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Arts

Prisoners exhibition captures the face of G20 detainees

Posted by Elena Potter / March 14, 2011

G20 PrisonersFor a modest show in a tiny gallery, "Prisoners" has garnered a lot of attention. It's no surprise, since the story of the G20—described by the exhibition's accompanying text as "Canada's largest mass arrest"— has captivated Torontonians of all stripes, and the related portraits are sure to recall the controversy surrounding the protests that weekend.

G20 PrisonersPhotographed by National Post photographer Brett Gundlock, the exhibition is modest, consisting of only 10 black-and-white portraits, and seems almost stifled in the small space that Communication Gallery calls home. But the photographs themselves are affecting, at first glance. Running the gamut from pleading, empathetic gazes to steely stares of resolve, the subjects' eyes almost invariably meet Gundlock's lens head-on. It's a classical form of portraiture, used throughout the history of photography to connote objectivity and the idea of letting the subject speak for him or herself.

"As journalists, we tell the world what's going on in the world and the moment I had my hands cuffed I wasn't able to do that," said Gundlock in a recent interview with Catherine McDonald. "The stories I was hearing, they needed to be out there, the public needed to hear them, and my hands were tied, literally."

G20 PrisonersEach subject has an "everyman" look—some even seem to resemble people I know, though this may be my mind playing tricks on me. Regardless, the cumulative effect is thought-provoking, and reminds me of what I already know: many different kinds of people were implicated in the demonstrations. While some appear to fit the visual stereotype associated with activists, it seems like many were bystanders. The information panels provided beneath each portrait, corroborate this.

G20 Prisoners ExhibitThere's an off-the-cuff feel to the information panels, probably symptomatic of the hurried shooting, which was done on the day of the court appearances. Listing the subject's name, age, time and location of arrest, and charges laid, the panels also include subjects' responses to an open-ended question about their experiences from the day. These are the core story that Gundlock is so compelled to tell: "Shot (in the sternum and the elbow) with rubber bullets while leaving a demonstration," and "A police officer said to me: 'I don't know why we let people like you immigrate into our country,'" are typical examples. While these are familiar stories for anyone whose friends or relatives were detained, they bear repeating in this context.

G20 Prisoners ExhibitThe stories actually overshadow the strength of the portraits, in a sense, though they simultaneously galvanize the overall purpose of the exhibition: to act as "the people's record" of the aftermath of the G20 summits in Toronto. I'm not sure the group of portraits actually "delves into the impact of the arrests," (as asserted by the artist's statement), but the exhibition succeeds in using photography's documentary strengths to provide a record of the faces of those who were arrested — a group who could all too easily slip into anonymity as the events of that weekend fade from our collective memory.

G20 prisonersPrisoners runs until March 31st at Communication Gallery (209 Harbord St.).

Discussion

75 Comments

A. Prisoner / March 14, 2011 at 09:43 am
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Two sentences detailing the most compelling part of your experience
"My new SLR camera I had recently bought from Henry's got scuffed and my detention delayed me from uploading my awesome shots to myflickr account (uselessbystanderwhoprotestednothing134)"

Rob / March 14, 2011 at 09:54 am
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Thanks to our G20 experience, we can really empathize with the struggle of those in Libya and other Arab nations. Power to the people!
JUST / March 14, 2011 at 10:09 am
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Rob. You are really smart! They totally shot at and killed people JUST like in LIBYA and other ARAB NATIONS! I LOVE the connection! You really should start reading, and or, opening your eyes. If you REALLY want to make the connection, I would be HAPPY to pay for your flight down to hmm, lets say, LIBYA, and you can go join the group trying to overthrow Ghadafi. Goodluck!! I bet you will come running home to Canada kissing Canadian soil.
JUST replying to a comment from Rob / March 14, 2011 at 10:10 am
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Rob. You are really smart! They totally shot at and killed people JUST like in LIBYA and other ARAB NATIONS! I LOVE the connection! You really should start reading, and or, opening your eyes. If you REALLY want to make the connection, I would be HAPPY to pay for your flight down to hmm, lets say, LIBYA, and you can go join the group trying to overthrow Ghadafi. Goodluck!! I bet you will come running home to Canada kissing Canadian soil.
cruthers / March 14, 2011 at 10:22 am
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I was an officer during the G20 and all I have to say is if you were in the riot zone you were guilty which gave me any right to push you over and ask you nicely to leave or butt rape you to party in the USA by Miley Cyrus. Come at me, bros. I'm just doing my job! Getting paid and making it rain. Also if you throw change at a stripper it's called making it hail. I make it hail sometimes.
... replying to a comment from JUST / March 14, 2011 at 10:22 am
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I see Rob's sarcasm went right over your head.
Rob replying to a comment from ... / March 14, 2011 at 10:30 am
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Thank you...glad to know that as my primary mode of humour, my comment wasn't lost on everyone.

JUST - you're an idiot (note: not sarcastic)
Alex / March 14, 2011 at 11:09 am
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People really ought to stop trying to dismiss this, or trivialize the issue with ridiculous hyperbole.

Yeah, obviously not comparable to protests in the Middle East. The sarcastic comparison is actually supposed to discredit complainers -- I get that. But how many reports and articles do people need to read before they realize that many of these people really were innocent bystanders?

