BLOG: The aftermath on G20 Sunday and Monday – mass arrests, more protests, and BIG questions about Police conduct

Posted by Richard Budman on Saturday, July 3, 2010, · Leave a Comment

After the long and intense day that was Saturday June 26th, my Sunday started rather late. I had walked the streets well past midnight on Saturday and when I finally got home and was absorbing the TV news and videos it gave me my first real context to what had occurred on the downtown Toronto streets that day. I tweeted well into the early morning hours. I knew we had just lived though a BIG news day in the history of Toronto.

So, finally hitting bed around 5 am and getting up before noon I only had a few hours to spend on Sunday afternoon shooting so I quickly ventured out.


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I walked Queen st. west early Sunday afternoon. The worst hit stores – Starbucks, Subway, Scotiabank, and the CTV building had a heavy presence of police officers around now.


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Looking north up Grange street towards Dundas ave. I saw heavy police activity. The cops had pulled over a car, arrested the driver and it’s passengers, and searched the car. In the trunk they found black clothing, masks, and gas tanks.


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As I got up to Queen’s Park and College, there were a few small marches and packs of protesters heading south. I could see various arrests taking place. In an interview with media, this guy’s girlfriend said they were just peacefully marching out of Queen’s Park and were pulled aside by police because they were wearing black.


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The word seemed to spread this arrest was taking place. Within minutes, 6-8 major media photographers were on the scene at Queen’s Park and College blasting this guy.


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If the theme of Saturday was mayhem – Sunday was all about arrests. I could sense a noticeable difference in the attitude and seriousness of the police. The restraint and politeness I had witnessed all week seemed to be gone. Numerous times during the day I saw protesters – some wearing black, some standing in places that suddenly the police didn’t want them in – get arrested or detained.


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I was at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival at Nathan Phillips Square around 5 pm when my twitter stream started telling me one of the larger protest marches on the day, led by a group of bikers was coming east along Queen st. Realizing some of the anarchists messages from the day before were still tagged on buildings on Queen st. – it providing an interesting photo opportunity. It would be a few hours later when I heard the tail end of these protesters would be the core group ending up being detained and arrested in the rain at Queen and Spadina on Sunday night.


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In what felt like the first real protest of the G20 to have a very passionate, peaceful and focused message – hundreds came east on Queen st. on Monday to protest the police tactics and mass arrests of the weekend. Again, my twitter stream was telling me this march was on the way, I seized the opportunity to get on a bridge the goes from Nathan Phillips Square over Queen street to get some very interesting shots.


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