Scenes from outside the summit: Day 3 - Macleans.ca
 

Scenes from outside the summit: Day 3

Police conduct mass arrests and searches across Toronto


 

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

7:06 pm [Julia]

Lockdown at Queen and Spadina—after mass arrests and reports of riot police using sound cannons and rubber bullets, no one is allowed through. The ever-present helicopters buzz in the air.

6:54 pm [Julia]

Torontonian Nora Loretto shows her bruise from the baton of a riot cop. She says she was hit during a protest on Queen and John as she attempted to take a picture of a cameraman being pushed with a riot shield.

6:11 pm [Julia]

Mounted police come through to break-up the "protest."

6:10 pm [Julia]

Face-off on Queen St. between hundreds of cops and about 50 people. Many do not look like they were involved in a protest.

6:01 pm [Julia]

Julian and Cara were detained by cops at Booth and Queen. They are both shaken up and Cara is crying. Julian says: "We were walking down the street. One of them said 'check those two.' They told us we have to stop you and show us what's in our bags or else we'd be arrested. We didn't resist, we went through our bags. They asked us why our clothing is black. I told them to come over and look at my clothes. I have a lot of clothes that are black... We believe people have the right to peacefully demonstrate... We don't want to go to jail for not doing anything wrong."

5:54 pm [Josh]

Two young women are in cuffs with a large banner just east of Logan. A cop runs at me and tells me I’m not allowed to take pictures. Another cop runs up, grabs my shoulder and escorts me down the street with his hand on my shoulder. I ask if its illegal for me to be here and he won’t respond. The girl in the dark green shirt is screaming “I’m not consenting to this search! This is illegal!”

5:46 pm [Josh]

About four more people—all young, three of them in black—are in cuffs at Logan and Dundas.

5:42 pm [Josh]

Two guys are in cuffs at Dundas and De Grassi St. About 10 uniformed are police around them. One is a short guy in a green sweater in cap—looks about 45 years old; the other is wearing a striped shirt and looks about 20. Cops won’t respond at all. A cop in a white van stares intimidatingly as he passes by. There are a couple dozen people on either side of Wardell, some with animal rights-related banners.

5:39 pm [Julia]

Cops are doing mass sweeps around the park where 5 pm protests are being held. Bags are being checked, people are being questioned by plainclothes police—for no apparent reason except to stop a protest from happening. Very aggressive tactics employed today, perhaps to make up for yesterday's restraint.

5:23 pm [Stephanie]

Police make an arrest at Dundas and Degrassi.

5:03 pm [Julia]

People getting stopped and searched on way to protests at Wardell and Dundas.

4:25 pm [Julia]

Mehdi Zohouri travelled from the Toronto suburbs with his camera because "this is a rare photo opportunity," he said. He and his friend plan to walk the city and take pictures of the changes to the city this G20 weekend. "I'm on the left, and I don't mind people protesting, but I didn't like to see people destroying the area," he said. "They took away from all the legitimate protests going on." Nevertheless, he's one of many G20 voyeurs interested in documenting this different face of Toronto. "Seeing cops lined up all over the place is strange. This is where I grew up, I don't expect this in Toronto, even though I've been to many other cities where having this many cops around is normal. It's not normal here."

4:20 pm [Julia]

Police are randomly searching bags for suspicious items. In this case, the search was prompted by steel-toe boots. "Regular people don't wear those," the cops said. I wonder: how can you tell a goth from a black bloc anarchist this weekend?

4:12 pm [Julia]

One example of the graffiti that adorns Toronto buildings after the G20 summit.

3:13 pm [Julia]

Urban Outfitters, the hipster target of G20 vandalism, on Yonge St, where many stores south of Bloor are closed, some boarded up. Cops linger on street corners and vans filled with police waiting to be dispatched zoom up and down the streets. The sound of helicopters have been present in Toronto for the last few days.

3:08 pm [Stephanie]

Protestors peaceful and quiet surrounded by observers (King/Bay)

3:03 pm [Julia]

Bike block, peaceful protest passing through Dundas Square. Police ride alongside other bikers. People cheer and chant: "Whose streeets? Our streets."

