People across Canada are organizing rallies to demand an independent public inquiry to police actions during the G20 in Toronto.
On June 29, the Council of Canadians commented on the police response to the activities in Toronto on the June 26-27 weekend during the G20 summit and noted the increasing pressure for a public inquiry into police actions. On July 5, the Council of Canadians joined the national call for a Day of Action for Civil Liberties on July 10. National and Provincial unions, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and others (see below) have all called for communities to take action “to voice opposition to the excessive use of police force and an unprecedented curtailment of civil liberties during the G20 summit in Toronto.”
Actions have already been taking place across the country. In Montreal, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver marches and rallies have featured speakers who experience the police force first hand on the streets of Toronto June 26-28. On July 5 in Toronto, the Canadian Federation of Students also presented a letter calling on Premier McGuinty to call for an independent public inquiry of the police actions. The letter states:
“It is essential for Canada to learn from what took place during the G20 weekend. The only way for Canadians to understand exactly what transpired during this Summit is through an independent public inquiry into security during the 2010 Canadian G8 and G20 Summits, held jointly by the Ontario and Federal governments. Such an inquiry must include opportunities for public input and participation, and produce findings that are released to the public. The inquiry should consider the impact of security measures on the Charter rights of citizens to freedom of assembly, association, expression, and due process. Among other matters, the inquiry should review:
•All raids and mass arrests conducted by police and security forces in connection to the 2010 Summits and, in particular, use of preventative detention and arbitrary arrest;
•The arrest and detention of journalists and members of the media;
•The excessive use of force against protesters by police and security during the 2010 Summits
•The conditions in which those detained were held and legally processed;
•The circumstances around the implementation and execution of the Public Works Protection Act.
Twenty organizations, including the Council of Canadians, signed this letter.
ON Saturday July 3 Wolfville, NS, chapter activists from Annapolis Valley and Acadia campus organized a street theatre in response to the police actions.
Council of Canadians chapter members in Wolfville (Annapolis Valley and Acadia campus) organized a spoof representation of the policing in Toronto to raise local awareness.
This Monday July 5, regional organizer for Quebec and Ontario Mark Calzavara was quoted saying, “”When the police are the ones that are breaking the law, that’s when all of society has to really start to pay attention. That is a far greater crime.”
Take action by signing the Facebook page calling for an inquiry, fining out about an event happening in your community this July 10, or organizing one yourself.
July 10 Day of Action for Civil Liberties
A broad cross-section of civil society organizations has called a Pan-Canadian Day of Action for Civil Liberties for July 10 to voice opposition to the excessive use of police force and an unprecedented curtailment of civil liberties during the G20 summit in Toronto.
Nearly $2 billion was spent on security that was used to limit the freedoms of people to protest peacefully and speak out for social justice during the Summit.
More than 1,000 people were detained based on dubious legislation that purportedly granted sweeping new powers to the police.
Over 25,000 people marched on Saturday, June 26 to raise legitimate criticisms about the G20 and its agenda. The police use of force was disproportionate, arbitrary and excessive, and included mass arrests and pre-emptive detentions. It served to stifle dissent and distract the public?s attention from bigger questions,
including: the economy, jobs, climate change, public services, Indigenous rights, migrant and undocumented workers, women?s rights and human rights.
On July 10, a Day of Action for Civil Liberties will take place in towns and cities across Canada and Québec to demand an independent public inquiry into the excessive use of police force, the deployment of tens of thousands of security agents and the denial of basic rights such as the freedoms of assembly and expression.
Community members and organisations in other regions are encouraged to organise their own local events on the same day, to help pressure all levels of government to support civil liberties.
Organisations that have endorsed the Day of Action so far are (TENTATIVE):
• Canadians Advocating Political Participation (CAPP)
• Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA)
• Canadian Federation of Students (CFS)
• Canadian Peace Alliance
• Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario (CUPE Ontario)
• Councilof Canadians
• Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL)
• Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)
For more information or to endorse, please email: CivilLibertiesNOW@gmail.com