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Debriefing Released Policial Prisoners

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

Note: the spelling and editing of this blog post is totally not up to my usual standards. I wrote it in a huge hurry before the jail solidarity rally on Monday, fully expected to be arrested and thrown in the detention centre i describe here. Please forgive me...

After leading some chants at jail solidarity yesterday and escaping down a back alley, i was feeling very conspicious walking down the street, as police were stopping people for no reason and sometimes arresting them. I ended up going to a friends house near the temporary facility at Eastern and Pape. My friend had been having a barbeque from "Fightback" ("the marxist voice of labour and youth"), but not many members had shown up (please note: I am not a member of fightback).  It turned out that large numbers of them, including my roomate, had been arrested the night before at the Novotel, when peacefull protesters were penned in with nowhere to go and arrested en mass. Most of the crew from Fightback were from the local Esplenade area. The only way we knew our roomate had been arrested was because he stopped answering his cell phone.

The party quickly turned into a debrief centre for the political prisoners as they began to be released one by one.  The first one released, Allan, was released into the pouring rain without his shoes. People doing solidarity outside started canting "Where's his shoes! Where's his shoes!". Many of the released were incredibly disoriented, without money, some of thier belongings stolen, having no idea where they were. People who weren't part of an organized group, like the comrades I was with, were in serious trouble as there was no support whatsoever, and the volunteers outside who were helping people were periodically attaced by riot police.

The second person released, my roomate, was soaking wet and had been in the freezing detention centre with only a light cotton t-shirt. They had been given nothing to eat except a few cheese sandwhices that were consited of a hamburger bun with one slice of proccessed cheese.  They had not been able to phone a lawyer, and had had their own cell phones confiscated.

One member of Fightback, who had a car, picked up the disoriented and soaked detainees from the release point at the gate of the Eastern ave. facility as night began to fall.  As more people started coming in, we put them in showers and started cooking food and hot tea for them. They started talking to each other about conditions inside.

The detention centre was freezing and makeshit. People were held packed in cells that did not allow everyone to sit down at the same time.  Prisoners were not provided with water until they protested extensivly.  In some cells, the floor was jagged with nails sticking up out of it, and there was garbage from the facilitie's past life as a film studio. Even some lower level police told them that conditions were "fucked up. But don't say that I said that".

People were held in cells without bathrooms and had to beg the police to take them to the bathroom occasionally. When there were bathrooms, there was no toliet paper. Some where handcuffed in their cells for over 17 hours, and were bruised, one person rubbed his wrists the next morning saying "I can still feel the handcuffs on my wrists".

Some of the people in the cells with them had been arrested for nothing. For wearing a black t-shirt. Some club girls were arrested because they were wearing black, or for riding a bike. A TTC worker was arrested on his way to another shift for leaving at queens park station and held for over 20 hours.  14 year olds were held in adult cells without contact with their parents. And people were denied medical treatment.

This is all blog-y, I'm sorry I didn't do a formal interviews, everything was so crazy. I'm off to the rally against police brutality and arbitary detention, where hopefully i will not be beaten or arbitraily detained.

Solidarity,

 

Megan

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Megan Kinch (Megan Kinch)
Toronto Ontario
Member since December 2009

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is a writer and editor with the Toronto Media Co-op.

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