G20 protesting continues in UpTown

On July 7, over 70 protesters marched up King Street in an effort to raise awareness regarding political prisoners. Carrying signs and banners with numerous slogans, the group made their way from the UpTown Square, circling around to the police station on Erb Street.

With signs marked with everything from calls for an inquiry into G20 violence to freedom for those imprisoned, the crowd appeared to have many reasons for their demonstration.

“We feel that many of our friends and other people are put in jail for their political views and we want to see a stop to that,” said Laurier graduate Jacob Pries.

Another Laurier history grad, Luke Stewart, said the group was “standing in solidarity with friends who are still currently locked up” as a result of the some 1,000 arrests made over the June 26-27 weekend in Toronto.

The protest made its way up King Street towards Peter Braid’s office, where the group dropped off a copy of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“We stopped there to let him know that we know where he is and that his government is supporting the wrong side of history,” said Stewart. A letter containing a demand for the release of all prisoners accompanied the charter.

Both King Street and Erb Street were blocked off at times between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to allow the protest to migrate towards the police station. The police presence was simply to ensure the free flow of traffic and ensure the safety of both the protesters and the public.

A lack of tension between the police and protesters, Pries said the gathering had a peaceful message for the police force.

“We’re asking for there be a limit on police powers,” he said. “We’d actually like to see them disarmed.”