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Scanned or from internet, if there are errors, please e-mail me with corrections:

Opening comments:  More at the end.

Again, a person talks about how unlawful the Toronto police actions were and is not sued, in fact he sued the Toronto police and won!
"arbitrary arrest without just cause"

My how the Toronto police love their job - "we'll have to make you suffer some"

Details of the way people are treated, was it done in the same vein as an act of terrorism, to spread fear in our community?  Is it not an act of EVIL for so-called law enforcement officers to do the things, that were done?

The police liked some of his property so much they made him fight to get it back, how lawful is that?

I see the excessive show of force, "torture" and "brutalization" as the acts of bullies and predators who know they are above the law as the Tory government cares nothing for the lot the average citizen and if they were living the Tory life style, then they would not protesting.  EVER!

You can not have a democracy based on the laws of a dictatorship!

If you do not stand up for the rights of others, you will surely lose yours.

Are these not the laws of countries that Democratic revolutions or our own army's have over thrown because they were so unjust and inhumane?

Independent Media Centre - author: john milton (

Injustice at O16 Wednesday 17 Oct 2001

Are "rights" anything more than empty concepts now, yesterday makes me wonder.....

This is a story about "covering the story"; what happened to me when I attempted to cover the October the 16th "Ontario Common Front" demonstrations in Toronto as an independent journalist. I started the day at about 4:40 a.m. when I took a cab from the temporary Independent Media Center that had been set up for the event to City Hall. My plan for the day was to start with some interviews during the breakfast gathering that had been set to start at 5:00 a.m. then follow the march through the downtown and develop the story as events unfolded, little did I know what that was to mean...

I was wearing blue jeans, a red nylon jacket, and a baseball cap, and was loaded down with a small rucksack, several camera bags, and my media credentials clearly visible on a string around my neck. There were police everywhere, more than a hundred in the immediate vicinity of the front of the square alone; but I was cheered by the sound of drummers drifting down from the square in front of me, clearly audible over the noise of dozens of police radios.

As I moved to leave the sidewalk and enter the square a cop stepped in front of me and took hold of my arm. "We are searching everyone's bags here, there's a zero tolerance policy in effect here today. I'm going to search your bag O.K.?". Knowing that I was only legally required to submit to a police search if I was under arrest, and not particularly wanting anyone else rummaging through a bag of fragile and expensive camera equipment in the dark, I decided at that point that I would decline, I asked the cop:  "Am I under arrest?" He answered "No", and then, before I had a chance to say anything further, let go of my arm and grabbed on of  my camera bags with both hands and tried to pull it off my shoulder. I grabbed the other side of the bag, looked him in the face and shouted, "No!"

"No? NO??!!" He responded, anger and incredulity filling his voice, "You're under arrest!" At this point I was seized by one of the other officers that was standing near by, my bags were removed, and my hands handcuffed behind my back, I was patted down and my equipment spread out on the sidewalk. As I stood there passively, handcuffed and held by two large officers, I asked the third one examining my equipment to be careful with it. "You shut up! , you're under arrest for disturbing the peace.  You resist any more and we'll have to make you suffer some." was his response.  After finishing their unproductive search I was photographed with a Polaroid camera and then loaded, still handcuffed, into one of the metal cages inside a waiting van style "paddy wagon". Over the next half hour or so the compartments of this vehicle were filled with 10 additional handcuffed individuals, all of whom told similar stories of arbitrary arrest without just cause.

What followed can, I think, quite fairly be described as brutalization.  For over five hours we were driven, stop and go, throughout the downtown core area.  After only a brief time the temperature and humidity levels rose to extremely unpleasant levels.  We were all soaked in sweat, and all of the interior surfaces of the sheet metal cages were soon dripped with  condensation.

It was very hard to tell what was going on, but some things could be seen through the grills in the cage doors, which allowed a somewhat obstructed view through the outside windows. It seemed that at times the truck was being used as part of a road block to prevent the march from going down certain streets, at other times we seemed to be parked in front of large buildings, presumably as part of a "show of force" to deter unwanted activity. There are only two explanations I find credible as to why we were treated this way rather than being taken directly to the police station following arrest as would be usual.  The first is to inflict additional punishment on us, the second that we were being used by the cops as "human shields" to deter any of the marchers from trashing the vehicle.

When I was initially handcuffed the cuffs had been ratcheted down very tightly, after about an hour in the truck I lost feeling and movement in my hands, after what seemed like about two hours an intense burning pain began, starting in the hands and shooting up both forearms. At what I was later able to figure to be three and a half hours in restraint my arms began to involuntarily convulse, each contraction driving the steel of the cuffs into my swollen wrists.  At this point I was screaming with each spasm. Meanwhile, in one of the other cages another gentleman was having great difficulty of another sort; Having your arms pinned tightly behind you in various ways for extended periods has been a method of torture since the days of the inquisition, since it has been known that it interferes with the rib cages ability to move fully during breathing. It leads, sooner or later, to slow suffocation. He was slumped over double, and slipping into  nconsciousness as a result of this process. It was only at this point that the officers  responded to the ongoing pleas of the others to open the cages long enough to re-handcuff the two of us with our arms in front of us. When this was done I could see that the force of the cuffs against my wrists during the convulsions had crushed many of the small blood vessels, causing large blood filled blisters to form under and around the steel. (I would post photos of this injury, but have been advised not to in the event of further court action on my part).

After this the driving and stopping continued for more than another hour and a half, at the end of which we arrived at 51 Division Police Station. At this point we were processed, including a full "strip search", and held in individual cells in the lockup from about 11:00 a.m. untill about 10:30 p.m. at which point we were all released without criminal charges being laid or any evidence of wrongdoing having been found. During this time we were all denied our right to contact legal assistance. Some of my property was not returned to me, without legal excuse, at the time of my release, and my efforts to retrive it are ongoing.

Such are the consequences today of claiming ones alleged right of refusal to submit to arbitrary search by the state. I invite you to draw your own conclusions as to the effect of passage of the new "security" laws presently being "considered" in Ottawa on the conduct of the police in this and other matters.

Do you want to do something about this?

Before the election and get this issue talked about?
Then go to the Media page, let the media and Ontario's political party's know how you feel.

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