This happened in an urban centre. It's not unthinkable that regular citizens would get swept up in the chaos, and what happened to them (and others, because, no, peaceful protesters are not criminals by definition) was worthy of outrage. Threats of sexual assault? Hateful bigotry? Claims that this "isn't Canada"? ACTUAL physical assault?

If you want our police officers and official to have free reign to do sh*t like this, then good for you. Wait until they really get carried away, and God forbid you get caught up in something yourself that you can't escape -- who's going to feel sorry for you?
JUST / March 14, 2011 at 11:14 am
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Okay well I obviously didn't pick up the sarcasm, kind of hard to do online! Either way, really happy it is sarcasm. With regards to what Alex said, I disagree completely. I personally think that there is no such thing as an 'innocent bystander' at these things. Why are you going down there? If you do go down there I think it is just as bad, you are just legitimizing the stupid shit that people are doing. You are giving them a platform. The 'innocent bystanders' were just as bad.
Michael replying to a comment from JUST / March 14, 2011 at 11:25 am
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What do you mean, "go down there." Some of us *live* there.
the_weight replying to a comment from JUST / March 14, 2011 at 11:32 am
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@JUST - I agree, they weren't innocent; they were parcticing their right to protest, some in what were supposedly free protest zones (even though the entriety of the city and all of Canada is free-speech zone, what with our charter rights and all).

No one legitimized what the black bloc'ers were doing, they discredited themselves by carrying bnners with Mao's face on them. The people that were there protestign were there WELL before the falsely labelled anarchists and it stands to reason they'd remain there afterwards, even to give the impression that the peaceful protesters greatly outnumbered the "violent" ones (i put that into quotes as no one was physically harmed that weekend by anyone aside from the cops). It's clear you ahve a very naive and simplistic view of democratic ideals, it's nice that you have an opinion, it's however coming actross as uneducated drivel.

Canada is a nation that should hold itself up to ahigher standard than most, we advocate the shift to democracy around the world, but ehre in Canada for a weekend, we threw all of that out the window. even if you agree with the mass arrests perpetrated by the ISU that weekend, there's no way you can justify sexual assaults, physical assaults, bigotry and harsh detention conditions with a straight face. Even the criminals in Federal Detention centres don't face that here in canada.
JUST / March 14, 2011 at 11:32 am
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Comon. Dont be so ignorant. The hundreds of people who went down with there cameras and videos and stood on the outside and 'watched the show'. If you live down there and were not interested in it then i'm sure you could have figured out a way to stay away from all of the bullshit.
anon replying to a comment from JUST / March 14, 2011 at 11:34 am
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In terms of "no such thing as an 'innocent bystander'," I generally would have agreed with you. But that weekend changed everything. Unfortunately, I saw firsthand how some innocent bystander were treated, and it was a complete disgrace. There were bad apples that were completely ignored, so that subsequent over-the-top actions were "justified." Watch the Fifth Estate on the G20, I think they've got it spot on.
Jimmy / March 14, 2011 at 11:56 am
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"bad apples that were completely ignored"...by the other protestors there.
JUST / March 14, 2011 at 12:01 pm
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@the weight --- " It's clear you ahve a very naive and simplistic view of democratic ideals, it's nice that you have an opinion, it's however coming actross as uneducated drivel"

I disagree with much of what you are saying. I understand the importance of Democracy, and what democratic ideals are, and that is why it bothers me so much when people take advantage of democracy. And that is exactly what happened at the G20 and EXACTLY what happened afterwards. People saying it is a 'police state'. It is extremely frustrating, given what the rest of the world looks like, that people take democracy for granted. There is a line, and in my opinion that line was crossed. And there is a big difference between 'practising right to protest' and 'burning cars and breaking windows'. For me, when people cross that line, I have no sympathy. It makes me sick. People need to wake up, realize the unbelievable situation that they are in, and be happy.
the_weight / March 14, 2011 at 12:03 pm
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@Jimmy - And now the officers are protecting eachother, actively hiding the identities of the officers amongst them that beat up protesters. At least the protesters can claim to not know who amongst them was a vandal, not sure if you noticed, but there were very few of them and they were all wearing masks. The fact that many of the officers removed their nametags is telling in that they were there for one purpose; to beat people down with impunity, hiding behind their badges.
Rob replying to a comment from Alex / March 14, 2011 at 12:05 pm
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Good post.

My sarcastic comment was directed at those (like, perhaps, the creators of this art exhibit) who are taking this to the extreme, BUT, some of the police were out of hand.

JUST - obviously if everyone just did as they were told and stayed away, none of this would have happened, but that's not the point. Western society is founded on, in part, a healthy dose of civil disobedience. Why the hell should any of us vacate the centre of this country's largest city because we were told to? I don't support violence/vandalism, but don't for a second tell me that we didn't have a right to be there. If you want to just shut up and do as you're told, there are plenty of states worldwide who would be happy to have you.
Rob replying to a comment from JUST / March 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm
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Also some very good points. Comparing the G20 to a police state is an insult to Police States!

