From June 21-28, anyone who goes within five meters of the G20 fence in downtown Toronto can be arrested if they refuse to produce identification. Click here for more details on the Public Works Act. Jail solidarity starts tonight at 8:30pm at 629 Eastern (UPDATE, he was released.)
The Vancouver Media Co-op caught up with Cam Fenton, an eyewitness to the first known arrest under this act as it applies to the G20 fence. The arrest took place this afternoon. Here's his description of the events that led to the arrest of his friend:
We went down to go check out the security zone, just in the last day before it all gets shot down just to sorta get a feel of what's going on down there. We were walking a path that I've walked before, earlier this week, without any trouble.
One female officer noticed my water bottle and stopped us to ensure that it was in fact a water bottle, and in doing so other cops who were along the streets surrounded us. After that they decided they needed to search us, know our names, and write up reports on both of us.
We both refused to give our names, we said we do not consent to a search. They said that under the Public Works Act they had the right to arrest us, search us and learn our names even without due cause, without charges.
In my mind I just considered it complete bullshit and acted accordingly. The person who was arrested was put in handcuffs almost immediately. That whole process took about 10 minutes from the point we were first talked to.
After that the four officers surrounded me and demanded that I also give them my identification and I asked them before doing so if I could phone a lawyer to clarify if this public works actually existed or if it had been passed because to my knowledge, it didn't exist and it was an infringement on my rights.
They said no, so I handed over my ID and they promptly wrote down all my information and a detailed profile of all my visible tattoos...
Then, I was taken, I first stood at the end of the street and they repeatedly positioned themselves in vehicles to try and block my view of the arrest, eventually moving me to the other side of the street, where he was held probably for another 20 minutes from this point and time, there were various searches, they ran both of our names.
He was then taken in a Barrie police paddywagon to the prisoner processing center, the jail at the film studios.
Curious as to why tens of thousands are protesting the G8/G20 summits? Go to 2010.mediacoop.ca for up to the minute G20 and G8 Summit Protest Reporting, straight 'outta Toronto's Alternative Media Centre!