'I will not forget what they have done to me'
20 people arrested at the G20 tell of ‘inhumane’ treatment
at the hands of police
June 28, 2010, Toronto Star
Lulu Maxwell, 17, Grade 12, Rosedale Heights
Maxwell and a friend were hanging around near Queen and
Dufferin Sts. at a convergence centre for protesters on
Sunday afternoon when police started making arrests. 'My
friend was blowing bubbles and I was scribbling peace signs
on the sidewalk.'
Within minutes, her friend was grabbed and Lulu was put up
against a wall. Her backpack was searched and Lulu says an
officer said she could be charged with possession of
dangerous weapons 'because I had eyewash solution in my
She was taken to the detention centre and almost 12 hours
after her arrest was allowed to call her parents. She was
released, without charges being laid, at 5 a. m.
Natalie Logan, 21, U of T student
Logan was taking photos at The Esplanade on Saturday evening
when she was arrested.
'I was documenting the protest when the police started
encircling everyone,' she said. She was taken to the
detention centre at 3:30 a.m. 'Before they handcuffed me, I
peed in a bottle because I knew I wouldn't be able to
She wasn't charged and suddenly released at 3:30 p.m., more
than 14 hours after her arrest. 'I am embarrassed for my
city, embarrassed for Toronto Police and embarrassed that
this could happen.'
Selwyn Firth, 59, Toronto mayoral candidate
Wanting a better view of a protest outside Queen's Park on
Saturday, Firth walked to an elevated U of T building. When
police told him to leave, he identified himself as a mayoral
candidate. He refused and was forced to the ground, his cheek
lacerated. He was arrested for obstruction.
'I wasn't obstructing anyone, I was asking questions,' said
Firth, who was taken to the Eastern Ave. detention centre
where he needed insulin for his Type 1 diabetes. Sunday
morning he was taken to the Finch Ave., courthouse and again
needed insulin, so was sent to hospital. He later returned to
court and was released on $1,000 bail. He is considering
suing the city and police.
Erin Boynton, 24, London, Ont.
She was arrested at The Esplanade early Sunday morning after
police boxed dozens of protesters in.
'I was with a protest marching peacefully down Yonge from
Dundas Square,' she said. 'When the cops came at us, many
people scattered and those who were left in front of the
(Novotel) got arrested.' She said police came from all sides
and 'squished us in. They didn't give us a warning to leave -.
just announced that we are arresting all of you.'
She said a lot of people at the detention centre were
innocent bystanders. 'The police violated all our rights . .
. there was police brutality. Quite frankly, it was quite
disgusting.' Boynton wasn't charged.
Cameron Fenton, 24, journalist with Dominion in Montreal
'A bunch of us were peacefully protesting (near the Eastern
Ave. detention centre) at about 2:30 a.m. when police told us
that it was an unlawful assembly and we had to leave,' said
Fenton. But they were boxed in and couldn't leave. Some time
later, about 30 of them were walking about two blocks away
when they were boxed in again by police.
Everyone was arrested. Fenton said he was never read his
legal rights or allowed to make a phone call. 'It was cold,
there was barely any food or water - there was no place in the
cages to even sit,' he said Monday. 'That detention centre
was tantamount to torture.' He was released on Sunday
afternoon, after more than 17 hours in detention.
Emily Berrigan, 23, project manager for a local non-
Berrigan spent her 23rd birthday Saturday night in a
detention centre on charges of obstruction and unlawful
She was with Oxfam Canada for the labour march in the
morning, protesting peacefully. She went to Queen's Park
around 8 p.m. for her bike and within 10 minutes was
arrested. She was taken to the detention centre at 9 p.m. and
got nothing to eat or drink until 5 a.m., when she was given
a sandwich and some water, she said. 'The cage I was in had
been pepper-sprayed and it stung our eyes and skin,' she
said. At about 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, she was taken to the
courts at Finch Ave. and released by 7 p.m. 'That's
inhumane,' she said.
Adam MacIsaac, P.E.I.