However, you're missing the point that a large number of detainees had absolutely nothing to do with the violence.
anon replying to a comment from Jimmy / March 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm
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Are you kidding? You expected peaceful protesters to stop the Black Bloc? They were complete thugs. It required police intervention, which the police chose to ignore. Can you explain to me why they chose to do nothing? Why did they chose to crack down on peaceful protesters in the designated protest areas?

I can almost live with apathy from Torontonians with no interests in the protesters' causes. But the contempt shown towards them is really shocking.
anon replying to a comment from JUST / March 14, 2011 at 12:19 pm
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JUST, again, I implore to watch the Fifth Estate episode concerning the G20. You absolutely must make a distinction between the thugs and the peaceful protesters. I have no sympathy for the car burners and the window smashers.

But they really drop the ball when they left the Black Block loose, and tried to compensate by going overboard with the rest of the protesters.
buggo / March 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm
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lol what a bunch of self-important poseurs. lets see them with their cameras and cellphones in a region like lybia and egypt, all for trying to get a kool facebook pic of the protesters.
the_weight replying to a comment from JUST / March 14, 2011 at 12:37 pm
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Given what happens in many other countries, we should be seen as a beacon of hope, but if we do the same things that those countries do, even for a few days, we throw all of that out the window. In fact, I've asked people from countries where police intimidation adn violence is the norm, where protests are ACTUALLY violent etc. I asked what they think, are we here in Toronto being sissies, trumping up problems that really aren't problems? They said absoluetly not, that Canada is suppsoed to be better than that, that's why they came here, if Canada isn't that then where in the world does thate exist? If Canada lets go of its democratic ideals even for a ltitle while, then there's no hope in this world.

"And there is a big difference between 'practising right to protest' and 'burning cars and breaking windows'." You're right there is, a hge difference, which si why the ones that had nothign to do withn that, the in fact thousands that were on the astreets that had nothing to do with smashing windows and/or setting cars on fire, should not have been arrested and definitely not subjected to the despicable things that were perpetrated againstt hem by the police.

We may be in a fairly good situation, as we're not at war, and most of us anjoy a fairly good standard of living. Are you aware, however, how easily those inalienable rights can be snatched from us? You have to fight to stay democratic, just because our forefathers fought for and won our democracy and independence, doesn't mean ti stops there, that we can all sit back and say, "ok we're democratic". If you don't work to develop democratic ideals and to remain democratic, those values one by one will be chipped away until there's nothing left, and people like you will have sat on your laurels touting a democracy that's an empty shell. I'm not sayign that because of the G20 debacle we've ceased to be democratic, but we're certainly a step closer and the G20 has definitely cast a black shadow on the TPS, OPP and RCMP, the City of toronto, the province of Ontario and the image of Canada.
just / March 14, 2011 at 12:49 pm
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@the_weight

"Given what happens in many other countries, we should be seen as a beacon of hope, but if we do the same things that those countries do, even for a few days, we throw all of that out the window"

This is a ridiculous statement. I'm sorry. Especially at this time, with all of the uprisings in Arab countries. It's pretty sad that you think that Canada did the same things that 'those countries do' during the G20 protests. There is a big difference. What would Ahmadinjad do? what DID Ahmadinjad do? I mean comon, there is no comparison, and it frustrates me, and even saddens me a little bit, that you try to connect these dots.

@Rob.

I agree with what you're saying to an extent, however, I believe that a lot of the 'innocent' and or 'bystanders' that were down there were holding cameras and sitting on the outside and seeing what was going on and all of that crap. They shouldn't be doing that. They are egging them on. So I would take those people out of the 'innocent' catagory becasue I think they are just as stupid as the people in the black masks breaking windows. They do it for an audience - and these people gave them an audience.
ROFL / March 14, 2011 at 12:53 pm
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Why are we comparing Canada to the middle east. People here would never fight for their freedom like they are over there. Fellow Canadians no longer care about their fellow Canadians like they have in the past. AS long as they are paying low taxes, price of gas stays low, and congestion is not bad on the way to work. Canadians are content. They could care less about thing else, including civil rights.
Gustavo / March 14, 2011 at 12:58 pm
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Awww, poor losers! "Let me be photographed in black and white with as little expression as possible." F-off, the lot of you!
paul / March 14, 2011 at 01:01 pm
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I'm in awe. What is the matter with all of you? Of course you should be protesting, it's a right you need to exercise. Democracy is nothing you should take for granted, it is asking for your participation. Torontonians are so damn comfortable, I have never seen anything like it, where is the civil engagement, have you lost it at the cash register? This town is as provincial as it can get. Don't cry if the police reacts thuggish and illegally, usually they want to let go of all the aggression that they had when they signed up for police training with their shiny guns and tear gas canisters. Fight back don't be such a bunch of little sissy's!
Gustavo / March 14, 2011 at 01:02 pm
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Let's make this as representative of the limited mentality of some Torontonians as possible, and allow "graffiti artists" to come in and express themselves all over these glorified mug shots :)
the_weight replying to a comment from just / March 14, 2011 at 01:17 pm
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heh, it upsets you? I find it rather laughable that you think I care that a guy that's clearly talking out of his ass is upset about the truth. The fact is, you've shown that you really don't understand the issue, I'm afraid. Rgardless of what you say from here on in, in my mind at the very least, you're characterized as someone with an opinion but no education regarding the issue. You're being disingenuous with my posts, but I don't believe it's intentional, I ratehr sure you just don't know any better. You seem liek you could eb a rational person, if you kenw abit more about how democracies have failed in the past. My parents grew up under communism, they lived in a nation that was free and over a short period of time that freedom was ripped from them while people stood around defending the ones that was in fact hurting them. They didn't know any better, they thought communism was good, for a while it was even, but eventually it became despotic, paranoid, and unbelievably violent. That COULD happen here, if we let it, if we don't rage against the instances where we subjugate civil rights and basic human decency then we're no better than the people we denounce as brutal despots. By the very fact that we claim to be demoratic we're an example for the world, if we stray away from those ideals even for a second, then we're hypocrites.

