton. But they were boxed in and couldn't leave. Some time

later, about 30 of them were walking about two blocks away

when they were boxed in again by police.


Everyone was arrested. Fenton said he was never read his

legal rights or allowed to make a phone call. “It was cold,

there was barely any food or water - there was no place in the

cages to even sit,” he said Monday. “That detention centre

was tantamount to torture.” He was released on Sunday

afternoon, after more than 17 hours in detention.


Emily Berrigan, 23, project manager for a local non-

government agency


Berrigan spent her 23rd birthday Saturday night in a

detention centre on charges of obstruction and unlawful



She was with Oxfam Canada for the labour march in the

morning, protesting peacefully. She went to Queen's Park

around 8 p.m. for her bike and within 10 minutes was

arrested. She was taken to the detention centre at 9 p.m. and

got nothing to eat or drink until 5 a.m., when she was given

a sandwich and some water, she said. “The cage I was in had

been pepper-sprayed and it stung our eyes and skin,” she

said. At about 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, she was taken to the

courts at Finch Ave. and released by 7 p.m. “That's

inhumane,” she said.


Adam MacIsaac, P.E.I.


MacIsaac, an independent journalist in town for the G20, took

out his video camera to document police search methods and

says he was aggressively thrown to the ground. Police began

kicking him in the ribs and stunning him with a stun gun. “I

have a pacemaker!' he screamed repeatedly, but says they

didn't listen.


MacIsaac was eventually taken to St. Joseph's Hospital where

he was handcuffed to a hospital bed. He says officers

harassed him; one repeatedly asked if his pacemaker battery

was nuclear. He was later taken to the detention centre and

left alone in the back of police cruiser. When police let him

go seven hours later, they said they had no idea where his

$6000 worth of equipment went. They told him to file a



Amy Miller, Montreal


Miller, an independent journalist, was on her way to the jail

solidarity protest Sunday around noon with fellow journalist

Adam MacIsaac. She stopped at Bloor and St. Thomas Sts. where

she saw police officers searching a group of young people

carrying backpacks. She says police attacked her.


“I was throttled at the neck and held down. Next thing you

know I was being cuffed and put in one of the wagons.” She

says she was threatened and harassed by police at the Eastern

Ave. detention centre. “I was told I was going to be raped, I

was told I was going to be gangbanged, I was told that they

were going to make sure that I was never going to want to act

as a journalist again.”


She also says she spoke to numerous young women who were

strip-searched by male officers.


Steve Cruikshank, 28, Newmarket


Cruikshank was among those boxed in by police “without

Warning” at the Queen St. and Spadina Ave. intersection

Sunday evening. Officers kept yelling at people to “Move” but

there was nowhere to go. Cruikshank said he asked where they

should go and was hit in the face with a riot shield.


He was arrested for breaching the peace and, with 50 others,

taken to the Eastern Ave. detention centre.


“I asked for medical attention and they said ‘No', that I was

‘barely bleeding.' I asked for a lawyer and wasn't given

access. I asked to make a phone call and they laughed.” About

three hours later, he was released without charge.


Stefanie Roy, 21, Joliette, Que.


Roy said she was arrested early Sunday evening “for nothing.”


“We were sitting in front of a bank, talking and wanting to

go home, when two big cars came up and police came out of

them,” she said. They searched her car and found a hammer and

a hatchet that happened to be there from a long time ago, Roy

said. She was charged with possessing weapons. Police seized

her laptop, boots, and a key-chain photo of her son.


The charge was dropped on Monday, but she is still missing

her boots. “I'm not going back in there,” she said, standing

in her socks and staring at the detention centre.


Jean-Christophe Martel, 21, Granby, Que.


Martel was arrested on the subway at 11 a.m. Sunday after

police searched his bags and found something they considered

to be heroin in his emergency medical kit. Police charged him

with trafficking heroin.


Martel says he was not involved with the violence in any way.


After 24 hours, he was released from the detention centre

Monday afternoon and the charge against him was dropped.


“I'm going back to Quebec,” he said. “I'll never leave that

province again.”


Guillaume Lemarron, 24, Montreal


Lemarron came with friends to the protest, and acted as a

street medic on Saturday. They were arrested on Sunday while

heading to the Greyhound station to leave town. Lemarron said

the bandages and supplies he used in his work were

misconstrued as bandanas. He was charged with wearing a



During the arrest, his glasses were broken. Lemarron said he

was protesting for “a better world” and a new democracy.

“It's in the past,” he said of his detention. “But I will not

forget what they have done to me and others.”


