Peaceful protest against G20 arrests

Anti-capitalist groups, unions and community and women’s organizations are rallying to support those still being filtered through the justice system following mass arrests during the G-20 summit in Toronto last weekend.

Anti G20 protesters gather in Montreal Thursday.

Anti G20 protesters gather in Montreal Thursday.

MONTREAL — Anti-capitalist groups, unions and community and women’s organizations are rallying to support those still being filtered through the justice system following mass arrests during the G-20 summit in Toronto last weekend.

About 1,000 protesters marched peacefully through downtown Montreal on Thursday to condemn the way police handled security at the summit.

Many carried cans around their necks to collect money for the legal representation of those still in police custody in Toronto.

Others called on bystanders to join them and handed out leaflets to store owners, shoppers and diners relaxing on terraces.

Unionist Francis Lagace, one of the few marchers sporting a suit and tie, had been in Toronto for the summit.

“Those people were arrested without knowing why, they were detained in horrendous conditions,” he said.

“This is a clear violation of human rights in Canada.”

He said the number of arrests were out of proportion to any damage caused by small group of the protesters.

“I only heard of a few store windows damaged and I heard of 900 arrests. I don’t understand that. It’s not normal, not acceptable in a democratic country.”

Montreal’s Anti-Capitalist Convergence, who organized the march, also say Quebecers were unfairly targeted at last weekend’s summit.

They estimate between 200 and 250 Quebecers were detained in Toronto during the summit protests, which saw about 900 people taken into custody.