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Street Medics call for independent investigation into injuries caused by police

Toronto - June 28, 2010 - For Immediate Release

by Toronto Street Medics


Street Medics call for independent investigation into injuries caused by police

Toronto - June 28, 2010 - For Immediate Release

Volunteers who provided first aid at the G20 protests this weekend are calling for an independent investigation into injuries caused by police. “There has been a lot of focus on violence against property, but we are calling attention to violence against people,” said Sarah Reaburn, a nurse.

Toronto Street Medics is an independent organization of volunteers with various levels of health training. They provided preventative health services and emergency first aid to protestors and bystanders.

“During the week, we gave out water and sunscreen, but also dealt with severe injuries. All of the serious injuries were inflicted by the police. From Saturday’s reports alone, we assisted multiple people who had been hit over the head with police batons, trampled by horses and many who were pepper sprayed,” stated Reaburn. The Medics escorted several victims to nearby hospitals who were later diagnosed with concussions and broken bones. Many injuries were captured on camera and have begun to circulate over the Internet(1). Aside from Toronto Street Medics, others were providing first aid, hence these initial reports are an underestimate.

“We saw people seriously injured behind police lines who we could not reach on Saturday and Sunday. We are concerned for these individuals. They require immediate, independent assessment at a hospital,” stated Abeer Majeed, a family physician. “In addition to Amnesty International’s call(2), we demand an investigation into violent police action at these protests. This must be conducted by an independent body without ties to the police and the Integrated Security Unit.” Dr. Majeed went on to assert, “People were beaten simply for exercising their right to demonstrate”.

Street Medics faced barriers in many instances. Several medics were detained by police and intimidated, despite identifying themselves. Medical equipment, such as gauze, bandaids and gloves, was confiscated. In some instances, medics were barred from entering areas where people were injured.

###

Media contacts: Sarah Reaburn or Abeer Majeed
Email: torontomedics[at]gmail.com
Phone: 647-892-4357

Notes:
1.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaYbq484abs. Accessed: June 27, 2010.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVDY8pE_twY&NR=1. Accessed: June 27, 2010.
http://www.thestar.com/videozone/829371--police-fire-muzzle-blast-at-protestors . Accessed: June 28, 2010.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7OA920pbv8. Accessed: June 27, 2010.
2. Amnesty International. “Peaceful protest suffers amidst heavy security measures and acts of vandalism”. June 27, 2010.
http://www.amnesty.ca/resource_centre/news/view.php?load=arcview&article=5453&c=Resource+Centre+News. Accessed: June 27, 2010.

***ATTENTION***
Toronto Street Medics to speak today!
“Jail Solidarity Rally: Toronto Condemns Police Violence”
Monday June 28, 2010, 5:30pm.
Police Headquarters, 40 College Street
Speakers: Dr. Majeed, Ben Powless, Naomi Klein, David McNally and testimonies
from the injured

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