150 people rallied for a G20 public inquiry on Saturday's cold afternoon, gathering first at Queen's Park with a simple message to Ontario politicians: "We won't forget". The group then sang, chanted, and blew bubbles as they marched down to Toronto Police headquarters to deliver the same message. "We won't forget."
Showing up in the cold, the morning after a heavy snowfall, is the basic definition of solidarity, proof there is a community of solidarity around those activists who faced or still face criminal charges and a community that will not simply go lick their wounds after the police's violent overreaction at the G20 Summit protests in late June, 2010.
The crowd also loudly demanded the resignation of Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair and called for a public inquiry into the events surrounding police and government -- provincial and federal -- actions regarding the G8 and G20 Summits held in Ontario from June 25-27, 2010.
Other chants included "We want a Bubble's Inquiry" and "Don't arrest the bubbles" as members of the crowd blew bubbles which the wind immediately picked up and blew straight into the faces of the line of police officers guarding Toronto Police Headquarters.
Whenever the chanting turned to Blair's resignation, you could see the faces of the police officers who 'escorted' rhe demonstration harden; eyes narrowed and jaws tightened. It seems that the Toronto Police Force has not forgotten the events of late June either.
The G20 Summit protests that hit Toronto culminated in the largest police mass arrest in Canadian history, with over 1,000 people arrested. Most of the charges have since been dropped, including many of the infamous 'conspiracy charges' laid against community organizers who helped facilitate the protests.
The total cost of hosting the G8 and G20 Summits have yet to be released.
Toronto police get to keep the LRAD cannons and wants to keep CCTV cameras the city put up for the G20 Summit.
The Ontario Ombudsman released a striking, critical report regarding the government and police's conduct in advance of, during, and after the G20 Summit that confirmed that people's civil rights were abused during the weekend.
The trial of G20 defendant Alex Hundert -- currently incarcerated, he has spent some 120 days in jail -- will begin on January 31, 2010; after he was re-re-re arrested for breaching his bail condition of non-participation in public demonstrations by speaking negatively against the government and police at a Wilfrid Laurier and a Ryerson University panel in September, 2010. He was ordered by a Justice of the Peace to remain incarcerated on October 23, 2010, where he remains.
From jail, Hundert commented, "This fight which is about to enter a court of law is not just about the right to freedom of speech, it is about spaces where freedom is possible. The university is a space for ideas and campuses are a space where dissent is supposed to be protected. This fight is about defending those spaces."
More details about Hundert's court appearance to come.
If you'd like to write Alex, letters can be mailed to the following
c/o Toronto West Detention Centre
111 Disco Rd
PO Box 4950
Rexdale ON M9W 5L6
For more information, please contact [email protected]
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