Gabrielle Neveu, 21, Montreal


Neveu came to Toronto to raise awareness for better health

care in developing countries. Neveu had a bandana around her

neck. She agreed to let police search her bag but her

boyfriend didn't. The tension escalated. “I don't think I

would have got arrested if I was alone,” she said.


Police charged her with wearing a disguise. She was placed in

the back of a police van that soon filled with other people.

The van was taken to the detention centre where she stayed

until Monday afternoon. Some people were strip-searched.

“People were exhausted. No one had the energy to scream,” she

said. The charge was later dropped.


Sasha Morrison, 28, Toronto


On Sunday, Morrison was talking to a friend on Queen St. when

police searched her bag and discovered an air filter mask.

She was charged with wearing a mask with intent. “I'm wearing

a mask?” she said “It's a bogus charge.”


Morrison, a graffiti artist, sometimes works on projects with

police. As she stood talking to media, an officer came by and

said “Good to see you,” not realizing she had been arrested.

She was seething after a 19-hour detention. “I'm vegan. I

haven't had anything to eat until three hours ago.”


David Breed, 34, Toronto


On Sunday, Breed and his girlfriend had stopped to watch the

bike rally and were planning to get something to eat before

going home to change for his shift as a security guard. “I

was not involved in the protest,” he said. “I was standing on

the sidewalk.”


Breed was wearing black. Police searched him and found a

retractable screwdriver and a Swiss army knife. He was

arrested and charged with having concealed weapons. He'd had

the knife since he was 10. Breed's girlfriend, Jennifer

Booth, had a legal number scrawled on her arm, but said she

didn't intend to get in trouble. “I've been to a lot of these

things and he hasn't,” she said after his release Monday. The

charge against Breed has not been dropped.


Philip Dwek, 25, Toronto, medical student


On Sunday evening, Dwek was headed home after studying in a

coffee shop when he ran into a crowd at the corner of Queen

St. and Spadina Ave. He found himself surrounded by riot police.


“We were in the rain and it was freezing cold, I was trying

to hide my medical book, trying to cover it under my shirt,”

recalled Dwek, adding police eventually gave him a plastic

bag for his book. He was arrested for conspiracy to cause

mischief, put in a van and taken to 43 Division, then later

released. It cost $60 to get back by taxi.


Dwek understands police were trying to prevent a repeat of

the Saturday violence but wishes they were able to tell the

protestors and bystanders from the “rebels without a cause.”


Joshua Enns, studying to be math teacher at Conrad Grebel

University College in Waterloo


Enns was arrested during a prayer vigil on Sunday. Police

took him behind a bus and searched his bag. He forgot about

the “dollar store pocket knife” in his backpack he uses to

cut fruit. He was charged with carrying a concealed weapon.


“I don't endorse violence personally,” he said. “I didn't

come down for the show.” Enns was strip-searched at the

detention centre. He couldn't sleep with the fluorescent

lights. He still faces the weapons charge. “Hopefully this

will be cleared up so I'll be able to teach.”


Matthew Beatty, 32, Ajax high school teacher


A volunteer legal observer with Movement Defence Committee

(MDC) for the G20 weekend, Beatty was following a protest

march down The Esplanade on Saturday evening when he was

arrested. “I was on the sidewalks, never jeered or chanted

with the crowd,” he said.


He was handcuffed and put in a “cage” with 20 others at the

Eastern Ave. detention centre. “There were 40 people in one

cage - it was brutal, and it was cold.” People were asking

for toilet paper to wrap their arms and legs because of the

cold, he said. During 18 hours in custody, he was given three

cheese sandwiches, three cups of water and a cup of flavoured juice.


Tim V. Wight, 23


Wight says he was at Queen's Park participating in a peaceful

protest all day Saturday. 'I was there . . . to protest my

concerns about the stripping of human rights within the city

and the blatant waste of a billion dollars.'


When police entered the park , Wight began to ask questions

about why they were entering a peaceful protest zone. Police

told him to move and said they would hit him if he didn't

back up. He prepared to leave but then officers grabbed him,

knocked him down and kicked him twice in the face with heavy

boots. He was treated for a concussion and had to have his

forehead stitched.


Maryam Adrangi, 24


The spokeswoman for the Toronto Community Mobilization

Network was arrested Sunday outside activist 'convergence

space' at Queen and Noble on Sunday afternoon. She said she

was driven around the city in an unmarked police van for four

hours, taken to the detention centre for about 30 minutes and

released without charge.


Adrangi, who was born in Iran, said she endured racist and

sexist comments from police, who made fun of her name and the

photos they took of her. “I was really angry and frustrated

that the cops felt entitled to do that to people,' she said.


'One cop said to me, ˜If you were my daughter I would slap

you in the mouth.’”




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