Arrests, tear gas, beatings of peaceful demonstrators at detention centre

Jesse Rosenfeld of The Guardian shows his media credentials to police right before he is arrested and beaten. Photo: Activestills

Three reports from Toronto Media Co-op

* Firsthand report of arrests, tear gas, beatings of peaceful demonstrators at detention centre
* Guardian journalist assaulted, arrested
* Toronto Police at Door of the Alternative Media Centre

Firsthand report of arrests, tear gas, beatings of peaceful demonstrators at detention centre

Interview with independent journalist Stefan Christoff
by Dru Oja Jay

Note: the use of tear gas at detention centre is not confirmed, but police did use some kind of smoke weapon. » Download file ‘christoff.mp3’ (5.3MB)

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Guardian journalist assaulted, arrested

by Sarah Colgrove

A journalist covering the G20 for British newspaper The Guardian was brutally assaulted and arrested when police executed a mass arrest on a peaceful protest near Yonge and Front last night.
 
It was around 11:40 pm when police escorted Jesse Rosenfeld to a police van at the base of the Novotel hotel, sporting a black eye visible from 40 feet.
 
Shortly after his own release from the area, TVO’s Steve Paikin reported seeing a journalist who identified himself as working for The Guardian held by two cops while a third punched him in the stomach because he “talked too much”, then drove his elbow into the collapsed journalist’s back.
 
Rosenfeld had been commissioned by The Guardian, but was told by the G20 media accreditation team that his press credentials were “pending” throughout the week. When arrested, he was wearing his Alternative Media Centre press pass, but only those who could prove official G20 press accreditation were allowed to leave – with a warning, however, that their credentials would not get them released a second time.

The remaining 100-200 people in the area were arrested. At least three additional Alternative Media Centre journalists were arrested throughout the day.

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Toronto Police at Door of the Alternative Media Centre

by G20 Alternative Media Centre

Two Toronto Police Services officers have just approached the Alternative Media Centre asking to speak with its members at 1:22pm.

They were immediately asked for a warrant but said informed that there was no warrant and that they were investigating a complaint. 

When approached and asked why they were coming to the media centre, Constable S. Chen (#499) said that they were investigating a complaint from neighbours that people had been milling about the outside of the building all week.  Constable Chen was accompanied by Constable N. McIsaac (#10576).

The centre has been operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week since Monday the 21st. 

According to Chen, “people called about this place”. 

Police said that they could not put their complaint to rest because the media centre was not speaking to them and they did not know who the owner was.  “We don’t know if there’s a break and enter or if people are squatting.”

When police were aksed why they did not use the City of Toronto’s ‘assessment roles’ which have the names and contact info of every property owner in the City, police said they did not know about it.  When asked how that could be since a number of TPS officers can go to City Hall to use the information, the Constable replied “I don’t know about that, it’s not my division.”

The visit comes while several Alternative Media Centre (AMC) journalists are in jail or the hospital.

Two were peacefully protesting at Queen’s Park on Saturday before being arrested and detained.

Another, with accreditation from the Guardian, was arrested while covering the a demonstration at Novatel hotel. A strike by the hotel workers union, Unite HERE, was joined by hundreds targeting the hotel and the French delegation staying there.  Reports indicate that 150 people were arrested.

A fourth AMC journalist was arrested, ironically, while protesting the detainment of others at the Eastern Av. detention centre.  They were pulled into a van and taken away.

Fifth and Sixth AMC jourlaists were arrested for witnessing and covering a cop detainment of ten Montreal activists who were being asking for ID.  On of the journalists was beaten very badly taken to the hospital for x-rays.  Other journalists were also sporting bruises and injuries from police sustained yesterday at demonstrations.

The Two Constables at the Alternative Media Centre were later joined by a third Constable, M. Morris.  The centre’s landlord  came to out to confirm that the Centre, filled with equipment and journalists for a week, was not the victim of a break and enter or group of squatters. 

Constable Chen thanked the landlord for their information and had a warning for one of the AMC journalists.  “You’re only making this more difficult than it has to be,” he said.

6 responses to “Arrests, tear gas, beatings of peaceful demonstrators at detention centre

  1. Get used to this. The police in Canada and the US know that they pretty much have carte blanche when it comes to curtailing dissent and assaulting dirty fucking hippies. This is going to be the North American norm.

    By the time the FOX news watchers realize they aren’t immune from this sort of treatment it’ll be too late.

  2. thugs with badges

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