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Climate summit delegates watch the arrests on TV

As morning arrives here and more information becomes available, we see that the Associated Press reports that, “Police said they rounded up between 600 and 700 people in a preventive action against a group of youth activists at the tail end of the demonstration.”

The report adds that, “Riot police tied them up with plastic cuffs and made them sit down on a closed-off street before busing them to a detention center set up for the climate conference.”

Various people we talked to on the street described this ‘detention center’ as a ‘Guantanamo-style’ facility.

What was the slender justification given for the ‘preventive’ arrest of 700 people? The report says, “Officers in riot gear moved in when some of the activists, masking their faces, threw cobblestones through the windows of the former stock exchange and Foreign Ministry buildings.”

Strikingly the report also notes, “Inside the Bella Center, delegates gathered around flat-screen TVs showing both the larger peaceful rally and the police crackdown on the young activists.”

As highlighted in our blog yesterday, Maude Barlow commented, “I was in the march that had more 100,000 people demanding climate justice and action. Suddenly, an unprovoked and very military-style police action took place. Hundreds of young people were surrounded by police in riot gear with dogs. They were forced to sit for hours on the cold ground with their hands tied behind their backs. There was no provocation for these arrests. I’m outraged at this treatment of legitimate protesters and the media’s distorted reporting of it. If anything, we should be thanking these young people for having the courage to stand up for the kind of world that will help our planet and species survive. It’s their future that is in jeopardy and they have more of a right than anyone to be heard.”

The Associated Press report appeared in the Toronto Star at http://www.thestar.com/mobile/NEWS/article/738077.