"Arrest record shows police were out of control in Toronto."
With more than 1,000 arrests at the G20 meeting in Toronto, most of
which were unjustified since most were released without any charges
laid, it's no wonder a growing number of voices are demanding a full
public inquiry to look into this mess.
The sheer number of
arbitrary arrests is astonishing enough, but it becomes downright
surreal given that these arrests were made at the G20 in just a few days
and were more than double the number made during the entire 1970
October Crisis when the Trudeau government suspended fundamental
liberties by invoking the War Measures Act, giving way to more or less
500 mostly unwarranted arrests of intellectuals, poets, artists and
This request for a public inquiry is
increasingly being heard in opinion pages in newspapers and by some
journalists. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Amnesty
International also want one. Yesterday, in Le Devoir, more than 40 law
professors and lawyers from across Canada said the same thing.
signed an open letter to federal Public Security Minister Vic Toews,
noting arrests are justified in cases of violence, but the fact that
nearly all those arrested have since been released with no accusations
made against them indicates that these arrests weren't related to any
displays of violence.
Which leaves one thing: Arrests were made
for no other reason than to intimidate citizens and stifle their right
to exercise their freedom of expression. Profoundly troubled by the
events -and rightly so - this group of lawyers and professors also
contend that the arrests are actually part of a tendency in Canada to