In the largest mass arrests in Canada's history, approximately 900 protesters were rounded up in Toronto, according to police estimates, after anarchists vandalized stores along Queen Street on Saturday, according to the Toronto Globe and Mail. An estimated 25,000 protested peacefully.
The activists had assembled to protest the gathering of world leaders for the economic summit known as G8/G20. Protesters took issue with inaction on climate change and global poverty.
But that doesn't explain the brutal attacks that video from rabble.ca shows of cops dressed in riot gear, guns drawn, rushing peaceful protesters singing the Canadian national anthem at one point of confrontation, or another, where protesters just appear to be milling about.
Some peaceful protesters allege that the police allowed the "anarchists" to run riot as a pretext for rushing the much larger groups of peaceful protesters, who were detained for more than 24 hours. One gay bystander who got swept up in the mass arrests told rabble.ca that gay people were "kept in a separate cage," where he spent 26 hours.
The videos show an army of robo-cops, with shields, helmets and guns forming a line against the protesters, and then rushing the protest gathering in small teams of five or so, and dragging individuals out of the crowd.
Watching the video, you can see cops on the line beginning to twitch before making the rush. rabble also has a video interview with a young American woman who was arrested and detained, in which she describes the conditions. She was made to give up her bra and her shoes, which were both deemed potential weapons.
Here are the rabble.ca videos:
Protesters stormed while singing "Oh, Canada"
Another storming of the protest
Toronto Police Attack Peaceful Protesters and Journalists at G20 Protests from brandon jourdan on Vimeo.
Interview with a detainee
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