Saskatchewan Statement of Support for Toronto G8/G20 Arrestees and Call for a Full Independent Public Inquiry sign now

We, the undersigned group of Saskatchewan-based civil society organizations and individuals, condemn in the strongest terms the use of violence and mass arrests (over 1,000 people the largest number of arrests during a single event in Canadian history) against protesters in the lead up, during and following the G8 and G20 summits in Toronto and Huntsville, Ontario. We call for the release of loved and respected community organizers currently being held by the police and call for all spurious charges to be dropped. Further, we demand that a full, independent and binding public inquiry (with the power to subpoena any and all decision makers involved in the security operation up to the highest level including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hQ_8Rgoht4&feature=player_embedded) take place at the earliest opportunity.

We specifically condemn the following actions (widely documented by news reports, video footage and firsthand accounts) on the part of the police and security apparatus and the elected officials and lawmakers behind them:

the budgeting of $1 Billion in taxpayers money on permanent security infrastructure and police staffing (exceeding 10 times the security budget for the Pittsburgh G8/G20 meetings in 2009); http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIStory_546625.html

the monitoring and intimidation of well-known and respected community organizers using the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS);
http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/When+CSIS+rings+your+doorbell/3139439/story.html

the enactment police powers without legislative oversight (http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/828367--g20-law-gives-police-sweeping-powers-to-arrest-people?bn=1#article) and the deliberate misleading of the public (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/police-admit-deliberately-misleading-public-on-expanded-security-fence-law/article1622864/) as to those powers with regards to Ontario Public Works Protection Act;

the targeting of community organizers (a disproportionate number of whom were people-of-colour) with pre-emptive (many without warrants in early-morning house raids: http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/story/\%E2\%80\%9Ci-woke-gun-pointed-me\%E2\%80\%9D/3836) and targeted arrests;

the broad suspension and violation of rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (http://www.efc.ca/pages/law/charter/charter.text.html) including:

o the freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZgjX5vHt2o)

o the right to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, press and other media of communication (many mainstream and independent journalists were assaulted and detained), (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/06/29/g20-oiprd-reporters-complaint.html)

o the right to life, liberty and security of the person (many people sustained serious injuries including broken bones at the hands of the police - some of which required hospitalization), (http://niagaraatlarge.com/2010/07/05/thorold-ontario-amputee-has-his-artificial-leg-ripped-off-by-police-and-is-slammed-in-makeshift-cell-during-g20-summit-\%E2\%80\%93-at-least-one-ontario-mpp-calls-the-whole-episode-\%E2\%80\%9Cshocking/)

o and the freedom from arbitrary detainment (of the 1,000 people detained, fewer than 300 were charged).


We also condemn the treatment of arrestees (http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/829921--i-will-not-forget-what-they-have-done-to-me?bn=1) while in custody including threats of gang rape by police (http://vimeo.com/12925239), physically invasive body cavity searches conducted on young women by male officers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd5K-TfEeyU&feature=player_embedded), lack of food, water, adequate heating or medical care for serious injuries, denial of access to legal counsel, and extended random detentions. We demand a full and transparent disclosure of the roles of each and every police officer dispatched from Saskatchewan police departments (http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/Local+police+officers+patrolled/3213834/story.html) and full legal accountability if those roles included the violation of protesters rights.


While individual police officers who abused protesters and violated their rights must be held accountable, the violations were methodical and widespread enough to suggest high-level direction and coordination and the likelihood that a pre-determined security plan was consciously implemented. We are aware of a blueprint for summit policing which implements violent tactics and propaganda to repress legitimate dissent known as the Miami Model (http://www.thestar.com/article/828876--porter-when-police-stick-to-phony-script) which was followed nearly word-for-word in Toronto. The operations in Toronto were simply an escalation and refinement of repressive tactics used in past summit policing operations (http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/story/20-policing-toronto-\%E2\%80\%93-something-old-something-new-something-borrowed-something-blue\%E2\%80\%A6/4151). We can also take the opportunity to see that the violence and dehumanization that G8/G20 protesters experienced at the hands of the criminal justice system was not exceptional and is a daily reality experienced by many people in Indigenous communities, people of colour, people living in low income neighbourhoods, street-involved youth, queer and trans people.


We understand that the decisions made by G8 and G20 leaders behind the billion dollar security operation, will almost certainly unload the burden of the bankers economic crisis onto the backs of the most vulnerable communities and the environment (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/g8-g20/opinion/sticking-the-public-with-the-bill-for-the-bankers-crisis/article1620729/) with deficit reduction austerity measures that cut public services, social expenditures and environmental protection measures. Those who resist this unfair transfer of burdens must not be further victimized by the current para-militarization of police forces across the country and the precedent set by the level of repression in Toronto. This template for police action represents a grave danger to a fair and democratic society and must be abandoned immediately.


We the undersigned, declare that this agenda is not and will not be carried out in our names. We recognize that the violation of the rights of one person is the violations of the rights of us all. We demand that our friends and fellow community organizers be set free and that those who violated their rights be held accountable. We demand and embrace a world where democratic participation beyond the ballot box is respected and encouraged. We demand and embrace a world free from coercion and where fundamental human rights and the rights of the ecosystems upon which we depend are respected and inviolable.

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Rochelle RomanBy:
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Saskatchewan MPs, Saskatoon Police, Toronto Police, and the Government of Canada

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