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Testimony from media activist Lacy MacAuley after being snatched by an unmarked van at the Toronto G20

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

LACY MACAULEY, MEDIA ACTIVIST FROM WASHINGTON, DC: The G-20 Summit protests were effectively voicing why we were there protesting the G-20—which is an institution that needs to be disbanded—until Sunday, when I was arrested. I was very violently arrested from a peaceful rally. In fact, we were singing “Kumbaya”. Police ran into the crowd, snatched me. They went ahead and dragged me and threw me on the ground once, and then an officer picked me up, pulled me behind the police line, threw me on the ground again. All of this is caught on videotape by some very wonderful videographers. It was actually broadcast on CNN and CBC. Also, photographs of me appeared in The New York Times, on the front page of The Toronto Star, and a number of different news outlets. What all of that news footage didn’t show was that after I was very violently snatched by police, they threw me into the back of an unmarked van. There were four officers in the van. I believe that they were plainclothes officers. However, none of them identified themselves as officers. I was sat on by one of them—I was lying on my back. I was strangled. And when I didn’t lose consciousness, the officer who had tried to strangle me actually punched me in the head at least once. So after that I was very lucky to escape sexual assault. I actually—when I had been strangled, urine seeped into my clothing, and I believe that that’s why they did not sexually assault me. They were calling me a variety of very sexually charged, derogatory terms, which I do not want to repeat out loud. They were horrible, and I thought that I was personally—I’m very offended by those terms. One of the things—after that, they brought me in to the station. There’s a lot more to the story, but they brought me in to the station. And I wanted to do this verbal blog post for a very specific reason, and that reason is that although these—I wanted to let you all know, all of you who are watching this, that while all these things happened to me—they really did strangle me, they really did punch me in the head—I am not a victim. And I am someone who is—basically, I have love in my heart, and that love protected me. This might sound a little bit sappy, but, you know, someone can only hurt you when you let them under your skin. And, you know, this is what happens when we’re in relationships. This is what happens when you’re with friends. You know, you can let them hurt you. I mean, it can happen. You can make yourself vulnerable to them and they can hurt you. But I was not made vulnerable to the police. They can—whatever. They can do whatever on the outside. They can try to break my bones. They can punch me in the head. They can try to break my will. But they are never going to get on the inside of my head, and they’re never going to break my spirit. And I would hope that all of us, all 900 to 1,000 of us—the numbers vary—all 900 to 1,000 of us who were arrested at the G-20 Summit protests in Toronto, can remember the same thing.

End of Transcript

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