Did you know that in Ireland, where there have been in the past very violent protests, where there were actually people out in the streets with the purpose of causign destruction, killign police officers and those that oppose them, they have formed public inquiries into police violence and intimidation? They now have new laws in that regard as a result, new guidelines for dealing with crowd violence so that the acts perpetrated against the public by the officers never again occurs, exp. without consequences. Here we had a few people burn 2 cop cars and smash some windows, no cops were hurt, no cops were even attacked, yet there were mass arrests, credible allegations of abuse of power, intimidation and violence by the ISU.

The ombudsman believes this was the most massive abuse of civil rights in this country's history. Many others agree.
Enrico Pallazzo / March 14, 2011 at 01:33 pm
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The tale of an “innocent bystander”:

I live in the downtown core. I had planned to keep indoors during the entire weekend of the G20 summit. Then on Saturday evening, I ran out of toilet paper. After a brief debate as to whether I could go until the summit ended on Monday without pooping, I decided that no, I could not. I took a leisurely stroll over to my local Metro on Front St. only to find upon my return home 20 minutes later some 200 dirty, smelly, hippies gathered for a "protest" outside the Novotel, which happens to be directly across from my condo on the Esplanade.

The main entrance to my building had been shut down for the weekend in anticipation of the aforementioned hippies, so my only options to reach the alternate entrance on Scott St. were to either A) wade through the sea of unwashed masses, or B) double back and go around the block. I decided B was the safer, far less smelly option, but alas, it was too late. The police drag net had already begun. My tale of being toilet paperless fell on the deaf ears of more than one officer (despite the fact that I was indeed holding a grocery bag full of TP) and eventually I was corralled down the street into bulk of the “protesters”.

There I waited, TP in hand, for about two hours as the officers plucked people out of the crowd one by one and detained them. Eventually I was pulled out of the crowd by 2 officers. A third officer immediately ran in to confiscate my bag of toilet paper. After waiting around in flexicuffs for at least another hour, I was finally sent over to an officer to be processed. There, I again told my woeful tale of simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The officer smirked as if to say “Yah right, so was everyone else here”. It was only when my wallet was pulled and I noted that my address was, in fact, directly in front of where we were standing, that he gave even the slightest hint of taking me seriously. After a brief discussion with two other officers, it was finally agreed that perhaps I really was just an “innocent bystander” and I was let go.

Just as one final kick in the balls to cap off the evening, they lost my f**king toilet paper!

Yours truly,

an innocent bystander
JUST / March 14, 2011 at 01:57 pm
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@theweight.

I am not uneducated. You just disagree with what I believe. And that's fine. That makes the world go round. I just saw at the G20 Democracy being taken advantage of. and Yes, that upsets me.I dont know how you see that I don't understand the issue, I just disagree that this is an issue. We see the world very differently. Don't say I am uneducated because we have different political beliefs. That, i'm afraid, is uneducated. Attack the points - not the belief.

NO cars should have been burnt, NO windows should have been smashed. If you want to protest, go right ahead, but do it peacefully. Like I've said, the second you cross that line, NO sympathy.
serious replying to a comment from Enrico Pallazzo / March 14, 2011 at 02:00 pm
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in other countries they dont need toilet paper. try buying toilet paper there and see what happens.
#2 / March 14, 2011 at 02:14 pm
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Moral of the story...sneak into Spaghetti Factory and use their toilet.
Jessica / March 14, 2011 at 02:24 pm
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Question: how is holding a camera and spectating on a protest NOT part of the democratic process?

This is what we call witnessing, and creating a record of events.
We see the importance of those who are not necessarily participants, but who are there, nonetheless in the debate surrounding the G20, the disagreements between police, public, and the documented proof (by "spectators" with video cams) of false statements made by some police officers regarding their conduct... creating a record and being a witness are CRUCIAL to advancing and retaining democracy.

JUST: I have a real problem with your view that the people "spectating" were problematic. If "spectating" and recording protests is such a bad thing - then why has it helped the case of those in the middle east who are attempting to convey their dissatisfaction with the regimes they live under? Would we know as much as we know if it weren't for those "spectators" in Iran, Libya, and so on? Would it be easier to believe the authorities of those nations, were it not for the records created by the people of those nations?

Don't denigrate the role of the witnesses in the democratic process, if you're going to claim that democracy is a good thing, please.
JUST / March 14, 2011 at 02:33 pm
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@Jessica.

