CSA condemns G20 police tactics
Wednesday, July 28, 20101 Comment
Guelph residents attend a rally outside City Hall, calling for an inquiry into police tactics during the G20 Summit in Toronto.
The Central Student Association sent out a press release Monday, condemning what it called “vast human rights violations” that took place during the G20 Summit in Toronto in June.
Communications and Corporate Affairs Commissioner said release was intended to support to students at the University of Guelph who were “traumatized” by police during the summit, which took place June 23-25.
“There were quite a number of [Guelph] students in Toronto during the summit… They are quite traumatized by what they saw and experienced,” Jackson said.
“As the student union representing undergraduates on this campus, it’s important that we react to this.”
The press release condemned “police tactics” during the summit, but did not mention specific actions.
Jackson said it was difficult to know exactly what had taken place during the G20 Summit. She said she had heard accounts of arbitrary detentions and arrests, police searches and confiscation of property without cause.
Guelph residents who attended a rally two weeks ago described numerous instances of police intimidation, while those who were detained during the summit said facilities were cramped and substandard.
The press release also denounced “the deliberate miscommunication about the Public Works Protection Act.”
The cabinet of Premier Dalton McGuinty passed the controversial measure days before the summit was set to open, allowing property inside the G20 security area to be temporarily designated as a “public work” under the 1939 Public Works Protection Act.
At the time, media outlets reported that the law gave police the power to demand identification or search individuals who were within five meters of the security fence.
It was only after the summit had ended and the measure had expired that Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair and McGuinty admitted that no such powers existed.
The press release was part of package motions adopted by the CSA during its July 7th meeting, which also called on the CSA to draft letters to political party leaders, local MPs and MPP, calling for an independent provincial and federal inquiry into police actions during the G20.
Jackson said those letters were expected to be ready by the end of the week.
The CSA also took a stance against the use of police “Agents Provocateurs” during protests, and condemned “the use of violence in demonstrations except in cases of self-defense of the defense of others.”