27 June 2010

No justice, no peace

A few articles coming out of the G20 summit; links, with brief excerpts:

NY Times: "Police Draw Criticism for Treatment of G-20 Supporters"

The protesters, the overwhelming majority of whom were peaceful, promoted a variety of causes. Many were challenging the legitimacy of the Group of 20 and proposing that governments work through the United Nations. Others championed specific issues, particularly in relation to human rights and the environment.

As the police escalated their tactics, reporters were often kept at bay. Steve Paikin, a prominent Toronto journalist, said that he was escorted away by two police officers who saw his media credentials just before they moved to arrest a large number of demonstrators who were protesting the city’s temporary restrictions on civil liberties.

Mr. Paikin said he saw another journalist, Jesse Rosenfeld, a contributor to Web site of The Guardian, the British newspaper, being held by two police officers while a third punched the reporter in the stomach.

Toronto Sun: "Deaf man charged with assaulting cops not protester, friends claim"

Outside a Finch Ave. courthouse, members of two leading organizations for the hearing impaired said they are protesting against police for not providing proper interpretive services during and after the arrest.

"He was in the wrong place at the wrong time," Gary Malkowski, advisor to the president of the Canadian Hearing Society, said in an interview.

"Police did not give him the charges properly," he said. "Police violated their own policy and made a no ha attempt to get him interpretation."

Malkowski said Azorbo was crossing the intersection to buy a bottle of water at a variety store and could not understand police orders.

CTV: "Corralled for 4 hours, crowd dispersed by police"

A tense and bizarre standoff between police and a crowd lingering in central Toronto following a weekend of G20 protests has ended after nearly four hours.

At a busy intersection in the city's core, a large contingent of police boxed in a group of about 200 people in heavy rain. They were not allowed to leave the area.

Dozens were arrested during the police action, which occurred only steps from where police cruisers were torched 24 hours earlier.

Just before 9:45 p.m. local time, police let the remaining crowd go free.

Talking to reporters late Sunday night, Toronto Police Staff Superintendent Jeff McGuire was pressed to explain why police had barricaded people for so long in the rain, before simply letting them go.

McGuire said, "We're not perfect in everything we do, but our interest was in the safety of the citizens of Toronto."

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