Gita Hashemi on Tue, 29 Jun 2010 00:38:38 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> from toronto, with a headache - again

events were still unfolding when i first sent the note below 
yesterday, sunday, 27 june 2010, 10:29 am, toronto time.  apparently 
the note got lost in the shuffle and never posted to the list, so i'm 
resending at the request of a moderator.  since its writing, we saw 
another day of heavy police crackdown.

many residences were raided (the raids had started on thursday 
night), the alternative media centre and the convergence space 
(headquarter of the toronto mobilization network) were also raided 
and many organizers arrested.  several small, peaceful actions and 
solidarity rallies - both what was planned ahead and spontaneous jail 
solidarity marches - were surrounded by massive numbers of police in 
riot gear who attacked with rubber bullets and tear gas without any 
provocation.  the arrests were systematic and followed scripted 
profiles.  the bus stations were surveilled and people arrested as 
they were leaving town.  many of the key organizers - including 
poeple who organized daycare and medics - are now in detention (or in 
hiding).  charges range from "breaching peace" to "conspiracy".  the 
level of absurdity was so high that last night at a downtown corner 
several hunderd riot police surrounded a group of about 150 poeple, 
many of them on their way to dinner or shopping and caught there by 
accident, kept them in pouring rain for several hours, in full view 
of live tv cameras.  at the time of this writing, the number of 
people arrested is estimated to be around 900.  the conditions at the 
detention centre are deplorable.  some poeple have been transferred 
to higher security jails.

updated information here:


quick report from toronto - where anti-g20/g8 protests have been 
going on all week.  this is mostly about events of saturday, june 26, 
which was the largest protest organized by the labour movement.  you 
may have seen some reports of the "violence" by protesters on your 
news channels.  this is what actually happened:

1- while the "violent protesters" were walking up Yonge street 
smashing windows with NO police in sight (in fact, many of us saw 
them leave their posts in coordinated fashion and let the "black 
bloc" do its work), the cops were cracking down on peaceful 
demonstrators even in the "designated protest area".  the public 
transit - streetcars and even the subway - was shut down for several 
hours, making it impossible for people to get out of downtown.  we 
were all on foot, exposed and the cops were everywhere - except where 
black bloc was - and stopping, searching and grabbing people without 
any apparent reason.

2- quoting from a direct witness where "violent protests" were happening:

"The extreme violence of the black blockers was, from what I 
witnessed, directed towards police property (cars and police station) 
and businesses with global operations. Social institutions such as 
the native family organization that lies between the police station 
and Frans restaurant was not touched. The black blockers urged 
bystanders to get out the way. Even though their violence was 
considerable and frightening as it was happening, it was not directed 
towards people.

"This cannot be said for the police. Indeed, I could say that every 
excessive show of strength, intimidation, and aggression by the 
police was directed towards people. Everyone who I witnessed being 
injured, was injured by the police. I saw a young man, a meter behind 
me, peppered sprayed in the eyes when he stumbled as the line of riot 
police pushed us from University Ave back east along College street. 
As he lay on the ground screaming with pain, two middle aged women 
leaned down to help him and they were peppered sprayed. At Elizabeth 
St. and College St. I saw four fully suited up police officers 
kneeling on top of a young man face first on pavement. He was 
screaming "I didn't insult you, get off me. I'll fully cooperate." 
They stripped off his shoes."

3- there are several reports and footage posted of the police 
charging/assaulting/arresting journalists:
closer to the fence in the evening (Novotel hotel site) where they 
were shooting blank bullets at people who had staged a spontaneous 
sit-in, tweet reports were that they were grabbing and smashing 

4- latest official number of arrested: 480.  we don't know yet how 
many people were injured and where they are.

5- "security" cost: 1.1 billion

6- an account/analysis by judy rebick

latest info including tweets at

toronto star, city's newspaper, blogging

and last night's tweets from the mild-mannered, middle-of-the-road 
canadian journalist steve paikin

as i write and all last night and this morning i've been 
seeing/hearing police helicopters circling overhead near my house 
which is close to the film studio which they turned into a detention 

thus toronto is welcomed to the world stage!


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