TORONTO — The memory of the street riots that the G20 summit turned into in downtown Toronto in June of 2010 is not going to go away. That is, if Green Party candidate for Scarborough Southwest, Tommy Taylor, has his way.
Taylor running on the Green Part ticket, intends to make the G20 a campaign issue with its many referrals to images of testosterone enraged police turning on peaceful protesters and detaining hundreds of innocent people for hours and even days in unsanitary and crowed makeshift cages, without charged being laid.
Police were video taped by thousands of protesters and mainstream media cameras rounding up and beating peaceful protesters along with a small band of more militant “Black Block” protesters during the gathering of world leaders in Toronto.
It has been suggested, not without evidence, that even some of the Black Block window smashers may have been police
Taylor was one of those innocents mistreated and abused by overzealous policed under the command of former Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, who is being considered by the Trudeau Liberals for justice minister in a Liberal government.
This does not sit well with Taylor, who was handcuffed and detained for almost 24 hours with more than 20 in a cage without being charged. Taylor chronicled his experience on Facebook and later in a stage play he wrote and stared in called, “You Should Have Stayed Home.”
“That brings the G20 back to life, because his failures of accountability on that demonstrate a kind of character that we don’t need to see more of in Parliament,” Taylor tells Yahoo Canada News.
“I don’t think we need people in Ottawa who fight us on transparency and accountability.” Taylor says. “We don’t need public servants who are only interested in their own authority.’’
Blair is on record saying he supports the increased powers for spy agencies and police, but wants more oversight and bipartisan review by parliament of those powers.
“I had never been to a protest before in my life. It was a big wake up call,” he says.
It was also a big wake up call to most Canadians who watched in disbelief as police in riot gear rounded up the innocent with the guilty and treated both with equal disregard to their human rights.
“Bill Blair has one of the worst track records for public oversight of nearly any public official,” he said, referring to the Ontario Ombudsman and Special Investigations Unit highly critical of the former chief.
According to Green Party spokesman Matthew Chisholm, “Tommy is a well-respected activist in the community and he’s someone who can speak on our stance on civil liberties and particularly Bill C-51.”