More Repression in Toronto: House Raids, Warrants and Arrests
House raids, warrants and arrests
By Tim Groves - June 26, 2010
Two houses where G20 protesters are staying were raided last night and activists staying at the houses were arrested. Six or more arrest warrants were issued and it is believed that at least three of the people named in the warrants have been arrested.
Police arrived at a house where 15 activists were staying at approximately 4:45am. There was no warrant provided but the police then forced themselves in to the house. Even when a warrant was later provided, those being arrested were not allowed to fully read the warrant before it was taken away from them.
"I was in a tent in the backyard, we got woken up, by two cops and put in cuffs, and there [were] probably at least 6 or 8 police in the house," said Marya Folinsbee, a friend of the man who was arrested. "They were trying to identify people. They had a big stack of papers with names and faces of activists, some were organizers and some were people just doing child care for the protests."
The upstairs neighbours, a family with a young baby, were also visited by police.
"The neighbours who were not connected to the protest had a gun held to his head when he woke up. It's so fucked, it's so fucked," said a shaken Folinsbee. "They put neighbours who lived in the building in cuffs."
One of the activists staying in the house was taken in his underwear into a paddy wagon waiting outside. The others in the house gathered on the front porch and sang loudly so that he could hear.
Another house had its door kicked in and a warrant left on the table. Two activists who live in the house are presumed to have been arrested and a third person staying at the house may also have been arrested, according to a source at the Toronto Community Mobilization Network.
Two other activists have been informed that there are warrants out for their arrest, and it is believed that they will be turning themselves in to police.
According to a tweet from the Movement Defence Committee the arrests were of "key organizers."
Supporters of those arrested will be gathering outside the Toronto Film Studios starting at noon to provide solidarity. The film studios have been converted into a temporary jail. They are located at 629 Eastern Ave.
Press Release Regarding Police Raids and Activist Arrests
By Niki Thorne - June 26, 2010
For Immediate Release:
At approximately 4:45 a.m., June 26, about 20 police officers raided a Toronto home. They entered the house without consent through the back door, aggressively dragging unclothed people from their beds, kicking others who were asleep on the floor.
Police demanded that everyone provide names and identification. A number of people repeatedly requested to view the warrant before complying with police demands.
“I requested a warrant at least five times from the cop who refused to show me his badge number, to which he said they have every legal right to do what they’re doing and they didn’t have to show us anything,” said Tammy Kovich, a resident of the raided house.
Police forcibly detained and cuffed a number of people, and refused to allow those in the house to call for legal advice. Without showing warrants, asking consent, or giving notice, police did an illegal cursory search of some of the people on the premises as well as the house itself.
“I went out the front door to get a signal so that I could call for legal advice, and a cop grabbed me and pushed me back towards the house. A minute later, I was on the phone with the G20 legal people, and he grabbed my phone away from me and smashed it onto the front porch,” stated another resident, Renee Henderson.
One arrest was made: an organizer of G20 Childcare as well as other community projects. A warrant was not shown for his arrest. This individual was also detained and harassed by police earlier this week while walking in Toronto, and was searched without credible legal rationale.
Meanwhile, police entered the separate upstairs apartment where a young family resides. A confused father was handcuffed by the police and forced to sit on the front lawn.
Across town, the door to another activist house has been kicked in and three residents are missing, presumably taken by the police.
Warrants have been issued for the arrests of other G20 organizers. These illegal raids contribute to a climate of fear and intimidation, in an attempt to silence those exercising their democratic right to protest the G20.
There is a press conference at Allen Gardens today at 10:30 pm regarding Tent City, today’s demonstrations, and police intimidation.
For further inquiries, contact:
Niki Thorne, resident of the raided house and G20 organizer
416 827 5186
To contact the Toronto Community Mobilization Network:
647 454 2443
(Breaking News: A third house near Queen's Park has been raided and 13 to 15 activists from Montreal arrested)
Protesters Resist Illegal Searches
By Megan Cotton-Kinch - June 26, 2010
What does it mean to have a legal right to protest when police conduct illegal searches [and] attempt to seize everything needed for that protest, including banners, water, medicine and sun protection and then attempt to prevent protesters from leaving the march?
Demonstrators entering Allan Gardens were being illegally searched without their consent, but enough people resisted [and] bypassed the cordons, and eventually police abandoned the systematic illegal searches. Eli Horwatt asked an officer what bylaw gave him the authority to search and seize and he replied “it’s not a bylaw”.
Sarah Shoshana, interviewed in the burning sunlight of the march, said: "They took my earplugs and my bandana. And they took Xavier's water.” Lisa Walter witnessed a man having his arm twisted and his backpack violently ripped from him. Protesters dealt with this [by] sharing what they had, even critical medical equipment: "The [street] medics got their epipen confiscated. So I gave the medics mine" said Barbara Legault from Montreal. When asked what she would do if she needed it herself she said "If I need it I'll find a medic. They have it, it's collective, for everyone".
In yet another example of police targeting people of colour, demonstrators from No One Is Illegal were targeted. Police insisted that they could not take their banners inside the park because of the weak bamboo sticks holding it up. Meanwhile, the park was full of the banners of other groups, some on large wooden stakes. In solidarity with those targeted, people surrounded the police who eventually returned to police lines, without the NOII banners. Mikey Muscat said that when other people resisted the search “everyone started chanting 'Whose park! Our park!' and the cops let them go.” Other people simply ran passed the cordon en masse. In the face of this civil disobedience the police basically abandoned their policy of searching everyone entering the park.
Montrealers arrested in Toronto ahead of G20 protest
By Tim McSorley - June 26, 2010
Between 11 and 14 people from Montreal were arrested by police this morning in Toronto. No information has been released yet about why they were arrested or if charges have actually been laid. All of those stopped were Montreal community organisers. No names have been released.
The arrests came after Toronto police also confronted members of the Quebec-based Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC) as they arrived in buses to the city. Fifteen minutes after four buses organised by CLAC arrived at the gym where they would be staying, 50 police showed up and aggressively confronted them.
"It was clearly an attempt to intimidate people," said CLAC member Jaggi Singh. "This is just a drop in the bucket of the billon dollar police state."
There were also raids on at least two Toronto houses, with multiple arrests. In total, approximately two dozen people have been arrested since last night.
A press conference is beginning soon. Watch a live stream here: http://qik.com/intheknow2012.
More updates to come.