Monday, June 28, 2010


Sent: June 27, 2010 8:15 PM
To: Timothy Schwinghamer
Subject: Re: 650 good people arrested

Criminals must be held accountable for their actions.

William Blair
Chief of Police
Toronto Police Service

Timothy Schwinghamer
To ""
2010.06.27 19:55
Subject 650 good people arrested

[The actual real email referred to only 650 people arrested, but at the time I sent it, in fact approximately 850 were being detained. I cut and pasted a little to make this letter from John Hilary and the Movement Defence Committee, and others.]

Dear William Blair,

On the 13th and 14th of June 2009, 150 anti-regime protesters were arrested in raids in Iran, while another 200 were arrested in protests. In 2 days, 350 arrests in the context of people actually trying to overthrow the government.

In Toronto in the past 48 hours, approximately 650 people have been arrested now, in raids and protests with the stated goal of opposing the government's agenda on a particular question.

As an invitation-only club whose membership was literally drawn up on the back of an envelope, the G20 never laid any claim to legitimacy. Now it is also in danger of losing any credibility as a forum for global economic governance. Its failure to address any of the structural problems that caused the financial and economic crises of the past three years has certainly not gone unnoticed in Toronto, let alone its complete refusal to deal with the challenge of climate change.

You appear to have lost control of your ‘prisoner processing center’, denying arrestees meaningful and timely access to counsel while beating and arresting those peacefully protesting their detention outside.

Despite assurances to the contrary, only a handful of people have been released, including those held for many hours without charge. Arrestees are given incorrect information about the bail process they will be subjected to, and friends and family members gather hours early at the courthouse, located far from the city center and inaccessible via transit. Lawyers calling in are told that there is no one available to make decisions, or wait for hours at the detention centre, only to be denied access to their clients. A lot of people are in custody, and of course the vast majority of any charges will disappear, yet the cell doors remain shut.

You have to make this stop. Let everybody go, especially Amanda Hiscocks and Leah Henderson, who are good young women. They defend social justice and the environment all the time, they've made protecting the Earth and the poor their life. Please do not make any of the anti-G20 protesters pay bail.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

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