The Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Amnesty International, Jack Layton and a Facebook group which has grown to 21,751 in a day are calling for an independent inquiry into the police conduct during the G20. As well, numerous rallies are being planned in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto over the next couple of days, with a nationwide rally scheduled for July 17. The Toronto rally will be at Queen's Park on Canada Day at 5:30 pm.
The CCLA in a preliminary report stated:
"It is the opinion of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association that
police conduct during the G20 Summit was, at times, disproportionate,
arbitrary and excessive. In our view, despite instances of commendable
and professional conduct, the policing and security efforts, especially
after 5PM on June 26 and June 27, failed to demonstrate commitment to
Canada’s constitutional values.
Over the next 36 hours, over 900 people (possibly close to 1000) were
arrested by police – the largest mass-arrest in Canadian history.
Media, human rights monitors, protestors and passers-by were scooped up
off the streets. Detained people were not allowed to speak to a lawyer
or to their families. Arbitrary searches occurred in countless locations
across the city, in many instances several kilometers from the G20
summit site. Peaceful protests were violently dispersed and force was
used. In an effort to locate and disable 100-150 vandals, the police
disregarded the constitutional rights of thousands."
Amnesty International calls for public inquiry:
In connection with the G20 leaders summit, the heavy police and security
presence that has permeated the city for several days, as well as acts
of vandalism and other violence by numbers of individuals, have
contributed to an atmosphere of apprehension and fearfulness that has
led many individuals to refrain from or limit their involvement in
peaceful demonstrations and other activities.
Lessons must be learned from these events. We call on the Canadian
government and the government of the province of Ontario to cooperate in
launching an independent review of the security measures that were put
in place for the G8 and G20 Summits. The review should include
opportunities for public input and the results should be released to the
NDP Leader Jack Layton on Tuesday called for the Commons public safety
committee to be “seized with this matter and require an accountability
report on both the spending side and on the operations side” of the
billion-dollar-plus meeting of world leaders.
From the Star:
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair tried to quell the growing uproar by
announcing that an internal task force will examine “all aspects” of
summit policing by the municipal forces, OPP and RCMP in the G20
Integrated Security Unit.
But the promise of a police force investigating itself, along with
assurances there is a complaint mechanism for those who feel ill-treated
by police, seemed unlikely to defuse anger after a weekend that saw
riot police use tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters — incidents
documented in thousands of photos and videos making the rounds.
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