In the wake of one of the most grotesque public expressions of police brutality, intimidation and mass violations of civil liberties, the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance (ACLA) strongly condemns the overzealous actions of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force, the Integrated Security Unit and the countless other police agencies that participated in the suppression of protesters rights during the G20 protests.
The actions exhibited by the police and their supervisors are unconscionable. The police force collectively as well as the individual officers involved, their superiors and elected officials from all levels of Government must be held accountable.
By all accounts the over $1 billion price tag was utilized to bring fear and disorder to our communities.
While we abhor this weekend’s police violence, ACLA reiterates that these actions reflect the realities experienced by low-income, indigenous, and racialized communities across this city on a daily basis.
Illegal searches, entries without warrants, large-scale police and immigration raids, the use of excessive and arbitrary police powers are ongoing experiences of our communities, perpetuated through unjust socio-economic structures and institutions that at the same time exploit the labour of indigenous and racialized communities. Instead of addressing chronic underfunding, inadequate resources and systemic unemployment that impoverishes our members, the police and elected officials persist in marginalizing and criminalizing our communities.
The resolve of the G20 will deepen this crisis through its focus on deficit and debt reduction and not on economic and environmental justice. Regressive and racist immigration policies, inadequate labour protection and the absence of resources for housing, day care, healthcare and numerous other entitlements further perpetuate a cycle of precarious existence for racialized communities across the city, the province and the country.
We say NO to the neo-liberal agenda of austerity by the G8 and we call on all progressive labour unions, community groups and activists to demand justice and dignity for those detained, arrested and an end to civil rights violations.
We demand that the following steps be taken:
1) The immediate release of all political prisoners
2) An end to the criminalization of dissent with compensation for all victims of police violence
3) Meaningful economic resources and infrastructure to be invested in marginalized communities
4) An end to the persecution and criminalization of Aboriginal, migrant communities and non- status communities
5) Independent Police Oversight, community control over policing and civilian authority over the police.
6) An independent public inquiry into police actions during the summit, including disclosure on the role of police infiltrators leading up to and during events, and the chain of command for the extraordinary crackdown on legal rights and protests. Firm timelines must be established.