On Campus

Charges dropped in U of T G20 raid

Crown withdraws charges over lack of police warrant

The Crown has dropped charges against about 100 people arrested during a police raid at the University of Toronto during the G20 summit.

Police entered the Koffler Student Centre and the Graduate Students’ Union facilities back in June without a warrant (whoopsies), and arrested a number of activists after discovering several “weapons of opportunity.” These weapons included rocks, bricks and sharpened sticks, which—yes—are fairly ubiquitous, but call me cynical if I don’t believe the GSU had planned a sort of hut-building orienteering exercise for out-of-towners during the G20 summit weekend. The activists, many of whom were from Quebec, later accused police of profiling them because of their province of origin.

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In any case, the Crown has withdrawn the charges since police didn’t have a warrant for the raid. According to police spokesperson Meaghan Gray, the police didn’t believe they needed one, citing “reasonable and probable grounds” for the arrests.

This incident is one just among a slew of G20 humiliations on all sides of the debate, including gross overspending ($334,000 bill for sun screen, bug spray and hand sanitizer, for example), vandalism of public property, mass detention of peaceful protesters, and even a police officer threatening the arrest of a woman blowing bubbles.

But why the GSU thought it a good idea to turn its gym into a makeshift hostel during the hyped-up G20 summit, especially when the campus was pretty much shut down, is beyond me. Why the police decided to raid the area without a warrant, however, also leaves me scratching my head. Unfortunately, neither scenario is surprising.

Photo: Police car set on fire by G20 rioters at Bay and King