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U of T Unions Condemn Police Violence

Students’ unions and campus organizations condemn police violence and raids, demand that all arrested activists be released

fluxphoto - Murray Bush
fluxphoto - Murray Bush

Early Sunday morning, police raided the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) building at the University of Toronto and arrested approximately 70 billeting activists. Students’ unions, campus groups and labor organizations at U of T condemn the G20 Integrated Security Unit (ISU) for this and other raids, and demand that all detained activists and community members be released immediately.

Signatory organizations announced on June 22 that our offices would remain open during the G20 summit despite the University administration’s decision to close the campus. The administration did not consult students, faculty or staff in making this decision. As independent organizations, we remained open to defend freedom of speech and academic freedom, and to oppose the fear mongering and intimidation that pervaded media and workplaces in the weeks preceding the summit; ISU officers visited some of our offices and events to intimidate students and staff on multiple occasions. 

As we noted in our initial public statement, we were concerned that protesters would be targeted with police violence and violation of civil liberties. What the world saw during the summit was worse than anticipated: with more than 800 people detained, we are witnessing the largest mass arrest in Canada since the War Measures Act of 1970, when 465 people were arrested and held without charge.

We call on the University of Toronto to promote civil liberties, follow due process, and join us in condemning the Integrated Security Unit’s senseless acts of aggression. We defend the right of all campus organizations to associate with individuals and groups that are not affiliated with the University of Toronto. We publicly call for the release of all political detainees of the G20 summit protests.

University of Toronto Students’ Union

Graduate Students’ Union

Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students

CUPE 3902

Ontario Public Interest Research Group – Toronto

CUPE 1281

For more information, please contact:

Adam Awad, UTSU, 416-823-2672

Patrick Vitale, CUPE 3902, 647-222-3902

Clare O’Connor, OPIRG-Toronto, 416-926-8083

Faraz Shahidi, OPIRG, 905 484 0570

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Moira Peters ()
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Member since March 2008


I am very, very, extremely cool.

315 words


Correct me if I am wrong but

Correct me if I am wrong but weren't those "activists" harbouring weapons (aka bricks, sharpened stakes, and so forth)??? Weren't they also carrying black clothing, speaking french....AKA the Black Bloc.

Please, please, PLEASE tell me why my union is protecting RIOTERS who have no interest in peaceful protesting, nor any interest in things related to the T20 aside from breaking down store windows??????

You're wrong

Hard to believe anyone, including yourself, would take your comments seriously but just in case here goes:

I can carry or "harbour" any number of items (baseball bat, chainsaw etc.) that I would normally use for what you would call peaceful purposes but they are only weapons if I use them as such. So let's be clear on the first correction, they were found to have items that "could" have been used as weapons. Whether they were used as weapons and by whom if anyone, is for the courts to decide, assuming it gets that far.

Although you should ask your union for an explanation of their actions, I can suggest this possibility. Some of those in question may have been arrested unjustly after civil rights violations. I don't have details to be sure but the police seemed to be doing that kind of thing with everyone else in Toronto that day so why not those staying at U of T? Let me put it this way - Why are you protecting GOONS who have no interest in peaceful policing, nor any interest in things related to justice aside from violating personal freedom?????

Oh, and correction number three, these "rioters" would not be acting so courageously if they were not aware of the implications of the criminal activity of the G20, the leaders and those complicit in the implementation of their decisions such as police and media propagandists. The entire world is related to the G20 and the protesters are attempting to protect it.

I had to save the best for last. Were you implying that black clothing and speaking french should be criminalized? If so you may be just what the police force of the future is looking for. Correction number two, french speaking people carrying black clothing are not Black Bloc. In fact, nobody is Black Bloc, it is a necessary tactic when the abusive power in charge will not engage in genuine dialogue to address systemic problems of matters under their authority. However those who employ Black Bloc tactics are speaking french, well some anyways but not all and uh not all french speakers are . . . forget that, about the other leap in logic, black clothing is worn by a group of people so black clothing is not worn by any other group except of course it is so I guess you advise that all black clothing should come with a warning label indicating the purchaser may be arrested upon carrying the item out of the store in the interest of world peace. Is that an accurate analysis of your thoughts? Like I said their may be a police career in the works for you.

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