I understand your point. And I think you are totally right - to a degree. I do differentiate between Canada and Iran, and or Libya, however. Whether you agree or disagree with this point, and I'm guessing you are going to disagree, the spectators in Iran and Libya are helping. The spectators at the G20 summit were encouraging bad behaviour. Again, equating the Canadian political sphere with Autocratic Middle Eastern regimes - this just doesn't work. Two different levels. And just to note, the two countries you have mentioned - Iran and Libya - pictures or no pictures - uprisings are/were squashed with violence (at least for now).

As odd as this is going to sound, I completely agree that we need spectators in countries like Libya and Iran, but in Canada I think they caused more harm then good. In Iran and Libya they are fighting for freedom. And I cannot sit here and say that in Canada these people were fighting for freedom. It has to be noted, that even this conversation that we are having on the internet right here is ILLEGAL in Iran. And you can die from it. HMM
the_weight replying to a comment from JUST / March 14, 2011 at 03:09 pm
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That's great logic; if you cross the line? what's the line in this instance? Being in a "designated free speech zone", practicing free speech in a peaceful manner? No one in Queen's Park did anything wrong, the police had zero cause for arrest, same with Spadina and Queen and in front of the Novotel. If you cross the line that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms sets out as the limit to what is free speech and freedom of assembly to a riot or violence, then you should be arrested and detained. None of the protesters involved were rioting, not when the arrests happened and the claim that they saw vandals in the crowd is dubious at best, either way you should not be subject to abuse at the hand of the officers involved.

Do you really beleive that a few windows being broken and a car being set on fire justifies the arrest of over 1000 innocent people, the abuse of those people at the hands of the police, the random beatings of peaceful protesters? I think you do, which is really fucked up considering you keep trying to claim that you value democracy and civil rights. I'm sorry it bothers you that you come off as uneducated, mayeb you're educated, but it doesn't appear so, it's not that we simply disagree but, logically speaking, what you say is wrong. It's a matter of basic logic, mathematics even: if in a democracy you have freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, and you go to practice these rights but are subject to indimidation and violent tactics, then your rights have been trampled. If you claim to stand for democracy and civil rights, and the fact that we all have inalienable rights (rights that at no time can be taken away from us by another man) is a central tenet of a democratic state, but you try to claim the rights in democracy can be subjugated at the whim of the state, then you do not stand for democracy or civil rights. Not even just the rights to free speech and assembly, but the right to the reasonable expectation of safety when being arrested, the freedom to not be sexually assaulted, or from being told you're not in Canada anymore (insinuating that the detainee has no rights). We also have a criminal code and part of an accused' rights is the right to speak to a lawyer within a certain amount of time of being arrested, some people were held for over 24 hours without charge and without having spoken to a lawyer. That's illegal, plain and simple.

You may think that's alright, but I beleive that has a lot to do with the fact that it didn't happen to you. If, for example, you had been on your way to your downtown home, coming back from work, let's say, and you got caught in the spadina and queen incident, or in the queen's park incident on your way, you couldn't explain to anyone what was going on because no one was listening, you were beaten up badly, detained for hours without any medical attention, no lawyer and no charge, you'd be singing a different tune.
the_weight / March 14, 2011 at 03:10 pm
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That's great logic; if you cross the line? what's the line in this instance? Being in a "designated free speech zone", practicing free speech in a peaceful manner? No one in Queen's Park did anything wrong, the police had zero cause for arrest, same with Spadina and Queen and in front of the Novotel. If you cross the line that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms sets out as the limit to what is free speech and freedom of assembly to a riot or violence, then you should be arrested and detained. None of the protesters involved were rioting, not when the arrests happened and the claim that they saw vandals in the crowd is dubious at best, either way you should not be subject to abuse at the hand of the officers involved.

Do you really beleive that a few windows being broken and a car being set on fire justifies the arrest of over 1000 innocent people, the abuse of those people at the hands of the police, the random beatings of peaceful protesters? I think you do, which is really fucked up considering you keep trying to claim that you value democracy and civil rights. I'm sorry it bothers you that you come off as uneducated, mayeb you're educated, but it doesn't appear so, it's not that we simply disagree but, logically speaking, what you say is wrong. It's a matter of basic logic, mathematics even: if in a democracy you have freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, and you go to practice these rights but are subject to indimidation and violent tactics, then your rights have been trampled. If you claim to stand for democracy and civil rights, and the fact that we all have inalienable rights (rights that at no time can be taken away from us by another man) is a central tenet of a democratic state, but you try to claim the rights in democracy can be subjugated at the whim of the state, then you do not stand for democracy or civil rights. Not even just the rights to free speech and assembly, but the right to the reasonable expectation of safety when being arrested, the freedom to not be sexually assaulted, or from being told you're not in Canada anymore (insinuating that the detainee has no rights). We also have a criminal code and part of an accused' rights is the right to speak to a lawyer within a certain amount of time of being arrested, some people were held for over 24 hours without charge and without having spoken to a lawyer. That's illegal, plain and simple.

