Most Torontonians despise our arrogant, work-to-rule subway collectors, but sheesh:
TTC collector Benjamin Yau was arrested while walking to work in his uniform. He was taken to the Eastern Avenue detention centre and told he would be charged with resisting arrest and breach of peace. But he was let go after 36 hours.
“I’ve never been in trouble with the police. I’ve never even had a speeding ticket,” said Yau.
“I’ve always had a positive experience with the police. This has completely changed my view. This was a form of martial law as far as I’m concerned. They got to do whatever they wanted.”
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association says the police response was unprecedented, disproportionate, arbitrary and excessive.
Meanwhile, a CITY-TV employee writes:
I approached the line of police and tried to explain that I was a member of the media. Due to a death in my family I was off work when the official accreditation process went through, so I had no official G20 pass, but I offered a business card noting my role as a reporter/photographer for CityNews.ca. At the same time, one wouldn’t think they would need a press pass to walk down a city street in a peaceful manner, whether they are taking photos for a website or protesting. Unimpressed with my plea, the officer clutched me by the arm and pulled me behind the line, pushing me down. He informed me that I was being arrested for conspiracy to commit mischief and proceeded to zip tie my arms tightly behind my back.
I was ushered away from the crowd and seated on the curb with dozens of other detainees while a second officer searched me extensively. My wallet, camera and assorted belongings were bagged up and tagged. As a precautionary measure I had a set of swimming goggles and a bandanna in my jacket pocket, my only defence against the tear gas which Toronto police had previously deployed. The officer informed me that if I was wearing the bandanna during the protest I would have been charged with Wearing A Disguise.
Ah ha! So there IS a Canadian law against wearing a scarf over your face in public! So why do all the masked Muslim women I see daily get to walk around unmolested?
I gets better, if this guy is telling the truth:
As I stepped into the wagon I could hear an officer mocking the sopping wet detainees, chanting, ‘Whose streets? Our streets!”, mimicking a chant that the G20 protesters shouted throughout the weekend. I took a mental note when I heard another brag that the more arrests they make, the more funding they will receive.
Meanwhile, this guy writes:
I repeated my support for the police and my complaint about them standing by while their own cruisers were on fire and vandals were openly damaging property with no arrests. “Oh no,” said the woman on the other end of the phone. “Yes, police cruisers are burning while the police watch,” I said. “OH NO,” said the woman on the line. I then said, “I get the impression that you’re not being serious here. I think, perhaps, you’re being sarcastic.”
She hung up on me!
Back to the original number. Another officer answered and was sorry for my troubles. When I said I paid taxes to be “served and protected,” she said, “I pay taxes too.” She then informed me that my original contact didn’t exist. “Perhaps you wrote the badge number down incorrectly,” she suggested.
In fact, this officer actually said there was no “complaints department” number, and that I should get in touch with my MP or with 52 Division in person after the G20 is over. (Right… as if I think dealing face to face with such do-nothings and ho-hum enablers would accomplish anything.)