Human Rights Violations at the G20

[Trigger warning for sexual assault and homophobia.]

Shaker GimliGirl sent me the link to the below video (for which I've also provided a transcript), which shows journalist Amy Miller recounting her experience being detained at the G20 summit this weekend in Toronto. It is a harrowing retelling, in which she bears witness to young people being brutalized by police and young women being sexually assaulted under the auspices of "security." GimliGirl emails:
I've been following the G20 protests very closely in my local media (CTV News) as well as via Twitter for a more 'on the ground' feel of what's been happening. Other than the Black Bloc, it's good to hear that most of the protestors in were well behaved despite police interference like shutting down the free speech zone and bottle-necking marchers into specific, ineffective for protest, areas. It's not good to hear that two (at least) of our Charter rights were suspended down in Toronto though; our right to freedom of assembly and our right to free speech, as well as our right to travel without having to identify ourselves/be detained. These rights were similarly suspended during the Olympics this past winter in Vancouver but there was a lot less of an outcry (as far as I know.) I'm deeply ashamed of my Prime Minister and Premier Dalton McGuinty for their choice of actions surrounding the G8 and G20 summits, the amount of money spent on these events, and especially the Toronto Police response to protesters both benign and violent. Naomi Klein has a lot to say about what's happened with the G8/20 and she says it better than I ever could.
My name's Amy Miller. I was detained yesterday at approximately noon. I was with Adam [gestures to colleague standing behind her] as well as one other colleague; we were on our way to cover the Jail Solidarity Action. On the way, we stopped because we saw a group of young people being detained and being searched, so we wanted to see what was happening.

As Adam recounted, we were—he was quickly taken down, and the same thing happened to me; I was throttled at the neck and held down, and then I was detained for nearly thirteen hours. I was placed in a cell at the Toronto Film Studio, and I was in a cell with twenty-five other young women for approximately thirteen hours.

Throughout the time that I was detained, I was told many statements that I find repulsive and completely inappropriate and what I view as threats. I was told I was going to be raped; I was told I was going to be gang-banged; I was told that they were going to make sure that I was never going to want to act as a "journalist" [she does air quotes] again, by making sure that I would be repeatedly raped while I was in jail.

When I was in the detention center, I saw numerous young women who were completely strip-searched, who weren't strip-searched by officers—male—who were strip-searched my male officers, and one young woman, when she was coming out, she was completely traumatized, said that she had had a finger put up her, and I find this completely unacceptable, and I hope that people will investigate this, because from what I saw, in the cell, from the women who were coming out, who were being strip-searched, they were definitely traumatized, and there was very much violence that was targeted toward young women.

While I was detained, it was very obvious that there was profiling going on; it was primarily young people, under the age of 25, who don't know their rights, or who have less knowledge of their rights, who were being told all kinds of different things. And so we—we had stopped to cover it because these were young people who were being detained and searched and who didn't know what was going on, who were just wanting to get onto their bus back to Montreal, and, despite having my press pass on me the whole time, it was quickly ripped off of me; I was throttled down, and then, next thing you know, I was being cuffed and put in one of the wagons.
Shaker Gabriel also forwarded this video in which 18-year-old Dan Hamilton recounts being detained for twenty-six hours, where he was first held in a cell with about 40 other men where there was no toilet privacy, and was then moved to a "dog pen" with his boyfriend when he said he was gay. All the gay detainees were said to have been segregated for their "safety," but, as Hamilton explains, the only homophobic people in the building were the police themselves.

Contact the premier here.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus