Group demonstrates against police handling of G20 protesters
Published Friday, November 12, 2010 10:01PM EST
MONTREAL - As leaders met for the G20 meetings in Seoul, South Korea, about 400 people marched through downtown Montreal on Friday evening to demonstrate against the way Toronto police handled protesters at the G20 summit in June.
Many of those on hand were at the summit in Toronto during the summer, where protests were marked by mass arrests.
The march on Friday was largely non-violent, with one arrest made by police.
Organizers said they want a public inquiry into the way police handled protests at the summit in Toronto.
"Today's demonstration is to stand in solidarity with those that continue to face bogus charges… this past June," Sahita Ahouja told CTV Montreal.
"We also are taking the streets to denounce the strict bale conditions that people have to live under, and we're also standing in solidarity with the people that are protesting in Seoul."
Some Quebec protesters have argued that people from the province were targeted at the Toronto summit and arrested simply for speaking French or having fleur-de-lys license plates.
In October, Crown prosecutors dropped charges against about 90 people, most of whom travelled from Quebec to Toronto and were put up at a University of Toronto graduate studies building.
Police raided the building on June 27 and arrested about 90 people, charging them with conspiracy to commit a criminal act.
Civil rights groups have decried the heavy-handed action of police, who in some cases stood back while so-called Black Bloc protesters burned police cars and vandalized buildings, but in other cases held large groups of peaceful protesters for hours, with no clear explanation for their actions.
More than 1,000 were arrested during the G20 in July, but only 300 were charged.
At least 100 have now had their charges dropped altogether, but it isn't clear how many still have outstanding charges against them.
A number of people were arrested in the weeks and months after the G20 as police released images and video and asked for help identifying suspects.
Protests in Seoul
Earlier in the week, thousands of people chanted anti-globalization slogans in South Korea's capital to protest this week's Group of 20 summit.
South Korea hosted a gathering of leaders from the G-20 advanced and developing economies on Thursday and Friday.
The G-20 forum, founded in 1999, has taken on greater significance since the global financial meltdown and is seeking to reform the world economy to ensure stable growth and strengthen the financial system to prevent a recurrence of the 2008 crisis. It held its first summit in Washington two years ago.
- with files from The Associated Press