by Direct Support Committees of G20 detainees
While G20 leaders met behind a steel cage and a 1-billion dollar Fortress Toronto operation, we witnessed an unprecedented coordinated police operation in the city of Toronto. Police brutality against protest participants, journalists, legal observers, medics, and random passersby came in the form of indiscriminate arrests, beatings, pepper spray, rubber bullets, police horse charges, illegal searches and seizures, and extended arbitrary detentions. While in custody, people were forced into steel cage cells with up to 40 people per cell; made to sleep on concrete floors with open bathrooms; denied food, water, toilet paper, and sanitary products; subjected to sexual harassment, threats, humiliation, and intimidation; and refused access to medical attention, phone calls, and legal counsel.
Many were beaten and brutalized, leading to serious injuries and hospitalization. According to an article authored by resident physicians of the Toronto Street Medics, “All of the serious injuries we treated were inflicted by the police. While violence against property received a great deal of coverage, violence against people -- broken bones, cracked heads and eyes filled with pepper spray - has yet to feature prominently in any mainstream media. Our teams of medics witnessed and treated people who had been struck in the head by police batons, had lacerations from police shields and had been trampled by police horses.”
Over the weekend, there were 1090 arrests, of whom 113 were released without charges on the street, 714 were held for breach of the peace and released within 72 hours, and 263 released with pending charges.
Around 20 people still remain in custody. While the exact numbers and charges of some of those still being held in detention are unclear at this time, we know that 17 people are facing a variety of trumped up and politically-motivated allegations including conspiracy.