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Testimony #4 from the G-20-Reports from witnesses and subjects of police actions

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TEXT ON SCREEN: The following is testimony of people subject or witness to police actions during the Toronto G-20.

GEOFFREY B., CYCLIST: I was taken on Sunday by five police bikes. It was a group ride called Critical Mass. It was a Sunday edition, so that was difficult. Critical Mass is usually held in every city in North America last Friday of the month. It was on a Sunday, so it was a special Critical Mass. I didn’t think anything of it. I wasn’t there—I was not there to protest; I was there to ride my bike through the city of Toronto, which I thought was legal. It was not, apparently. I was charged under “inciting”. An officer took me off my bike (he was riding on the sidewalk). He punched me in the face, in the teeth. I went down hard. The police threw me on their bicycle—I have scratch marks all over me from their bicycle. They pushed me down. Three, four of them were on top of me. I really couldn’t see. They didn’t charge me anything right there. I told them, “I’m not resisting. Please, I’m not resisting.” They attacked me in my privates. They knocked my head against the ground repeatedly. They wouldn’t take mercy into their system, and it was very scary. And I’ve lived with these cops all my life, and I’ve never—well, I’ve seen them do this before, and actually I’ve seen them do this to many people this weekend. I didn’t realize they’d take it out on me in Yorkville. This was on Yorkville Avenue. It was a full street, full of people shopping, going about their business, trying to return to a life as normal. The police took that from them. The police threatened every single witness with obstruction of justice charges, ’cause they were watching them beat me. They tried to hide them beating me by taking me into a parking structure. They told me, take him to a corner without any cameras. They threatened me with more beatings if I didn’t keep quiet, they threatened me with more charges if I didn’t keep quiet, and they beat me more, regardless of that. They handcuffed me more than usual, tighter than usual. Their sergeant came around. He took mercy on me. He told them, quit it, get the handcuffs loose, get him in the paddy wagon, and get him down to the detention center. They charged me for inciting. I don’t know what I was inciting. They never told me. They said I was a no-good anarchist. I’m a card-carrying NDP-er. I vote NDP. I’m left, you know, as you can [be]. I don’t know what anarchy means, really. They took me down to the detention center. They took my shoes away. They kept me in these plastic handcuffs for 12 hours. They threw me in a cell that was overcrowded with 25 people. I read in The Globe and Mail the day before that these cells were only supposed to go 10 people. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what was going on. I was bleeding. My face, my nose, my arm was splintered. I was asking for emergency medical service. Nobody received emergency medical service in the entire facility. Nobody received phone calls. I got a little, small Styrofoam cup of water every five hours, so I only got two little small cups of water. We asked them for mercy. We asked them for our rights as humans. They laughed at us. They ate chocolate-covered strawberries in front of us. They ate apples, they drank huge bottles of water, and they threw us apple cores. Some people were so desperate to eat, they ate their apple cores. They let me go under a verbal contract that I would not go to a protest ever again. These aren’t rights. These are threats. This is intimidation. I am now afraid that they will take me back there. It’s always now forever in my head. And I will work very hard to never let this ever happen again in my home city, ’cause it’s my home. It’s not their home. They’re, like, taking the city and changing it into something else that I did not grow up in. And that’s all I can say.

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