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G20 - Toronto - This isn't Canada anymore

A G20 incident caught on video that shows a York Regional Police officer telling a protester he is no longer in Canada and has no civil rights is under investigation. The video shows several activists standing outside of the G20 security perimeter at King St. W. and University Ave. on June 27 while their bags are searched by a group of police officers.

The mood is pleasant until a young man in a black T-shirt and cap refuses to hand over his backpack. Just outside the St. Andrew subway station, a male York Regional Police officer wraps one arm around the protester and tells him: "You don't get a choice, get moving." "Why are you grabbing me, man?" says the unidentified protester, who in another G20 video gives a brief monologue about animal rights.

"I didn't do anything." The male protester insists that, as a Canadian, he has the right to refuse the search. But the officer disagrees.  "This ain?t Canada right now," he says. While the crowd laughs in disbelief, the officer continues to tell the protester he has two choices: leave, or open his bag.

The protester continues to refuse to do either. "I just don?t like to have my civil rights violated," he says eventually.  "There is no civil rights here in this area," the officer replies. "How many times do you gotta be told that?" "I was upset that police officers could make those kinds of statements in a democracy," says Derek Soberal, co-filmmaker of the film Toronto G20 Exposed, who re-posted the video on his YouTube site.

Posted by George Freund on June 12, 2011 at 8:23 AM 2820 Views