Around 900 arrests took place at the G20 summit in Toronto as police used considerable force to break up protests. Media reports & video (below) indicate that many of the beaten were journalists covering the protest. The G20 was meeting to co-ordinate further attacks on the global working class. This is what the coded statements from the G20 about 'austerity budgets' and 'cutting deficits' will mean in practice. This despite the "risk that synchronised fiscal adjustment across several major economies could adversely impact the recovery" acknowledged in the final G20 communique.
In a statement headed 'This is what a police state looks like!' issued on Sunday the WSM's sister Anarkismo group in Ontario, Common Cause reported that on Sunday morning "protesters sitting in the streets this morning at a jail solidarity rally were subjected to violent baton attacks, snatch squads and rubber bullets by the Police." (full text at end) In response to the planned attacks on workers Common Cause wrote in advance of the summit that "Such a widespread attack on the entire working class can only be successfully responded to by all working class people standing together and using our collective power as workers to withdraw our labour in a general strike."
Downtown Toronto had been turned into a fortress with the world leaders behind big steel and concrete walls with military helicopters flying them into the sealed off zone. Police had been given special powers to stop and search anyone coming within 5m of the zone. Police blocked a demonstrations Saturday afternoon from coming within a few blocs of this exclusion zone, it appears that it was at this point that a number of demonstrators using Black Bloc tactics broke away to target a number of multinational chain stores including according to the Guardian "'Urban Outfitters, a branch of Scotia Bank and an Adidas store." Police attacked with batons, tear gas, pepper spray and plastic bullets, some of the tear gas was fired as 'muzzle blasts.'
A number of video's have been posted to youtube showing police violence during the summer protests, including charging a crowd of protesters who were singing the Canadian national anthem and targeting people who were journalists, snatching cameras and microphones.
It has become clear as people have been released that conditions in the detention center were delibretly degrading and that many of the detained were mistreated in a wide variety of ways. Most shockingly of detainees have revealed that openly queer detainees were segregated off from the rest.
WORDS: Andrew Flood IMAGE: Based on photo by nouspique
This is what a police state looks like!
Common Cause Editorial - June 27, 2010
We live in a political and economic system based on constant violence; exploitation of workers, destruction of the environment, war, racist police killings, hunger and homelessness in an environment of plenty, denial of land and self-government to indigenous peoples, plundering of the resources of the Third World and the arming of repressive regimes. This weekend, this quiet violence continued within the G8 and G20 summits. G20 leaders agreed to halve national deficits by 2013; The expected cuts to educational, social services and healthcare programmes will no doubt continue to be carried out on the backs of workers and poor people.
On the streets of Toronto, the police reminded us of the state's willingness to use blatant violence. Protesters sitting in the streets this morning at a jail solidarity rally were subjected to violent baton attacks, snatch squads and rubber bullets by the Police. Others were boxed in by riot cops and arrested, while being told they had to leave. Sleeping people have been pulled from their homes at gunpoint in the middle of the night.
As of today, well over 600 people have been arrested. Many have been beaten. People who have been arrested have been strip-searched and held in cages, facing long delays in obtaining legal support, including one deaf man who was denied an ASL interpreter. People arrested have included both corporate and independent journalists as well as approximately 200 people, many local residents, who were surrounded by police and held in the pouring rain over four hours. This is how the state responds to anyone who shows dissent.
Common Cause stands in solidarity with everyone who was arrested or assaulted by the police. As anarchist communists, we oppose all state violence. While the violence on the street may dissipate after this weekend, the police will not be going away; they will be remaining in Toronto, or returning to Hamilton, Montreal, Vancouver, or Calgary.
We will continue to resist austerity measures and other policies that exploit and oppress us in our daily lives. Although the street violence today was directed at us in Toronto, the violence of the state continues around the world. The violence of the capitalist state will not stop with the end of the G20 summit; neither will our resistance. We are with those arrested in Toronto, with those who protested, and with those around the world who will continue to fight for our collective liberation.
Free the Toronto 600! Build the General Strike!
ReelNews report on black bloc and police violence
Police attack crowd singing the Canadian national anthem
Police snatch squads being used against G20 protesters and journalists
More snatch squads in action this time with lots of secret police including one disguised as a black blocer
Female protester talks about disgraceful conditions in detention center - she was never charged and told 'don't protest anymore' as she was released.
18 year old bystander describes how he was arrested and the disgusting conditions in the detention center for 26 hours, and how queer detainees were segregated
Video shot by resident who lives opposite the detention center of the police attack on protesters outside
Alternative media journalist Amy Miller describes how in the detention center "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 by making sure that I would be repeatedly raped while I was in jail."