i saw police brutality tonight. it was unnecessary. they asked me to leave the site or they would arrest me. i told them i was dong my job.
they repeated they would arrest me if i didn't leave. as i was escorted away from the demonstration, i saw two officers hold a journalist.
the journalist identified himself as working for "the guardian." he talked too much and pissed the police off. two officers held him....
a third punched him in the stomach. totally unnecessary. the man collapsed. then the third officer drove his elbow into the man's back.
no cameras recorded the assault. and it was an assault.
the officer who escorted me away from the demo said, "yeah, that shouldn't have happened." he is correct. there was no cause for it.
i can appreciate that the police were on edge today, after seeing four or five of their cruisers burned. but why such overreaction tonight?
the demonstration on the esplanade was peaceful. it was like an old sit in. no one was aggressive. and yet riot squad officers moved in.
police on one side screamed at the crowd to leave one way. then police on the other side said leave the other way. there was no way out.
so the police just started arresting people. i stress, this was a peaceful, middle class, diverse crowd. no anarchists
literally more than 100 officers with guns pointing at the crowd. rubber bullets and smoke bombs ready to be fired. rubber bullets fired
i was "escorted" away by police so couldn't see how many arrested, but it must have been dozens.
we must make a distinction between the "thugs" who broke store windows and torched cop cars and the very reasonable citizens who...
...just wanted to remind the authorities that the freedom to speak and assemble shouldn't disappear because world leaders come to town.
i have lived in toronto for 32 years. have never seen a day like this. shame on the vandals.
and shame on those that ordered peaceful protesters attacked and arrested. that is not consistent with democracy in toronto, G20 or no G20
I'm sure I'll be blogging more about today's events, but for now I just wanted to share that.
UPDATE: An update, of sorts, on the fate of the journalist.