MacIsaac, an independent journalist in town for the G20, took
out his video camera to document police search methods and
says he was aggressively thrown to the ground. Police began
kicking him in the ribs and stunning him with a stun gun. 'I
have a pacemaker!' he screamed repeatedly, but says they
MacIsaac was eventually taken to St. Joseph's Hospital where
he was handcuffed to a hospital bed. He says officers
harassed him; one repeatedly asked if his pacemaker battery
was nuclear. He was later taken to the detention centre and
left alone in the back of police cruiser. When police let him
go seven hours later, they said they had no idea where his
$6000 worth of equipment went. They told him to file a
Amy Miller, Montreal
Miller, an independent journalist, was on her way to the jail
solidarity protest Sunday around noon with fellow journalist
Adam MacIsaac. She stopped at Bloor and St. Thomas Sts. where
she saw police officers searching a group of young people
carrying backpacks. She says police attacked her.
'I was throttled at the neck and held down. Next thing you
know I was being cuffed and put in one of the wagons.' She
says she was threatened and harassed by police at the Eastern
Ave. detention centre. 'I was told I was going to be raped, I
was told I was going to be gangbanged, I was told that they
were going to make sure that I was never going to want to act
as a journalist again.'
She also says she spoke to numerous young women who were
strip-searched by male officers.
Steve Cruikshank, 28, Newmarket
Cruikshank was among those boxed in by police 'without
warning' at the Queen St. and Spadina Ave. intersection
Sunday evening. Officers kept yelling at people to 'Move' but
there was nowhere to go. Cruikshank said he asked where they
should go and was hit in the face with a riot shield.
He was arrested for breaching the peace and, with 50 others,
taken to the Eastern Ave. detention centre.
'I asked for medical attention and they said ‘No', that I was
‘barely bleeding.' I asked for a lawyer and wasn't given
access. I asked to make a phone call and they laughed.' About
three hours later, he was released without charge.
Stefanie Roy, 21, Joliette, Que.
Roy said she was arrested early Sunday evening 'for nothing.'
'We were sitting in front of a bank, talking and wanting to
go home, when two big cars came up and police came out of
them,' she said. They searched her car and found a hammer and
a hatchet that happened to be there from a long time ago, Roy
said. She was charged with possessing weapons. Police seized
her laptop, boots, and a key-chain photo of her son.
The charge was dropped on Monday, but she is still missing
her boots. 'I'm not going back in there,' she said, standing
in her socks and staring at the detention centre.
Jean-Christophe Martel, 21, Granby, Que.
Martel was arrested on the subway at 11 a.m. Sunday after
police searched his bags and found something they considered
to be heroin in his emergency medical kit. Police charged him
with trafficking heroin.
Martel says he was not involved with the violence in any way.
After 24 hours, he was released from the detention centre
Monday afternoon and the charge against him was dropped.
'I'm going back to Quebec,' he said. 'I'll never leave that
Guillaume Lemarron, 24, Montreal
Lemarron came with friends to the protest, and acted as a
street medic on Saturday. They were arrested on Sunday while
heading to the Greyhound station to leave town. Lemarron said
the bandages and supplies he used in his work were
misconstrued as bandanas. He was charged with wearing a
During the arrest, his glasses were broken. Lemarron said he
was protesting for 'a better world' and a new democracy.
'It's in the past,' he said of his detention. 'But I will not
forget what they have done to me and others.'
Gabrielle Neveu, 21, Montreal
Neveu came to Toronto to raise awareness for better health
care in developing countries. Neveu had a bandana around her
neck. She agreed to let police search her bag but her
boyfriend didn't. The tension escalated. 'I don't think I
would have got arrested if I was alone,' she said.
Police charged her with wearing a disguise. She was placed in
the back of a police van that soon filled with other people.
The van was taken to the detention centre where she stayed
until Monday afternoon. Some people were strip-searched.
'People were exhausted. No one had the energy to scream,' she
said. The charge was later dropped.
Sasha Morrison, 28, Toronto
On Sunday, Morrison was talking to a friend on Queen St. when
police searched her bag and discovered an air filter mask.