You may think that's alright, but I beleive that has a lot to do with the fact that it didn't happen to you. If, for example, you had been on your way to your downtown home, coming back from work, let's say, and you got caught in the spadina and queen incident, or in the queen's park incident on your way, you couldn't explain to anyone what was going on because no one was listening, you were beaten up badly, detained for hours without any medical attention, no lawyer and no charge, you'd be singing a different tune.
the_weight / March 14, 2011 at 03:11 pm
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also JUST - how can you eb totalyl right, to a degree? You're either totally right, or right to a degree.
the_weight replying to a comment from JUST / March 14, 2011 at 03:20 pm
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That was a terribly thought through retort to jessica's argument, terrible. What bad behaviour was it that was happening, and being encouraged, by the protesters at Queen's Park, Spadina and Queen and the Novotel? ever watched any of the videos, or read the first person accounts of those events? Nothing was happening, people were sitting down, waving peace signs and chanting "We are peaceful proteters". Where exactly was the bad behaviour? It wasn't there. IT was the day before when the cops did nothing, not even the same flippin' day. The cops didn't even catch any of the actual black bloc'ers, they claiemd to know who they wer and used that as justification for arrests, but in the end they have no one. Out of the over 1000 people they arrested, they came away with almost NO actual vandals, that's just terrible policing. They amde piles of arrests, made mountaisn of paperwork, had lawsuits filed against them, inquiries about their behaviour, reproaches from the ombudsman etc, all for the arrest of a very small contingent of people, and those people may even be let off.
Randy / March 14, 2011 at 03:33 pm
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All who are sick and tired of hearing about the G20, say "aye!"

"Aye!"
the_weight replying to a comment from Randy / March 14, 2011 at 03:38 pm
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All those are sick of hearing about the G20 should probably ignore articles about it. Can't get sick of what you don't see.
Context / March 14, 2011 at 03:40 pm
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I think that the description of 'prisoners' is a bit harsh. Detainees is more appropriate in my humble internet opinion.
dead_weight replying to a comment from the_weight / March 14, 2011 at 03:40 pm
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You seem to equate "bad behaviour" only as being violent or destructive. I witnessed the novotel incident first hand, so allow me explain to you what these people did wrong that warranted their arrest. They chose to stage a sit-in on a busy public road and refused to move, and so off to jail they went. It's really quite that simple. Doing something peacefully doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing it legally.
Randy / March 14, 2011 at 03:44 pm
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@the_weight,

You have waayyyyy too much time on your hands. Christ, your comments are more like novellas! If you are so impassioned about this charade, write a book about it.
Elena Potter / March 14, 2011 at 04:39 pm
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While this discussion is lively, it's on its way to becoming not much more than a flame war. I'd like to remind everyone that this post is an exhibition review. It's a comment on the portraits, not on the events of the G20 Summits. Maybe I could redirect the discussion back to the images— I'm sure the artist, Brett Gundlock, would appreciate it.
the_weight replying to a comment from dead_weight / March 14, 2011 at 05:11 pm
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My god, really!? Why, if I were there, i would've roughly arrested all of them, maybe beat a few up, sexually assault some women, then I'd toss them all in overcrowded cages, ridicule them, watch them urinate and then kick them all out after stealing their belongings, leaving them with no way home. Also Novotel was one instance and apparently not the worst, so dead_weight, how do you explain those ones off? Especially the one where they were all in a free-speech zone, practicing their right to free speech? Given your logic, what they were doing was legal, they were allowed to be there, they were told they were allowed to be there. And again, no one should have been abused by the cops even if what they were doing was illegal. They were peaceful protesters, esp. if they were staging a sit in, which is not the case with every person that was there, as gleaned from the numerous stories from people at Novotel, esp. the ones on their way home or otherwise not involved in the protest. Sorry pal, but your defense is weak. Try again.
the_weight replying to a comment from Elena Potter / March 14, 2011 at 05:15 pm
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The photographs and the event that showed them has the intention of getting the events of the G2 back in people's minds and creating awareness, no? I think a lively debate is exactly what this issue needs. Maybe some people will see the light.
EMS / March 14, 2011 at 06:43 pm
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@the_weight - I've totally enjoyed reading your "novellas". Keep it coming! I honestly couldn't have said it better myself. I wish more people would be as passionate about it. A friend of mine was assaulted pretty bad…and she did absolutely nothing to deserve it. What happened wasn't right.
dead_weight replying to a comment from the_weight / March 14, 2011 at 06:49 pm
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I made no comment whatsoever regarding any of the things you mention other than the Novotel event, which you used as an example of injustices against peaceful protesters. I told you what I witnessed - protesters outside the Novotel were blocking the streets and refusing to move, and for that, they were arrested. Whether they were peaceful or not is irrelevant. I'm not sure I can make it any more simple than that. How you garnered the rest of your insight into my "logic" is beyond me. I'm not responding to anything else in your post as, again, I gave no opinion about any of it in the first place.
Randy / March 14, 2011 at 09:01 pm
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Oh look, more on the G20, and Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz......

