G20 protest chaos must be investigated

This past weekend, G20 protesters got out of hand and destroyed public and private spaces along major streets of Toronto’s downtown core. Those few individuals who broke the law during what was largely a peaceful protest must be persecuted for their crimes.

Outside of the violence created and perpetuated by small black bloc groups, there have also been accusations and evidence presented against security forces protecting the summit perimeter.

A public inquiry into the occurrences of this past weekend needs to be called for by the government. It is important that Canadians and the world see that the chaos that occurred outside the summit will be investigated so that lessons can be learned and future escalation of protests can be avoided.

Mass arrests of citizens not participating in protests in any form, the destroying and censorship of journalists and the beating of protesters cannot be ignored. There is far too much evidence to support the fact that certain members of the security forces stepped over a boundary towards violating the rights of individuals present in Toronto, whether they were protesters, journalists or simply passers-by. The right to dissent and for free speech and media was violated at certain points throughout the weekend and during the lead-up to the G20 and these incidences must be investigated for the sake of all Canadian citizens.

The conditions of detainment centres have also come under question, and an inquiry must attempt to answer allegations of minors being held and detainees not having access to legal counsel.

With a budget of over one billion dollars to secure the city of Toronto, questions must be answered as to why storefronts lie in ruin along main streets.

Regrettably, it seems as though everyone lost out last weekend. Peaceful protesting was trampled, power was abused by the authorities and international relations going on at the G8 and G20 were largely overshadowed.