Scenes from the G20 courthouse - Macleans.ca
 

Scenes from the G20 courthouse

Dozens of activists set free as charges against them are dropped


 

Over 300 people crammed into a Toronto courthouse on Monday to face charges related to last June’s G20 protests. The judges went through the cases rapidly, withdrawing charges against dozens of people and remanding other cases to a later date.

The alleged ringleaders, including Mandy Hiscocks, Alex Hundert, Leah Henderson and Jaggi Singh, were in and out of the courthouse in little time. Their court dates—along with those of another core group of 17 accused—were among those that were remanded. Peter Rosenthal, the lawyer representing Jaggi Singh, said he’d “never seen so many remanded for one court date.”

The back half of the first floor hallway courtrooms was filled with francophone Quebecers, with one courtroom holding proceedings in French while another was designated as bilingual. “People got arrested for having a Québécois license [plate],” said Jacynthe Poisson, a student at UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal). Poisson was charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and was among about 90 people who were arrested Saturday morning while they were sleeping in a gymnasium at the University of Toronto.

Vanja Krajina, 22, is among those who won’t have to return to the cramped courtroom. Krajina was arrested at the corner of Queen and Spadina while walking by herself to meet her boyfriend. She was charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and was also facing explosives charges, which she says were due to her having saline solution for her contact lenses in her bag. Those charges were dropped today.

Others weren’t so lucky. Alison Peters, 24, was charged with obstructing a police officer and unlawful assembly. She could have settled for a $50 fine, but insisted on fighting the charges. “I was being trampled by horses,” she said. “That’s when I was arrested.”

Police officers were stationed throughout the building and in the courtrooms, patrolling the hallways with batons and plastic handcuffs. Despite the heavy security presence, the mood was mostly festive. Jason Dippel, a supporter of the protesters, was handing out cupcakes, while other activists set up a buffet. “We want to provide food and comfort for people,” says Katie Bell of the Toronto activist group 24/7 G20. Bell says the food was arranged through private donation.

One police officer who worked at the detention centre where the activists were held dismissed those complaining of mistreatment as “mouth pieces.” He said detainees at the film studio-cum-jail ate better than he did, were given water if they needed it, and had access to thousands of dollars’ worth of trackpants, sweaters and socks to keep them warm. The officer, who didn’t want to be identified, now consider their ordeal as “a big joke.”


 

Scenes from the G20 courthouse

  1. "The officer, who didn't want to be identified, called the complaints “a big joke.”"

    From what I've been reading and seeing on the news, the arrests might also be called a "big joke" except nobody's laughing.

    What a waste of time and resources.

  2. A systematic use of extreme police power deprive citizens of their rights for the purpose of discouraging political dissent in the future.
    Full all jurisdiction Judicial inquiry of G-20 police actions now please.

  3. Which thug will pay damages. I hope whoever it is gets nailed, Can they take off their wimpy masks this time

    • Maybe the cops should pay the damages for ignoring the smashers but arresting bystanders who got caught in the rain at the wrong corner at the wrong time.

      • don't forget the part where they beat a defenceless girl until she soiled herself

        and strip searched numerous women while harassing them sexually

        and held a 14 year old boy in confinement with a broken arm for upwards of 30 hours

        and indiscriminately beat dozens of people in broad daylight

        • There should be a thorough investigation into all aspects of this disgraceful event … from the top down.

  4. they will all get slaps on the wrist and will be business as usual thenext political event.Our justice system is a farce

    • I agree, the police officers involved should all be charged

      • Yeah, and they should take off their masks and wear badge numbers.

  5. Bring on the lawsuits and a real investigation at the federal level as to what the hell the cops thought they were doing and who in the PMO/PCO told them they were above the law.

  6. "…charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and was also facing explosives charges, which she says were due to her having saline solution for her contact lenses in her bag…"

    "….charged with obstructing a police officer and unlawful assembly. She could have settled for a $50 fine, but insisted on fighting the charges. “I was being trampled by horses,” she said…"

    Such faceitious charges do nothing but undermine confidence in our police forces. When you give people the power to beat and degrade others, you at least hope that there is credible oversight to keep these powers from being abused.

    I have no faith that this is the case, and haven't for sometime now.

    The heavy handedness here is just over the top.

  7. The more i get older, the more i hate cops. I feel no guilt whatsoever for the saying "they put their lives on the line to protect and serve". Total BS, you do not serve me, you harass and opress me. Pull me over to give me a fifty dollar fine, or harass me if heaven forbid i ride my bike on the side walk during the crazy rush hour morning traffic. Yet walk around the nation's capital and crack heads spread out far and wide from elgin to king edward street, to the point where it is so bad you canot even walk a few blocks from parliament late at night without the worry of being mugged. No I've heard enough of all the wonderful things the so called police do for us. I am skeptical of cops and see any other's intent of becoming one as cynical.

    • People do not become cops to get cats out of trees, we've pumped a good enough social culture into the past generations where being a policemen is thought to be more like Bad Boys 2 then upholding civil order. When you're a cop you get a badge a gun and a baton and you get to tell people what to do- simply enough look at the mindset of any who go into this profession and once again I say be skeptical. The general public feels that if a cop does something to someone, the cop, we assume- is right. Yet to long this social consesnsus has been left unquestioned, hence why we have the incidents above. We as a model Western nation shoud uphold a proper police service, instead of continually praising the current one that is a disgrace. I do not feel an inquiry is suffice, on the contrary i advocate for an inquisition.