Time to focus on things that are actually important, folks.
Martin Reis / March 14, 2011 at 09:46 pm
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Thank you for another excellent review, Elena. As a photo journalist during the G20 with the Alternative Media Centre I worked with fellow journalists that were arrested and attacked. I had friends trampled on by riot boots and/or met people who were brutalized by police and held in the detention centre. I was very impressed by his work in this exhibition and his passion for justice obviously shines through. Their faces will stay with me for a long time. And for that I am grateful to the artist.
John Godfrey Spragge / March 15, 2011 at 06:40 am
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@the_weight: Right on. I don't think you go far enough, however, in pointing out the gross inconsistencies in cases like the one the person calling themselves "Just" tries to make. For example, let's assume you can criminalize any behaviour which, at any remove, might encourage vandalism or disruption by anyone else. If we applied that rule consistently, we would have to send the tactical squad out to arrest all major sports teams. The same applies to any holidays, which encourage drunk driving and a host of other anti-social activities. Indeed, if we applied the rule that "Just" wants applied to protests to all activities, we would have the right to do very little. It seems obvious that unless they really want to eliminate virtually all celebrations end entertainments from Canadian society Canadian society, the person calling themselves "Just" and all of the other people who excuse government repression by calling attention to Saturday's vandalism have applied a double standard. In fact, the person calling themselves "Just" has applied another double standard as well: adouble standard between those who protest to obtain democracy, and those who protest to keep it.
Corey Stubbs / March 15, 2011 at 10:02 am
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JUST, you are the stupidest person I have seen online in a while, which is saying a lot. You are a discredit to our species, you are ruining the world, and I honestly hope you die in a fire.
yamfood replying to a comment from JUST / March 15, 2011 at 11:45 am
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JUST, why you so ignorant?
yamfood replying to a comment from Enrico Pallazzo / March 15, 2011 at 11:52 am
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that story would have inspired some sympathy in me if you hadn't referred to the protesters as unwashed hippies. you're a piece of shit and you deserved everything you got. I wish the cops had stomped your fucking face in like they did so many "hippies" that day.
Enrico Pallazzo replying to a comment from yamfood / March 15, 2011 at 01:32 pm
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My apologies for being truthful. "Unemployable anti-bath freedom seekers" is what I should have referred to the protesters as. Didn't witness any beat downs at the Novotel actually, but I'll tell you one thing, I would have welcomed the police turning the fire hoses on this crowd! Thanks for the well wishes.

John / March 15, 2011 at 09:59 pm
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@Enrico: since I doubt you ran your nose over everyone in the crowd, and since, in any case, the parlous state of Toronto's sewer system makes an assessment of anyone's personal hygiene on the street a questionable proposition, I can only conclude that you use "dirty smelly hippies" the way most of us do: as a political metaphor.

So I'd just like to point out a few things: in political controversies, the dirty smelly hippies almost always get it right. The clean-cut pentagon managers predicted a cakewalk, while the dirty smelly hippies predicted a disaster, and what do you know-- the dirty smelly hippies got it right. I would also point out that you can post your thoughts to this board because of program libraries written by dirty smelly hippies at the free software foundation. So from keeping politics sane to making our online environment possible, the dirty smelly hippies have done a lot for you. Say thank you to the dirty smelly hippies, and ask yourself what you can do for a hippy today.
electric / March 16, 2011 at 12:03 am
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Right on Rob, power to the police! I see nothing wrong with how things went down at the G20, they should get more powers and a bigger budget! There isn't enough law and order in this town.

Which television channel did you watch the protest on?
yamfood replying to a comment from Enrico Pallazzo / March 16, 2011 at 01:34 pm
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How is that "truthful"? It was a characterization with no basis in fact (you have no evidence that they are "unwashed" and the word "hippie" is a generalization).
anoymous replying to a comment from Jimmy / March 16, 2011 at 06:00 pm
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I've seen video of a protestor stopping a rioter from robing a store, but I've seen 0 videos of police doing the same.
Randy / March 17, 2011 at 01:16 pm
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This stupid exhibition has the nerve to call them "Prisoners"?

Holy F! Are we spoiled in Canada or what??? "Prisoners" my ass!
the_lies / March 18, 2011 at 12:15 pm
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Isn't the name randy the universal name for morons?
John replying to a comment from Randy / March 19, 2011 at 10:17 am
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Your argument, to the extent you have one, works just as well in the opposite direction. Consider the cry-babies of so-called "Ford nation", whining about taxes. Why, in North Korea, nobody gets to own a house at all. We should pay all the taxes, David Miller could think of, say thank you sir, and ask for more. Or how about the whiners who actually got upset about chocolates (of all things) at TCHC. Why in (insert the names of multiple countries here), officials take up collections for their parties directly from any citizen who wants to get anything done. I could go on, but you get the point.

To put it seriously, "Randy", my parents bequeathed to me a country that ranks easily in the top ten countries for transparent, honest, and law-abiding government. You can bet that I intend to do everything I can to pass that legacy on to the next generation. In fact, I have an obligation to pass on a better country than I received. So when I hold the politicians of this city, province, and country to the highest standard, don't you DARE call me "spoiled".
Randy replying to a comment from John / March 19, 2011 at 11:06 am
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@John Godfrey Spragge,

"...don't you DARE call me "spoiled"."

Sorry, but you are spoiled. A self-indulgent child who obfuscates the issue of thugs burning police cars and smashing store windows in the name of 'democracy.' Do you really think the world leaders care about your protests? Wake up to reality: all your bitching and moaning about government and corporate 'injustice' is meaningless, especially when compared to REAL horrors that have, and are, taking place around the world... Rwanda, for one.

