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NEWS: Report calls for public inquiry into Toronto G20 summit

The Toronto Star reports that, “A full-scale public inquiry is needed in light of the widespread and violent trampling of civil rights by police at last summer’s $1-billion G20 summit in Toronto, a new (59-page) report (by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the National Union of Public and General Employees) concludes.”
“Dozens of people caught up in the weekend mayhem last June — 1,105 people were arrested — spoke up (at the three days of public hearings in Toronto and Montreal last November), as did lawyers and academics. Police refused to take part. …The vast majority of those detained or charged have been released, although a handful of cases are still before the courts. One officer faces criminal charges related to his summit actions.”

“The Toronto Police Services Board, Ontario’s Office of the Independent Police Review Director and Ontario’s ombudsman have all delved into the events. In December, Ombudsman André Marin said ‘the most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history’ had occurred during the G20 weekend. Nathalie Des Rosiers, general counsel for the civil liberties union, called the various reviews insufficient. ‘The rights violations raise serious systemic questions about policing policy and training that can only be resolved through a comprehensive federal-provincial public inquiry,’ she said.”

The ‘Breach of the Peace’ report will be released at 11 am ET today.

THE COUNCIL OF CANADIANS

On June 28, 2010, the day after the G8 summit concluded, the Council of Canadians issued a media release stating, “The Council of Canadians participated in the People First march of more than 25,000 people on Saturday, June 26. The organization shares the concerns expressed by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association about the sheer number of arrests – more than 900 – and the jail conditions experienced by those detained. We also join with Amnesty International in calling for a public inquiry into the appropriateness of police actions both prior to and during the summits.”

Several days later we endorsed the Facebook campaign calling for a public inquiry into police actions at the G20.

It should also be noted that in October 2010 we stated that the bail conditions placed on Alex Hundert were excessive and unwarranted (his conditions included not participating in any public demonstration). Hundert had been pre-emptively arrested prior to the G20 summit. The Council of Canadians donated $1,000 to Mr. Hundert’s legal defence fund.

And Ontario-Quebec organizer Mark Calzavara – along with Ed Broadbent, Winnie Ng and others – is a Trustee with the G20 Legal Defense Fund. That Fund, “exists to hold and give out funds raised to support legal costs, fees, and other associated costs of legal defense for people facing charges stemming from the June 2010 Toronto G20 Summit. The Fund strives to support those individuals who took to the streets and organized in protest of the G20 summit.”

The Toronto Star article is at http://www.thestar.com/news/article/945867–report-slams-shocking-abuses-at-g20-summit?bn=1.