Josh – “Made me feel like a criminal. Took all power of my own life away.”

My name is Josh.  Me, my brother  and two of my friends Left Manitoba on June 24th and arrived in Toronto on the 26th.  We went and checked out the G20 in the  late afternoon on june 26th.  My brother was filming the damage done by the black bloq.  We wanted to film a protest, so we walked around for a couple of hours and finally in the late evening around 9:30pm, not to sure the exact times, we found ourselves standing on the outside of a gathering of protesters.  They started marching towards us and we followed.  We ended up in front of the Novatel.  As we filmed the protesting, riot police came up on our left side.  Then I think around 10:00, 10:30pm  More riot police came in on our right.  So we were surrounded.  At this time I started to get a little uneasy.  When people tried to walk away they were stopped by the riot police.  I remember one person asking to leave, and the response from the police was that we were all going to be arrested.  I heard chanting from my corner of the crowd “Let us go, Let us go,….”    As time went on they squeezed the crowd, then started to open up the lines and shoot out police to snatch and grab people.  For 3 to 4 hours this went on.  To be clear, We did not receive any kind of warning, or given any chance to leave.  No mega phone was used to address the people.  So we were finally arrested.  I turned put my hands behind my back and was escorted backwards by two officers on either side of me.  This alone was unreal to me.  My hands were zipped tied behind my back, and an officer took me aside, as they were doing to everyone.  They told me I was being arrested for breaching the peace. Then they searched me, looked through my bag and my personal items, without consent.  Took my glasses my shoe laces and all my belongings.  They took my picture as well.  I was put on a patty wagon that said court services on the side.  For some reason they had the air conditioning on and was very uncomfortable.   Me and one other person sat with me and waited for at least an hour.  We were transported to the Toronto film studio and I was put in a 10ft by 20ft holding cell with about 20 other guys.  No one gave us any information as to what was happening.  I was held in the detention center for 14 hours.  The entire time with my hands zipped tied.  We received no phone call, the bathroom consisted of an open outhouse where you have no privacy whatsoever.  Most of us sat on the hard ground.  the guards came around once in a while to give us these disgusting Cheese sandwiches, and a small cup of water.  They never told us anything, which made the whole situation much worse.  I witnessed one of the guys being yanked really hard out of our cell and was put in a smaller holding cell.  The police did not show any professionalism, or any decency towards us.  They also observed us through a camera and a mike above our holding cell.  Made me feel like a criminal.  Took all power of my own life away.  I was released around 5:00pm on the June 27th.  On my way out I talked to the commanding officers.   He threatened to arrest me again if I showed up at anymore protests.  One of my friends got out a half hour later, then the other friend at 10:30pm, June 27th, then my brother at 2:00am, June 28th.  There was no probable cause for our arrest.  We were tourists who were interested in what all goes down at the G20.  I have that right as a Canadian citizen to attend such events, without being detained and treated like criminals.  My picture was taken again, and received my belongings back, and was rushed out of the detention center.  I posted a video on my facebook of footage my brother took.   And here is a link http://www.torontosun.com/news/g20/2010/06/27/14538046.html has a shot of me being released from the Toronto film studio( Iam the 4th person who walks out, the guy with the beard).  I was also inteviewed on my release by a news station not sure which one, I couldn’t find it.   Thanks to all those who read this, and care about what happens when our government abuses our rights.  The scary thing is I think this is just the beginning.  From what I here austerity measures will be put in place.  There will be more protests and I do believe they will try use the strong arm of the police to suppress and oppress again.  I hope this class action will help the rest of canadians realize what is actually going on.

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