Yesterday, I participated in a Canada Day march against police brutality and for a public enquiry into the events of last weekend’s G20 police strategy. About 2000 people were out on the streets with a unified message – the police response to G20 protestors was unacceptable. There were similar marches in Ottawa and Montreal. I have personally received reports that the Montreal march was between 4 and 5 thousand people.
The march felt similar to last thursday’s march for indigenous rights – many people out with their own messages, but primarily there to support a single unified message. Chant discipline was excellent, and while there were confrontations with police, these confrontations were peaceful. The march wanted to turn east on College (having come north on Bay street), but police blocked the road, demanding we go west and return to Queens park. The standoff was tense, but there was no mass arrest. The police did arrest one person, but I do not know the specific context of this arrest.
Like last weekend’s march, there were many plainclothes police officers in the crowd. Some had printed photographs in their back pockets, presumably they are tracking individuals in the protests.
The next civil liberties march is scheduled for July 10th – if you are in Toronto, please come out to call for a public inquiry and oppose this brutal attack on free speech in Canada.