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Ten years ago, in June 2010, grassroots groups joined forces to protest the G20 summit held in Toronto – a meeting of political leaders from the 20 richest counties, convening on an agenda of austerity as we barrelled into economic and environmental crisis. Organizers planned powerful daily marches over the course of a week, highlighting struggles each day, culminating in a large march towards the G20 convention centre. Police responded by viciously cracking down on organizing and marches, turning the downtown core of Toronto into an open police state. In the end, the 2010 protests resulted in over 1,000 arrests and 300 charges, making it the largest mass arrest in Canadian history.
We soon learned that police had spent years infiltrating leftist organizations. During the protests they attacked and detained journalists, beat up protesters on camera, and held arrestees in dehumanizing conditions. The protests left many organizers embroiled in long court cases or serving years of jail time.
Today, as protesters across the world rise up against police brutality and anti-Blackness, we're collectively rehashing conversations about "outside agitators," police infiltration of our movements, and property damage. We're also still struggling to build stronger, more militant, and well-connected movements capable of challenging capitalism and colonialism.
In the hopes of connecting the lessons of 2010 to today, Upping The Anti and Briarpatch Magazine are convening a panel to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the G20 protests.
Join featured speakers Aruna Boodram, Syed Hussan, Mandy Hiscocks, and Irina Ceric for a discussion panel moderated by Lesley Wood on the G20 in Toronto.
ARUNA BOODRAM is a Community Legal Worker and Paralegal with the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario. Conjointly, she has been a community DJ and facilitator for the past 12 years. During the anti-G20 mass mobilizations she was the coordinator for the Convergence space and part of the media team. Most recently, her proudest accomplishment is being a single mom to a beautiful, resilient 2 month old while pursuing her Masters of Social work at Laurier University.
SYED HUSSAN is a migrant justice organizer in Toronto. In 2010, he was part of the Toronto Community Mobilization Network, the coordinating body for the anti-G20 protests.
MANDY HISCOCKS is a long-time activist from Guelph, Ontario. She was centrally involved in organizing against the 2010 G20 summit in Toronto, and in 2012 she served eleven months in the Vanier Center for Women in Milton, Ontario and maintained a blog from prison: http://boredbutnotbroken.tao.ca.
IRINA CERIC is currently based in Vancouver, where she teaches criminology and both writes about and organizes activist legal support. In 2010, she was a member of Toronto's Movement Defence Committee.
Share your story using #myG20story on Twitter or Instagram or post in the event discussion here. You can share anonymously at https://tinyurl.com/myG20story. We will gather all the stories and share them after the event. Please post by June 26th.
Thank you for reading this story…
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