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7.10.2010

thousands take to the streets demanding g20 public inquiry

Thousands of people marched in Toronto today, denouncing the shameful government and policing decisions that led to mass arrests and inhumane treatment of peaceful protesters, while allowing destruction to continue unchecked.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Amnesty International Canada, the Ontario Federation of Labour and CUPE Ontario were present and joined the call for a public inquiry.



There were also marches planned in Halifax, Montreal and Windsor, although I haven't seen reports from those yet.

This story in the Globe and Mail is surprisingly good, as most of their coverage has been.

For one-stop shopping for G20 video, photos and first-hand reports, go to Rabble's G8/G20 News.

Canadians Demanding a Public Inquiry into Toronto G20 on Facebook.

The Toronto Call, an ad hoc group that is circulating a petition calling for a public inquiry, recently sent this email (slightly edited). To sign on to The Toronto Call, email thetorontocall@gmail.com.

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Dear signatories,

The Toronto Call was written collectively by a few Toronto-based G20 protesters, most of us connected to campuses and all of us having substantial links across various social movements. As police state tactics were rolled out relentlessly around the summit in Toronto, we quickly pooled our resources to make an urgent response to the police brutality and state violence we witnessed and experienced.

The Call has clearly resonated. Over 1000 people signed on in the first two days. We are still compiling the remaining 400-ish signatures, but we felt it important to make an initial response. The list here includes roughly 1100 signatories (a notable symmetry with the 1090 officially detained over the G20 weekend). [Read it here.] We aim to post/send out the full list by next week.

For now, we think a few points are worth noting:

* Perhaps most importantly, the list has become an ad hoc public site for connecting with and documenting those who were detained, assaulted, arrested, beaten, jailed and forcibly restrained by the G20 police. In addition to almost 1100 detentions, many were also beaten and unofficially captured/stopped/held. As we write, at least 16 activists are in jail with exorbitant bail fees for unsubstantiated charges: link.

Others have been released, but with severe bail conditions and are fighting the unjust charges: link.

* Many journalists, particularly independent media reporters/publishers and members of collectives, have signed on. We are grateful for those who took great risks to document and advance a critical public discussion despite the brutal police treatment received in the process. Similarly, the list has attracted medical and legal support workers who carried out vital services during the G20, often at great risk. See Alan Sears’ G20 Protests: Fighting Back Against the Police State.

* A wide range of sectors are reflected in these signatures including labour/trade unionists; anti-poverty activists; cultural workers (artists, musicians, playwrights, poets, filmmakers, authors); health care workers and physicians; legal workers and lawyers; educators/teachers/faculty; students at all levels, particularly those targeted as young activists; social movement organizations and community activists; concerned residents, outraged citizens and more. We want to acknowledge the importance of solidarity rallies as well from Vancouver to Winnipeg to Montreal to Fredericton to Peterborough (and undoubtedly more).

The Call includes signatures from several cities, towns, rural areas, First Nations and unceded indigenous territory, and a wide range of communities across the country. We want to acknowledge, in particular, the strong response from Vancouver and from Montreal/Quebec where activists were targeted particularly harshly by police.

We also thank supporters and friends around the world including: several U.S. cities, India, Istanbul, Mexico, several cities in England, Japan, Chile, Scotland and Ireland, Italy, Johannesburg, several EU countries, Greece, Bangladesh, the Czech Republic and Columbia.

Finally, we want to draw your attention to some important actions and statements that emerged alongside The Toronto Call and which many may wish to sign onto, support or read:

Donate: Call for donations to support G20 legal defense.

Attend rallies:

Two National Days of Action: July 10 and July 17.

Sign Petitions:

Canadian Educators Condemn the G20 Attack on Civic Education

Amnesty International call for an Independent Review of G20 Security Measures

Read and share:

Vancouver Statement of Support for Toronto G8/G20 Arrestees

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