By Rady Ananda
The Law Union of Ontario Movement Defence Committee [MDC] has issued an Appeal for broad political support for the G20 arrestees, estimated at nearly 500. Not arrested were members of the supposed anarchist group, Black Bloc, which is suspected of being a police psyops group ordered to start the G20 riot yesterday. Among the protestors, two professional journalists were also reportedly beaten and one arrested.
“The Toronto Police and the ISU appear to have lost control of their ‘prisoner processing center’, denying arrestees meaningful and timely access to counsel while beating and arresting those peacefully protesting their detention outside,” the MDC said in its press release today.
As of 9 am Sunday, the Integrated Security Unit reports that at least 480 people have been arrested on charges including “breach of peace, obstruct police, assault, assault peace officer, cause disturbance, incite riot, mischief, and participate in an unlawful assembly.”
Police attacked at least two professional news journalists during yesterday’s melee. Jesse Rosenfeld of The Guardian was reportedly arrested and beaten late Saturday night. In his last report filed with British news outfit, Rosenfeld wrote:
“[A]cross the country indigenous communities continue to resist government expropriation and environmental destruction of their land for mineral and resource extraction.
“Meanwhile Canada intends to use the G20 to expand the free trade of these mineral and resource commodities….
“[W]hile the Canadian state is using draconian colonial tools to present a veneer of representative legitimacy on the international stage, the streets of Toronto on Thursday asserted an alternative to the top-down style of forcing international consensus.”
Canadian police also beat Jesse Freeston of The Real News Network. Anchor Paul Jay questioned authorities about the incident:
While security for the event cost in the range of $1 billion, police were nowhere to be found when the Black Bloc began smashing windows and burning police cars, according to several on scene reports.
One blogger noted that “the police car may have been abandoned there by the Toronto Police as a distraction (or as an excuse for agent provacateurs to act violently).”
Terry Burrows of Global Research asserts, “As events unfold, it is becoming increasingly clear that the ‘Black Bloc’ are undercover police operatives engaged in purposeful provocations to eclipse and invalidate legitimate G20 citizen protest by starting a riot.”
One camera caught a Black Bloc member changing his clothes after the riot, revealing a clean-cut man with a military style haircut:
Close up of boot, which Burrows notes is new and military grade:
Whether or not Black Bloc is a group of paid police provocateurs, at least one corporate media station in Canada, CTV News, assured its audience that the bulk of protestors behaved peacefully, calling it a party atmosphere. In response to police brutality, protesters sang O Canada, hoping to shame police into good behavior.
Regardless of the violence, the message of resistance against G20’s predatory capitalism which is destroying the biosphere along with indigenous cultures penetrated the media, as this report notes:
“Activists and community organizers represented rank-and-file labour, migrant justice, indigenous solidarity, anti-police brutality, ecological justice, anti-war, anti-occupation, queer and trans justice, anti-poverty, anti-capitalist, feminist, anarchist, and many more struggles and campaigns. We are united together, learning from each other and inspired by each other. We are rooted in our communities.”
COTO Report has collected several alternative media reports on this weekend’s events:
Arrests, tear gas, beatings of peaceful demonstrators at detention centre
Three brief reports from Toronto Media Co-op:
* Firsthand report of arrests, tear gas, beatings of peaceful demonstrators at detention centre
* Guardian journalist assaulted, arrested
* Toronto Police at Door of the Alternative Media Centre
G20 capitalism is attacked in the streets of Toronto
By Robyn Maynard & Jaggi Singh
No One Is Illegal-Montreal
While the G20 leaders planned to meet behind a steel cage and an unprecedented 1-billion dollar security operation, a contingent of thousands-strong protesters gathered to defy Stephen Harper’s Fortress Toronto.
‘I can’t even describe it in words’: Toronto G20 Protests by the Minute
By Gwalgen Geordie Dent
Toronto Media Co-op
June 26-27 blogging updates.
There are hundreds of groups here including many of the big names: Canadian Labour Congress, Amnesty, a couple COmmunist Parties, the UFCW, Greenpeace, CUPE and a host of other smaller groups. It’s amazing, there’s well above 10,000 people here. The largest previous G8 protest in North America was 3,000 people.
Toronto was sacked
Justin and Lex @ G20
For three hours on June 26 the heart of Toronto’s financial district was in the hands of 2,000 protesters. Store fronts and police cars were destroyed as crowds of activists laid waste to Bay Street and Yonge Street. The police response was poorly organized and did little to protect property or unsuspecting civilians (not to mention the activists themselves).
Riot police turn back largest G20 protest yet
By CTV Toronto
(Positive video coverage) Police temporarily shut the gates to the G20 security perimeter early Friday evening, as they attempted to head off the largest in a string of demonstrations to protest the international meeting.
Police arrest over 100 peaceful protesters
By Dru Oja Jay
Toronto Media Co-Op
Mohawk activist Ben Powless describes the scene at the Novatel Hotel at 1 am on Saturday night (online interview with Ben Powless). An estimated 150 peaceful protesters have been arrested; they were given no option to leave.
Toronto Police Attack Peaceful Protesters and Journalists at G20 Protests
By Brandon Jourdan
Toronto Media Co-op
June 26, 2010, Toronto, Ontario– After a large march and rally against the meeting of the G20, police attacked a crowd of peaceful protesters in Queens Park. The following clip shows police attacking and arresting protesters.