Time to stop reading Naomi Klein, and accept reality there, Johnny Boy.
electric replying to a comment from Randy / March 19, 2011 at 11:44 am
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So, Randy since democratic protests are meaningless compared to genocide in Rwanda(your words), please go ahead and tell us what the meaning of the genocide in Rwanda was. Otherwise, as i suspect, stop the hyperbole.
John replying to a comment from Randy / March 19, 2011 at 02:37 pm
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I've already dealt in full measure with what you call the "issue" of the vandalism the so-called black bloc committed, earlier in this discussion. Since you appear not to have bothered to read what I wrote earlier, I'll repeat the gist: people break things after sports championships. People break things during holidays. Police do not usually put hundreds of people in jail when that happens. They put the people who break the things in jail.

As for your question about the so-called "world leaders" and their attitude to our protests: they care very much. Protests topple governments. Anyone who thought they had an excuse for not knowing that before this year, doesn't have an excuse now. Tellingly, the Chinese rushed to censor news of the Arab Awakening; they didn't do that because they wanted to spare Hosni Mubarak embarrassment. They did it because the thought of their own people rising up the same way frightens them.
Randy replying to a comment from electric / March 19, 2011 at 02:39 pm
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@electric,

Kindly go set fire to a police car... oh wait, you and your Asshole Squad did that already!
John replying to a comment from Randy / March 19, 2011 at 03:46 pm
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If little Billy and Mikey and Jenny play together at Suzie's house, and Billy breaks Suzie's doll, we don't punish Mikey and Jenny; we give Billy the time out. Most of us have worked out that simple moral logic by our third birthday. We punish people for what they did, not for what people in the same street or the same city did.
That_Guy / March 19, 2011 at 04:01 pm
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http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/news/2010/20101130-g20-nr.asp

I am not betting on those odds.

(Lets remember over 1,000 were taken into custody.)
electric replying to a comment from Randy / March 19, 2011 at 05:11 pm
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Randy, nice answer to a real question. Too bad you don't know shit from dates.

If you actually think i'm an anarchist then you're an fascist authoritarian who supports mass arrests by the state. I bet you'd make a good machine gunner for Gaddfi.
Randy replying to a comment from electric / March 19, 2011 at 05:44 pm
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@electric,

"I bet you'd make a good machine gunner for Gaddfi."

Now there's a career opportunity! Sigh me up!

I don't think you're an anarchist, as I sincerely doubt you know the meaning of the word. No, I think you and others who felt they had the "right" to be in this area are little petulant children with an undeserved sense of self-entitlement.

So, how long before the masked a-holes pay back Toronto for the damage they caused? Oh, never? I guess that's because they are unemployable, and therefore a drain on society.

The G20 rules!
electric replying to a comment from Randy / March 19, 2011 at 07:16 pm
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Randy, trolling articles about the false mass arrests of thousands of Canadians. Are you a stooge?

Shame shame.

What about all those Adam Nobodys, the U of T campus... Obviously you're really upset about that shitty old police car when something more valuable was abused.

Fool, look at how much we paid to host that summit.

Frankly I am ashamed of Canadians like you who spouse authoritarian intolerance and are a bunch of insecure whiners! People like you don't deserve the charter of rights. That charter isn't forever and something to take for granted or pushed aside because some windows got broken and 2 cars torched.

Finally, people like you are all the same, do nothing whiners... it's why I can just laugh at your impotence. Do something positive for your fellow citizen not act like a state sycophant, then we can talk.
JOJOFOTO / March 19, 2011 at 08:45 pm
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well considering this is a post about a photography exhibition why don't we talk about the actual photographs for a second.

first off the entire series is one giant cliche that simply does not deserve the attention it's been getting, but it's a hot button topic in toronto, so he's lucky for that. even if no one else will care.

the images have very little artistic merit.

someone's been looking at richard avedon's "into the west" a little to much. and adding nothing new.

technically they are awful portraits! this is my main problem...

the photographer doesn't even know how to focus the camera for a portrait.. look at the peoples faces 90% of them are out of focus..

he made a huge mistake by focusing on the neck line, so it's really great to see the subjects necklace is in focus but not their eyes, where all the intensity of the images is held!

this isn't just my opinion it's a fact and this is just basic photography skills.. don't print 30x40 images and have an exhibition if you can't get that right, it's a waste of your money and everyone's time.

he's a newspaper photojournalist, so its obvious how he made the mistake.. "he's not a portrait photographer" duh..
Randy / March 20, 2011 at 10:25 am
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It's official: the name of the G20 has been changed.

From now on, it will reflect the IQ of those stupid enough to "protest" there:

"What is the IQ of the average Black Block protester?"

"20."

"Yes, 20."

"Gee, 20."

That is all.

---

And Jojophoto, you are absolutely right on about the photos and proper lack of focus. I guess this "photographer" missed the class in school that said you focus on the EYES of the subject, not the tip of the nose, forehead, etc. I doubt he even knows what an f-stop is. Any douche with a camera thinks he or she is a photog. In a word, nope!

"400 ASA, 1/60th of a second at f8 works for all photos" :)

Amen.
John replying to a comment from Randy / March 20, 2011 at 08:04 pm
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Please stop wasting bandwidth.
2buu / May 6, 2013 at 10:22 am
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