A Story from a Friend

Today I heard a story from a friend of mine at the school relating back to events that went down 5 years ago during the G20 summit. For those of you who haven't heard of it, it was a gathering of world leaders in Toronto, Canada, that lasted for a weekend. My friend, who is actually my TA for Law finally told us the story of what happened to him that weekend.
For those of you know do know of this event you know that there were mass protests that lasted the whole weekend and many people were arrested. My TA was one of those people. The one thing that was different about him, is that he has a degree in law.

He is now going for his PhD in law and wanted to get some good thesis material based on the protests. So harmlessly he joined a protest group to see what was going on down there. What he didn't know is that undercover cops had infultrated his group long before the protest even started.
When he and his friend got there on the Friday everything was calm. The police were kind and no one was doing anything large yet. The one thing he noticed though is that he had no rights there. What the government had done was reenacted a law that hasn't been in effect since WW2 times that takes away the basic rights of those present. The public park which was supposed to be free for people to speak was now a hunting site for the police. But things didn't get bad until the Saturday.
On his way to the protest he noticed that many people were more pumped up, and there were more police. In fact, the police out numbered the protesters 3 to 1. 
He had heard that tear gas might be used so they stopped to pick up some vinigar, after hearing that it was supposed to help against the tear gas. Little did he know that this would be his downfall...
Later in the crowd he and his friend were moving peacfully with a few other protesters when suddenly the police attacked the man in front of him, hitting him over the head with his baton. The man started convulsing so my TA moved him to a paramedic near by and they continued on their way.
Soon he noticed that the police were putting on gas masks so he and his friend decided now was the best time to use the vinigar. Many people asked them to lend some to them so that they wouldn't get hurt and they did so.
Then they went and sat in a peaceful line in front of the police. That is when the snatch squad moved. (Note: A snatch squad is when a small group of police officers burst from the police line, detain someone in the crowd, and drag them behind the lines where they are arrested)
The police grabbed his friend and his girlfriend and dragged them off. Frightened my TA ran into the crowd and managed to escape them.
Soon he started receiving calls from his friends and parents warning him that some police cars had been set on fire and that things were getting bad. Confused he decided to try to avoid all of that and narrowly avoided being arrested several other times while wandering through the crowd.
Soon he saw a group of protesters that he decided to join as they seemed pretty peaceful. But as he was making his way over to them he noticed two officers walking behind him. When he turned they ran at him, full out football tackling him to the ground and tying his hands behind his back with zipties, not handcuffs.
One cop was holding him down while the other kneed or punched him in the side (he couldn't tell because he was in a choke hold and was passing out). Soon he was dragged behind the lines where he was demanding to know why he was being arrested and why he hadn't been read his rights (as these are thing, by law, that must be done when someone is being arrested). He was not answered.
Later he was told, after two hours of sitting with these officers while they waited for the police to arrive to take him to jail, that he was being arrested and charged with fire bombing a police car, which he was nowhere near to begin with.
Once it was dark a van pulled up and, as he described, the angriest man he had ever met ran from the van and threw him into the back seat. Without warning the man started punching him in the face, splitting open his eyebrow and damaging the rest of him. The officer did this for 15 minutes while shouting insults at him. 
Then, he was paraded in front of the rest of the police before being shoved down in a puddle of piss to be ridaculed by the rest of the force. When he asked the crazy man before to stay away from him he was threatened, saying that the man had a home near his and that he would find him if he spoke out.
After that he was brought to the prison where he went through cage after cage stages where they would question him about other protesters. He was denied a lawyer, even though he would not speak without one as he knew his rights. Being disoriented he admitted to reading some left wing books although he didn't know what that was for. 
He ended up meeting up with his friend again there and was then taken to an actual prison and put in solitary confinement for the night. He was denied water and food and sleep for a day and a half and finally he had a mental break down. 
His bail was posted at 50,000 dollars but was dropped to 1000 once his cousin, who had a PhD, showed up. 
At his trial he was told that he was being charged for using a lolatove coctail, which was proven through a video of him supposedly grabbing a bottle of gasoline from his friends bag, which was then disproven when he drank the bottle of water, not gasoline. The man who beat him up claimed that he was the one punching him, but was then disproven when they made the point that it was impossible considering that his hands were tied behind his back.
Quickly the charges were dropped and he was released. Now he is using the experience to write his PhD paper.
He never pressed charges on the man who beat him as he didn't know his name, they didn't wear name tags, and he was advised that it wasn't worth it in the end to do so.

This is his story. I wanted to tell you all because there are many people who were abused that day, and many things happened that shouldn't have. It was an amazing story for me to hear as a law student, and I want everyone to know the story of my friend.
That's all I have to say for today.


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