On Sunday May 2nd I went to 4 different locations to report on the upcoming G20 summit along with PFT members Bryan Law and Steve Davies. We visited the Metro Toronto Convention Center (site of the summit), Trinity Bellwoods Park (designated free speech zone) The Toronto Film Studios (temporary holding facility for arrests made during the G20) and also the Financial District.
While shooting footage for our report in the financial district camera man and PFT reporter Bryan Law was approached by private security who asked for his ID even though he was on a public sidewalk and was doing nothing illegal. When Bryan refused to submit his identification Toronto Police were called and Bryan was placed under arrest and illegally searched and detained under the pretext of “heightened security due to the upcoming G20 summit”.
Under the Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms we have freedom of the press (section 2) freedom from arbitrary detainment (section 9) and rights from unreasonable search and seizure (section 8) all of which were violated by the Toronto Police force. We live in a country where you do not have to submit your identification to police when you have done nothing illegal. In countries like China and Columbia you must submit your papers upon request but this is Canada and we are protected under the Canadian Constitution against tyrannical tactics of fear and submission...or at least I thought we were.
Press For Truth will be taking the matter to court because we feel that if it can happen to us then it can happen to anyone and our rights must be upheld regardless of the fact that the G20 summit is coming to town. The erosion of our freedoms is often achieved incrementally so we must oppose these changes at every step of the way.
At a town hall meeting for the G20 summit we questioned Constable George Tucker who is in charge of the Toronto Police Unit and is working with the Integrated Security Unit which is an amalgamation of RCMP, OPP, Toronto Police Service, Military and CSIS. PFT reporter Steve Davies asked Constable Tucker if in the case of an abuse of authority by one of the many private security firms who will be present at the G20 summit, who will hold them accountable? Constable Tucker assured us that private security will not have the same powers as the police and if a situation were to arise, he stated on the record, that the offending firm will be held accountable.
I mentioned to Constable Tucker that in 2007 at a summit in Montebello Quebec 3 police officers were caught as agent provocateurs who were dressed as aggressive protesters with rocks in their hands in an attempt to incite violence at the otherwise peaceful protest. I asked him if he could assure to me that the Toronto Police force will NOT engage in any agent provocateur tactics at the G20 summit. He eventually answered the question by stating “I am not at liberty to discuss security issues in an open format”.
By the end of it all we had went into the red zone, the free speech zone, the holding facility and the financial district. We questioned Constable Tucker about agent provocateurs and the role of private security and we got arrested for filming on a public sidewalk. Rest assured Press For Truth will continue our extensive coverage of the G20 summit. Our goal will be to show the world what is really happening as it happens on the weekend of June 25th, 26th and 27th. Our weapon in this infowar is the camera. The lens of the camera will be our eyes. We are peaceful and we are vigilant. We don’t shoot bullets...we shoot frames! This is the Information Revolution and we are the Press For Truth!!!