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G20 Toronto Photos

Updated on June 28, 2010

   This was an arrest I captured while I was downtown on Saturday, June 27th, 2010. What puzzled me was the fact that this was an elderly man as it can be seen in the photos and the level of violence the police used on such a man was unprecedented for me. In my opinion they (the police) could have just walked up to him and put on hand-cuffs, minus the throwing to the ground, head-locks, standing on his neck with their knee, etc.

   Since loading photos on Hubbpages takes too long and there are restrictions in terms of the size of the file that can be uploaded, I will try to give a link for my full album of the G20 photos.

   I hope this works and by seeing my photos it will be as if you have borrowed my eyes for last weekend. It should be interesting in my opinion. Many thanks!


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    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Greetings Mrs. Kath,

      the camera catches whatever is around me. I have hundreds and hundreds of photographs from different demonstrations over the years. The camera never lies, that's what I like about it.

      And yes, I support peaceful protests. We live in a society which is supposed to allow people to gather and protest in public and make their grievences known. Of course I support protests in general, it is our freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

      These rights are protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is our duty as citizens to defend our rights!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. All the best!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I think u r supporting to protest. Maybe ur not a photographer, u r one of them.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Hello Mrs. MartieCoetser. Thank you for dropping by.

      As I have stated in my comment on your blog - I worked in law-enforcement for three and a half years thus, I have seen both sides of the fence. I also still have the police notebooks which have at the end the table regarding use of force. Since I witnessed the arrest which I have photographed and posted here, I still think that the police in this case used an unnecessary amount of force.

      I have heart for everyone - I do look for fairness and justice though and I am saddened to say that I have witnessed too many times, people/officers who abuse their power. Of course, I am not defending those who use violence for the sake of using violence - that's stupid in my opinion but on the other hand, I expect more out of trained, educated police officers than I expect out of little punk bored kids for example. That's all.

      Thank you again for your comment and if you want photographs, I do have lots - let me know. Cheers!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Oh, those are awesome pictures in your FB! Exactly what I was looking for :))) Yes, I know now that the pictures in here were shot during a riot and not during another kind of operation. That guy must have done something really unallowable to get himself arrested during the riot. I wonder what that could have been. His participation (at that age) in the riot amazes me. He must still be young at heart and an energetic fighter for the causes he believes in. I myself could organize quite a few riots down here (in South Africa) with the support of men like him :)))

      Please have a heart on the police. They are only doing their work as best as they can. Imagine yourself in their shoes. Why don’t you join them in the capacity of a reservist? We cannot really appreciate what others are doing before we have performed their duties for a while. I’m looking forward to read more of your hubs. Take care.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Mr. Happy

      Good pictures you’ve got in here! Being a writer of fiction, I can use them as inspiration for a couple of ‘likeable true’ stories. I’ve read the comments in here as well, and it seems to me that your perception and interpretation of the police and their actions are quite negative and subjective. It is clear to me that they were busy with a serious operation, probably the elimination of drug traffic and/or illegal immigrants. According to the face of the man in the first picture he could be older than 60, but certainly as strong as an ox if it took 3 (strong) police officers to arrest him. I must add that I don’t feel sorry for him because he is that old, because many men at that age and even up to 70 (and beyond I cannot assure you) are still as strong and virile as men in their 30’s.

      I’m sorry, but I will not take sides here. I don’t blame the police their roughness and hardhandedness. God knows if I have to protect law-abiding citizens and innocent children daily against the scum of our societies who regard not a rule in this world with respect, not to talk about people, I will probably bite them to death with my own teeth.

      As I’ve stressed in my hub, a very dear and close relative if mine is full-time busy to fight crime. Believe me, if you were in his shoes, you would not have been on the side of criminals or prime suspects. But I must also add that police are quite capable of discrimination and prejudicious actions. I guess every incident should be evaluated according to its merits by a judge who has all facts and evidence at hand. And you know police do infringe the law when they discriminate or assault anyone in the process of arrests. If they are found guilty, they face serious charges against them. I remember an uncle of mine was fired just because he had pointed a gun in the face of a prime suspect. I guess it was not his first punishable offence.

      I wish I could use some of the pictures you’ve got in here :)

      I will soon respond to your comment on my hub. I just need to get hold of some facts regarding some of your allegation. And thanks for making that hub of mine more interesting with your comment. Take care :)))

    • MOHAX profile image


      10 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      great pictures

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      10 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks for these fascinating photos and the interesting discussion. I know I'm a bit late at this Hub - but better late than never!

      Love and peace


    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      10 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I was stopped by a few police officers on bikes on the Sunday of the G20 week-end (the 27th of June) and they asked my friend and I for ID. I told the officers I had none.

      Immediately they jumped off their bikes and approaching me one asked to see what was in my back-pack. I was throughly prepared for that incident, I somewhat foresaw it coming.

      "Sure," I replied throwing my back-pack on the ground.

      "I shoot photographs and I write so you will find film, books, notebooks, a scarf and some vinegar in case you guys go crazy with the tear-gas ..."

