TORONTO, June 28 /CNW/ - Early Sunday morning, police raided the Graduate Students' Union (GSU) building at the University of Toronto and arrested approximately 70 billeting activists. Students' unions, campus groups and labor organizations at U of T condemn the G20 Integrated Security Unit (ISU) for this and other raids, and demand that all detained activists and community members be released immediately.
Signatory organizations announced on June 22 that our offices would remain open during the G20 summit despite the University administration's decision to close the campus. The administration did not consult students, faculty or staff in making this decision. As independent organizations, we remained open to defend freedom of speech and academic freedom, and to oppose the fear mongering and intimidation that pervaded media and workplaces in the weeks preceding the summit; ISU officers visited some of our offices and events to intimidate students and staff on multiple occasions.
As we noted in our initial public statement, we were concerned that protesters would be targeted with police violence and violation of civil liberties. What the world saw during the summit was worse than anticipated: with more than 800 people detained, we are witnessing the largest mass arrest in Canada since the War Measures Act of 1970, when 465 people were arrested and held without charge.
We call on the University of Toronto to promote civil liberties, follow due process, and join us in condemning the Integrated Security Unit's senseless acts of aggression. We defend the right of all campus organizations to associate with individuals and groups that are not affiliated with the University of Toronto. We publicly call for the release of all political detainees of the G20 summit protests.
University of Toronto Students' Union
Graduate Students' Union
Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students
Ontario Public Interest Research Group - Toronto
SOURCE University of Toronto Students' Union
For further information: For further information: Adam Awad, UTSU, 416-823-2672; Patrick Vitale, CUPE 3902, 647-222-3902; Clare O'Connor, OPIRG-Toronto, 416-926-8083; Anton Neschadim, GSU, 416-897-2789; Faraz Shahidi, OPIRG, 905 484 0570