Sunday, October 31st, 2010
Todd Howe, WeAreChangeToronto
October 31, 2010
Early on the morning of Sunday June 27th, police burst into the University of Toronto’s Graduate Student’s Union. There they arrested around seventy sleeping political activists, protesters, guests from out of town that the GSU had billeted for the weekend and allowed to crash on the floor of the gymnasium. They were seized and led away (some barefooted) to waiting buses for the trip to the freezing cold, perpetually illuminated cells of Torontonamo Bay – otherwise known as the Eastern Avenue detention center. Fast forward three and a half months to October 14th, and all charges of conspiracy and unlawful assembly have been dropped. In fact, of the roughly 1,100 people arrested over the course of the G20 weekend, charges have been dropped against all but 100 detainees as of this writing.
Two other glaring instances of detention and mass arrest occurred during the evenings of Saturday June 26th, outside of the Novotel building on the Esplanade, and Sunday June 27th at Queen and Spadina. In the Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s preliminary report on the summit, the authors write “it appeared that after 5pm on Saturday, the constitutional protection against arbitrary detention and unreasonable searches had effectively been suspended across downtown Toronto.”