Movement Defence Committee

A Tale of Two Police Forces

Adrienne Telford and Jeff Carolin

As we mark the one-year anniversary of the G20’s visit to downtown Toronto, the events that unfolded in Vancouver last week cry out for comparison.

Take, for example, the differences between the police planning and response.

In Vancouver, the police planned for a public gathering of 100,000 people by deploying 300 officers. When acts of property damage and looting broke out, the officers made 101 arrests, and then everyone went home.

In Toronto, 19,000 officers were deployed for protest marches that attracted upwards of 30,000 people. The police made no arrests at the time property was being damaged, and then spent the next 24 hours patrolling the downtown in heavily armed groups, continuing the pattern they established earlier that week of on-the-spot interrogations and Constitution-violating searches.

BEYOND THE G20: Opposing All Forms of Police Repression

One year ago, Toronto became a police state to protect the leaders of
the G20. One year ago, thousands gathered in the streets to protest
the G20's austerity agenda, and to demand social, racial, gender and
environmental justice.

One year ago, Toronto police spent $125 million on G20 policing out of
a total 'security' budget of one billion dollars. 19,000 officers were
deployed for protest marches that attracted upwards of 30,000 people.
The police spent the weekend patrolling downtown in heavily-armed
groups, using property destruction as a pretext for a continuing
pattern of on-the-spot interrogations and illegal searches.

MDC G20 Parliamentary Commitee Deputation

The MDC has been invited by the Bloc Quebecois to make submissions to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security investigating the G8 and G20 meetings.

The text of the MDC's submission is available here.

The hearing in which the MDC will depute begins tomorrow, December 1, 2010 at can be viewed online here

Upcoming Clinic for People Concerned About Discriminatory Treatment During the G20

Nov 23 2010

When?: TUESDAY NOVEMBER 23 at 10:00 am and 5:00 pm
Where?: 180 Dundas Street West, 8th Floor

This session will assist people who are thinking about filing a human rights application under the Human Rights Code about their treatment during the G20.

You may have been treated in a discriminatory manner if the police or other G-20 authorities treated you negatively and differently because of your race, ethnic origin, place of origin, citizenship, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or creed, or family/marital status. The session is also for people who had needs related to a disability, or related to another Code-related factor such as age or gender, if those needs were not recognized and meet by the police, for example, during the G-20.

Some Strategic Ideas in Pursuing a Police Complaint

In the aftermath of the events of this summer’s G8/G20 protests in Toronto, many people affected by the summit’s policing decided to submit police complaints to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) in Toronto. This is a relatively new office and police complaints system, with which few lawyers and community groups have had much experience. In August of this year the MDC held a public information session which included a presentation on the police complaints system by students from Community Legal Aid Services Programme. A video of this session is available here