2:59 pm [Stephanie]

More riot cops moving into a prayer vigil protest at King and Bay. Overheard on a police intercom that a black block biker is approaching the area.

2:58 pm [Julia]

Zanzibar, another G20 target

2:53 pm [Julia]

Urban Brick on Yonge just south of College St: another victim of G20 clashes. Is it a symbol of capitalism like Starbucks?

2:48 pm [Julia]

Starbucks—a dangerous place to be this weekend—is all boarded up after widows were smashed in Saturday's G20 protests

1:35 pm [Josh]

Back at the detention centre on Eastern. Mostly just media is left. Traffic is running again. Bridie Wyrock of Cleveland, Ohio was released around noon today to cheers of the crowd. She’s still here giving the story of her arrest yesterday to reporters. She’s wearing a neon tie-died shirt with “stop the war on the poor” in magic marker. She says her head hurts from being slammed on the ground by police yesterday. She shows the bruises on her wrists from plastic cuffs. She says there were cagelike cells inside the detention centre and she was fed cheese and butter sandwiches and the cops inside were nice. She says her breach of the peace and mischief charges were dropped.

1:17 pm [Stephanie]

Just around an hour ago there was a violent crackdown by police outside the makeshift prison at 629 Eastern ave. "All of a sudden there was fast movement," says George Sawison, a Torontonian. He showed me video he shot with his camera. There was a group protesting, a skirmish, and then a police van rolled in with plain clothed cops. They went into the crowd and pulled out one girl. Afterwards they arrested "6-10 people." Citizens are getting upset here because police are telling them to get off the grass.

12:57 pm [Josh]

Just saw on CP24 that things have intensified at the detention centre. Police have dispersed the crowd. Some witnesses told the cameras that they saw rubber bullets fired. There is something smoky in the air. Heading back to check it out.

12:53 pm [Stephanie]

629 Eastern Ave.

12:21 pm [Josh]

A police office flags down a westbound streetcar that’s crossing the bridge over the Don Valley Parkway on Queen. He asks the driver if he’s seen anything unusual. He hasn’t.

11:54 am [Josh]

The protest outside the detention centre at Eastern and Pape is small and many people look bored. A group of about five twenty-somethings is standing back from the crowd of rougly 100, many of whom are journalists. “I think 70 per cent of people left yesterday,” says one woman with a French-Canadian accent. A man writes “free all” with pink chalk on the sidewalk outside the former Toronto Film Studios building, but no one appears to notice, other than one amateur photographer. It’s hot in the sun and people have sweaty foreheads. One woman carries a pink fabric flag with “free all G20 prisoners” written in black marker. People briefly start singing kumbaya, which causes an onlooker with a disposable coffee cup and a dog on a leash to turn to her friend, point and snicker.

Back on Queen East at Logan, the TD Bank has boarded up windows and people can’t access the ATM. Every 30 seconds or so, someone comes up and tries the door of Starbucks, but its locked. “Store closed due to protest,” reads a handmade sign.

11:12 am [Josh]

Officer T. Roberts said the following to the head of the protest group, Moe Luksenberg, who was pulled aside from the small crowd at Jimmy Simpson Park:

“Tell us what you want to do and if its reasonable we’ll do it.

“Its your right in Canada. We just want to make sure you’re safe. Just tell us what you want to do.

“We’ll give you 10 officers and we’ll have two sergeants who you can communicate with.

“Communicate with the sergeants and tell them what you want to do. We’ll go on the South side and go south on Logan. We’ll go down to Eastern and close it off so you can keep walking.

“We’ll find a space in front of the Prisoner Centre and we’ll stay in the background.”

The group of about 50 protesters is now marching West down Queen. About 30 media are leading the procession.

Someone is playing harmonica, but it’s quiet otherwise. People in cars look distressed.

10:45 am [Josh]

There are no megaphones or people holding signs here at Jimmy Simpson park, so its hard to tell what people are protesting, but Kelly Pflegback says the group will March to the detention centre where prisoners have been taken to show their solidarity against police violence. “These people have inflicted property damage, that’s not violence because its not on any living thing,” she says. There are fewer than 100 people in the park. At least a quarter are have video cameras or microphones. About 30 police are waiting across the street outside their minivans.


 

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