Toronto Facebookers: What Went Wrong During the G20?

Published: June 30th 2010
in News » Local

Scene from Toronto G20 weekend.

As the damage and impact of the weekend’s G20 protests pile up, demands have been growing for an independent inquiry into the handling of Toronto’s shocking G20 weekend.


These demands have now resulted in a Facebook page with more than 13,000 members, according to the Toronto Star.


The page, called “Canadians Demanding a Public Inquiry into Toronto G20,” calls for an evaluation and probe focusing on “consultation with the City of Toronto and its citizens security build-up, the fence, the treatment of Toronto’s homeless, mass damage, no relief fund for shop owners, innocent people and journalists detained, detainee conditions and much more.”


This sentiment has been a popular one, as many have reported harassment from police officers and overall frustration with the damage resulting from G20 protests and riots.


Tuesday afternoon marked a preliminary review by 50 monitors from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), including reports showing “disproportionate, excessive” police conduct.


According to Toronto Star reports, most of those arrested (up to 900 individuals) were released without being charged, however the CCLA still calls for independent probes into the policing during the summit.


Security spending for the weekend summit of world leaders came to approximately $930 million, and involved the first use of tear gas by Toronto police on protesters.


Now, Amnesty International Canada is calling on provincial and federal governments to establish an inquiry and answer the demands of the public.


Chief of Toronto Police Bill Blair announced Tuesday morning that his office will review “all aspects” of summit policing. The review will be a collaboration of many police units including Integrated Security Unit, The Toronto Police Services Board, and a civilian oversight body who also agreed to review the weekend’s policing.


Despite this, David Miller and the government of Ontario and Canada have all rejected the calls of the public to execute an independent investigation.


Facebook page administrator Rebecca Harrison-White told the Toronto Star that the page’s members want “an unbiased independent source that will expose all the facts of what happened over the weekend,” suggesting that police reviewing their own conduct does not seem to measure up to the demands of concerned Torontonians.


“Somehow this went wrong, and by figuring out how it went wrong, we can prevent it from happening again,” she said.


Other sentiments expressed online include why the summit was set in the bustling heart of downtown Toronto, as opposed to the more contained and manageable Exhibition Place.


People were also concerned with the conditions of the detention facility on Eastern Avenue, now being dubbed “Torontonamo” [a play on Guantanamo Bay] by some of those detained there.


Most prominently, however, the site reflects the question of what could have been done to prevent the mess.

Related articles: (g20, security, Toronto arrests, Facebook)

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