First Nations G20 protest at Queen’s Park

No clashes with police as protestors call for better treatment

Zip cuffs on bike cops. These can cause nerve damage. Photo by Lex Gill.

About 350 protesters turned out on June 24 in front of Queen’s Park, Ontario’s legislature, as part of a First Nations protest in conjunction with the 2010 G8/G20.

Citing the mistreatment of First Nations communities, the forced removal of children from reserves by child services and the ecological impact of projects like the tar sands, the organizers asked people to leave there bandannas at home.

“This is going to be a peaceful protest,” said organizer John Fox. “We have our elders here and our children here.”

Although the protest provided its own sizable security contingent, up to 120 police officers were on site, most idling on bicycles.

With a march planned in the direction away from the G20 fence in downtown Toronto, no clashes had occurred with the police.

By 1:00 p.m. the protest had grown to 1,000 members as it neared Nathan Phillip Square. Despite causing traffic snarls across the downtown core, police did not force the protest to move.

Media on the ground thinned at that point, as most of the television networks had moved back to the G20 security zone.

A review of the media’s coverage will be posted tonight.