Message from The Toronto Call: No more police state tactics

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Peace Alliance Winnipeg has endorsed the “Toronto Call” and urges all members to support it as well.

Dear signatories,

The Toronto Call was written collectively by a few Toronto-based G20 protesters, most of us connected to campuses and all of us having substantial links across various social movements.  As police state tactics were rolled out relentlessly around the summit in Toronto, we quickly pooled our resources to make an urgent response to the police brutality and state violence we witnessed and experienced.

The Call has clearly resonated.  Over 1000 people signed on in the first two days.  We are still compiling the remaining 400-ish signatures, but we felt it important to make an initial response.  The list includes roughly 1100 signatories (a notable symmetry with the 1090 officially detained over the G20 weekend). We aim to post/send out the full list by next week.

For now, we think a few points are worth noting:

  • Perhaps most importantly, the list has become an ad hoc public site for connecting with and documenting those who were detained, assaulted, arrested, beaten, jailed and forcibly restrained by the G20 police.  In addition to almost 1100 detentions, many were also beaten and unofficially captured/stopped/held.  As we write, at least 16 activists are in jail with exorbitant bail fees for unsubstantiated charges

Others have been released, but with severe bail conditions and are fighting the unjust charges:

  • Many journalists, particularly independent media reporters/publishers and members of collectives, have signed on.  We are grateful for those who took great risks to document and advance a critical public discussion despite the brutal police treatment received in the process.  Similarly, the list has attracted medical and legal support workers who carried out vital services during the G20, often at great risk.  See Alan Sears’ G20 Protests:  Fighting Back Against the Police State
  • A wide range of sectors are reflected in these signatures including labour/trade unionists; anti-poverty activists; cultural workers (artists, musicians, playwrights, poets, filmmakers, authors); health care workers and physicians; legal workers and lawyers; educators/teachers/faculty; students at all levels, particularly those targeted as young activists; social movement organizations and community activists; concerned residents, outraged citizens and more.  We want to acknowledge the importance of solidarity rallies as well from Vancouver to Winnipeg to Montreal to Fredericton to Peterborough (and undoubtedly more).

The Call includes signatures from several cities, towns, rural areas, First Nations and unceded indigenous territory, and a wide range of communities across the country.  We want to acknowledge, in particular, the strong response from Vancouver and from Montreal/Quebec where activists were targeted particularly harshly by police.–activist-surrenders-to-face-g20-charges?bn=1 We also thank supporters and friends around the world including: several U.S. cities, India, Istanbul, Mexico, several cities in England, Japan, Chile, Scotland and Ireland, Italy, Johannesburg, several EU countries, Greece, Bangladesh, the Czech Republic and Columbia.

Finally, we want to draw your attention to some important actions and statements that emerged alongside The Toronto Call and which many may wish to sign onto, support or read:

DONATE:  Call for donations to support G20 legal defense:

For updates and information visit G8/G20 Toronto Community Mobilization at

To transfer funds or write a cheque: (with G20 Legal defense on the subject line) send donations to: OPIRG York, transit number 00646, institution number 842, account number 3542240.

Mail the cheques (written to OPIRG York, with G20 legal defense on the subject line) to:

Toronto Community Mobilization Network, 360A Bloor Street W, PO Box 68557, Toronto, ON, M5S 1X0

To use PayPal go to **

ATTEND RALLIES: Two National Days of Action

July 10!/event.php?eid=133971566625845&ref=mf

July 17!/event.php?eid=133625160002128&ref=mf

SIGN PETITIONS:  Canadian Educators Condemn the G20 Attack on Civic Education

Given the large number of university, college and public school educators on this list, we are circulating this online petition condemning the G20 policing as an attack on the larger project of civic education.

Amnesty International call for an Independent Review of G20 Security Measures

Given the large numbers who specifically want a fully independent public inquiry, we include:

See also Toronto Police Services response on an “independent civilian review”:–g20-security-to-get-long-look-from-independent-civilian-review?bn=1



Vancouver Statement of Support for Toronto G8/G20 Arrestees

An important solidarity statement and analysis of pre-emptive arrests as policing strategy

Statement from the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance (ACLA)- Ontario Chapter

Given the highly racialized character of policing in general, and the G20 police state tactics in particular, we encourage all to read and circulate the following recently released statement:

In the wake of one of the most grotesque public expressions of police brutality, intimidation and mass violations of civil liberties, the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance (ACLA) strongly condemns the overzealous actions of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force, the Integrated Security Unit and the countless other police agencies that participated in the suppression of protesters rights during the G20 protests.

The actions exhibited by the police and their supervisors are unconscionable. The police force collectively as well as the individual officers involved, their superiors and elected officials from all levels of Government must be held accountable.

By all accounts the over $1 billion price tag was utilized to bring fear and disorder to our communities.

While we abhor this weekend’s police violence, ACLA reiterates that these actions reflect the realities experienced by low-income, indigenous, and racialized communities across this city on a daily basis.

Illegal searches, entries without warrants, large-scale police and immigration raids, the use of excessive and arbitrary police powers are ongoing experiences of our communities, perpetuated through unjust socio-economic structures and institutions that at the same time exploit the labour of indigenous and racialized communities.  Instead of addressing chronic underfunding, inadequate resources and systemic unemployment that impoverishes our members, the police and elected officials persist in marginalizing and criminalizing our communities.

The resolve of the G20 will deepen this crisis through its focus on deficit and debt reduction and not on economic and environmental justice. Regressive and racist immigration policies, inadequate labour protection and the absence of resources for housing, day care, healthcare and numerous other entitlements further perpetuate a cycle of precarious existence for racialized communities across the city, the province and the country.

We say NO to the neo-liberal agenda of austerity by the G8 and we call on all progressive labour unions, community groups and activists to demand justice and dignity for those detained, arrested and an end to civil rights violations.

We demand that the following steps be taken

1) The immediate release of all political prisoners

2) an end to the criminalization of dissent with compensation for all victims of police violence

3) meaningful economic resources and infrastructure to be invested in marginalized communities

4) an end to the persecution and criminalization of Aboriginal, migrant communities and non- status communities

5) Independent Police Oversight, community control over policing and civilian authority over the police.

6) An independent public inquiry into police actions during the summit, including disclosure on the role of police infiltrators leading up to and during events, and the chain of command for the extraordinary crackdown on legal rights and protests. Firm timelines must be established.

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