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Pressure Mounts for Release of All G20 Arrestees

Hundreds condemn the deliberate targeting of organizers for serious charges

by Dan Kellar

Pressure Mounts for Release of All G20 Arrestees
Hundreds condemn the deliberate targeting of organizers for serious charges
What: Press conference with Council of Canadians, Lee Maracle, Asian Canadian Labour
Alliance, Jane and Finch Action Against Poverty, Sarah Reaburn of the Toronto Street Medics,
Movement Defence Committee, and Professor David McNally.
When: 11 a.m. Monday July 5th.
Where: 358 Dufferin St, Suite 109 (near Queen and Dufferin) at the Grassroots Youth
Toronto – Outrage over systemic abuses of police powers during the G20 summit is giving rise
to a growing chorus of prominent voices calling for the immediate release of all those still being
held for G20-related offences. Hundreds of noted authors, academics, professionals, and
community organizations are calling for all charges to be dropped, including the many serious,
politically motivated allegations against respected activists and community organizers.
“We demand the immediate release of all political prisoners, said Chris Ramsaroop of the Asian
Canadian Labour Alliance. “We say no to the neo-liberal agenda of austerity by the G8 and we
call on all progressive labour unions, community groups and activists to demand justice and
dignity for those detained and arrested, as well as an end to civil rights violations.“
Respected activists and organizers for causes such as immigration, environmental justice, antiwar,
and Indigenous land rights were targeted and arrested, many at gunpoint in pre-emptive
nighttime raids before the protests even began. Those being held on serious charges are well
known in their communities as neighbours, legal workers, students, childcare providers, and
academic researchers. Most are still being held even though they pose no threat to the safety
of the public. They face potential jail time for bogus charges including possessing burglary tools
(office keys), incendiary devices (eye wash bottles), and a range of conspiracy offenses.
Hundreds of authors, professors, trade unionists, and community organizers from across the
country are urgently calling for their release.
The 1090 G20-related arrests constitute the largest mass arrest in Canadian protest history.
Most recently, a group of over 100 professors at York University wrote an open letter
expressing their deep concern about the indiscriminate use of aggression by the G20 security
police forces, and called for the release of all those unjustly arrested.
According to news reports, video, and firsthand accounts, protest participants, journalists, and
random passersby experienced indiscriminate arrests, police beatings (sometimes while
handcuffed) that led to broken bones and hospitalizations, charges by riot horses, illegal
searches and seizures, threats of gang rape, physically invasive body cavity “searches”
conducted on young women by male officers, lack of food, water, adequate heating or medical
care for serious injuries, denial of access to legal counsel, and extended random detentions.
“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 sprayed at unnecessarily close range
with pepper spray," said Sarah Reaburn of The Toronto Street Medics. "We have also seen the
complete mismanagement of prisoner-processing by the police with detainees being released
without insulin, thyroid and anti-psychotic medications back into the community with no
identification, no money or health cards. We just cannot believe the incompetence of this
system - one that was constructed with so much notice."
During the G20, mainstream Canada got a taste of what marginalized youth face every day on
the streets of this city,” said Leticia Boahen of Jane and Finch Action Against Poverty. “We must
recognize that arbitrary arrest, detention and police violence are everyday occurrences for
some, including Indigenous communities, people of colour, sex workers, the homeless and our
community members with precarious status.”

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Dan Kellar (Dan Kellar)
Member since July 2009


friendly neighbourhood anarchist, rad dad, land defence enthusiast, decolonial digger, radio pirate, indy journalist, systems geographer.

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