She was charged with wearing a mask with intent. 'I'm wearing
a mask?' she said 'It's a bogus charge.'
Morrison, a graffiti artist, sometimes works on projects with
police. As she stood talking to media, an officer came by and
said 'Good to see you,' not realizing she had been arrested.
She was seething after a 19-hour detention. 'I'm vegan. I
haven't had anything to eat until three hours ago.'
David Breed, 34, Toronto
On Sunday, Breed and his girlfriend had stopped to watch the
bike rally and were planning to get something to eat before
going home to change for his shift as a security guard. 'I
was not involved in the protest,' he said. 'I was standing on
Breed was wearing black. Police searched him and found a
retractable screwdriver and a Swiss army knife. He was
arrested and charged with having concealed weapons. He'd had
the knife since he was 10. Breed's girlfriend, Jennifer
Booth, had a legal number scrawled on her arm, but said she
didn't intend to get in trouble. 'I've been to a lot of these
things and he hasn't,' she said after his release Monday. The
charge against Breed has not been dropped.
Philip Dwek, 25, Toronto, medical student
On Sunday evening, Dwek was headed home after studying in a
coffee shop when he ran into a crowd at the corner of Queen
St. and Spadina Ave. He found himself surrounded by riot
'We were in the rain and it was freezing cold, I was trying
to hide my medical book, trying to cover it under my shirt,'
recalled Dwek, adding police eventually gave him a plastic
bag for his book. He was arrested for conspiracy to cause
mischief, put in a van and taken to 43 Division, then later
released. It cost $60 to get back by taxi.
Dwek understands police were trying to prevent a repeat of
the Saturday violence but wishes they were able to tell the
protestors and bystanders from the 'rebels without a cause.'
Joshua Enns, studying to be math teacher at Conrad Grebel
University College in Waterloo
Enns was arrested during a prayer vigil on Sunday. Police
took him behind a bus and searched his bag. He forgot about
the 'dollar store pocket knife' in his backpack he uses to
cut fruit. He was charged with carrying a concealed weapon.
'I don't endorse violence personally,' he said. 'I didn't
come down for the show.' Enns was strip-searched at the
detention centre. He couldn't sleep with the fluorescent
lights. He still faces the weapons charge. 'Hopefully this
will be cleared up so I'll be able to teach.'
Matthew Beatty, 32, Ajax high school teacher
A volunteer legal observer with Movement Defence Committee
(MDC) for the G20 weekend, Beatty was following a protest
march down The Esplanade on Saturday evening when he was
arrested. 'I was on the sidewalks, never jeered or chanted
with the crowd,' he said.
He was handcuffed and put in a 'cage' with 20 others at the
Eastern Ave. detention centre. 'There were 40 people in one
cage - it was brutal, and it was cold.' People were asking
for toilet paper to wrap their arms and legs because of the
cold, he said. During 18 hours in custody, he was given three
cheese sandwiches, three cups of water and a cup of flavoured
Tim V. Wight, 23
Wight says he was at Queen's Park participating in a peaceful
protest all day Saturday. 'I was there . . . to protest my
concerns about the stripping of human rights within the city
and the blatant waste of a billion dollars.'
When police entered the park , Wight began to ask questions
about why they were entering a peaceful protest zone. Police
told him to move and said they would hit him if he didn't
back up. He prepared to leave but then officers grabbed him,
knocked him down and kicked him twice in the face with heavy
boots. He was treated for a concussion and had to have his
Maryam Adrangi, 24
The spokeswoman for the Toronto Community Mobilization
Network was arrested Sunday outside activist 'convergence
space' at Queen and Noble on Sunday afternoon. She said she
was driven around the city in an unmarked police van for four
hours, taken to the detention centre for about 30 minutes and
released without charge.
Adrangi, who was born in Iran, said she endured racist and
sexist comments from police, who made fun of her name and the
photos they took of her. 'I was really angry and frustrated
that the cops felt entitled to do that to people,' she said.
'One cop said to me, ‘If you were my daughter I would slap
you in the mouth.' '
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