      While I was describing the contents of my bag one officer was searching through it seeing all the things I was mentioning. At one point thought he came to my clip-board and exclaimed:

      "Ohh, you have this ... the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, good."

      "Yes, and you can pull it out if you want and I will show you why you guys are overstepping your boundaries now. I do not have to give you my name and I am actually being a nice guy now for letting you perform and illegal search."

      Let me tell you Mr. Nicomp that that was the end of their questioning - it was the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that made the bully cops stop harassing me.

      I have no issue with why they arrested that old man - it was the manner in which they performed the arrest that is questionable. The amount of physical force used ... that was my point.

      Too often I have seen police officers bully people. I cannot stand that!

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      10 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Again, even a quiet old man can be a threat, especially given the circumstances in which he involved himself.

      I've not worked in law enforcement. I do respect the profession and I assert that the vast majority of them have no interest in gratuitous excessive force. They aren't paid to get hurt, either.

      Imaginary line? I find it hard to believe that the police attempt to enforce an imaginary line. Common sense dictates that they must be posted some type of visible demarcation. Did they hang the traditional yellow caution tape? We all know what that means. Did the fellow cross that line? Was he verbally warned before being subdued? I can't determine that from the photos.

      Of course the writing on his shirt matters. Good Grief, it's Toronto. Are you aware of the hate speech laws in Canada? The atmosphere of the situation was extremely volatile. Anarchists were looking for trouble, as I'm sure you'd agree. The police aren't trained to ignore adult males if they look 'elderly'.

      If they patted him down and found nothing, as you asserted, then perhaps he made a threatening gesture or he violated their verbal instructions. Context is important here. They didn't arrest him in his front yard.

      I will assume they had a good reason to subdue the man until more facts come out. Keep us posted and thanks again for the great photos.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      10 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Mr. Nicomp, I guess I will start backwards here for the last two questions have almost left me speachless.

      I was there and I saw the man, I saw more than the few photos I was able to shoot. That man was quite old, any person can tell the average age of another person (I would like to stress the word "average" here).

      "What was written on his shirt", you asked? What does it bloody matter? (sorry for losing my temper but I really cannot believe you asked that) What does one's shirt have to do with four or five cops jumping you in order to arrest you. Do people get jumped by police for the things that are written on their shirts?

      Let me tell you at this point that I worked just under four years with the K-9 Unit of Wackenhut Corp. of Canada and I know how and when force should be used when making an arrest.

      I am not "insinuating" anything here. I told what I saw: this was an unarmed, elderly person, who did not assault the police in any way matter or form. What he did was cross an imaginary line that police drew on public property. The bottom line is this: the police used a much higher level of physical force than it was required in the given circumstance. I was a witness and I saw the entire incident take place.

      Again, I must say that I saw the police pat him down after hand-cuffing him and they did not take anything from him. He carried no bag, pouch or anything in his hands at all. Thanks again for commenting though.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      10 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @Mr. Happy: The police provide a desperately needed service, which I'm sure you depend upon, as we all do. Your photos are fascinating, but they prove nothing. They are out of context and insinuating any level of police brutality from them is disingenuous.

      The first photo provides me a glimpse of the man's face and head. He may have armed. He may have been intent on harming himself or the peacekeepers. Elderly men can carry weapons, as I'm sure you agree.

      Perhaps we should dress the police in khakis and flip flops before asking them to defend us against amoral anarchists. History teaches us that G20 protesters prefer bricks and bottles, broken store windows, and the general destruction of private property. Will you step forward and subdue them? Will you take a bag of urine in the face? I'll be happy to photograph you as you face down a mob of folks intent on violating property rights. They're not coming to a tea party.

      I do appreciate your photos and the risks you took to shoot them; I simply disagree with your interpretation.

      What was printed on his shirt? Were you able to read it?

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      10 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Look again at the first photograph Mr. Nicomp, if you can't tell that man is elderly ... I don't know what to say. Perhaps you don't want to see the truth. And no, he was not armed, he wasn't a ninja, he wasn't carrying a bazooka ... it was like I said an ealderly man in the wrong spot at the wrong time I suppose.

      Thanks for trying to defend police brutality.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      10 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Great photos. Thanks for posting them.

      I can't tell if the fellow is elderly; he appears to be balding and grayed but that's not an indication of age. Did he resist? Was he armed with any type of weapon? Did he threaten the officers? I can't determine that from the photos.

      The officers are not paid to get hurt. Historically, G20 protesters have been violent, therefore the officers were dressed for the occasion. Protestors smash windows, throw objects at the police, and obstruct public business. Was the fellow violating a boundary? Were there protesters nearby who also posed a threat? I can't tell.

    • mister bytchy profile image

      Mr Bytchy 

      10 years ago from Taipei, Taiwan

      Well in the UK we thrive on rules. We have them for everything.. If we don't have them we make them up. Our favourite pass time is making sure everyone follows the rules. We have more CTV Cameras than anywhere else in the world just to make sure noone gets away with breaking the rules. I few years ago our metroploitain police (London shot a South American guy in the back of the head 5 times. They were holding him down while they did it. This was in the underground (Tube, Metro). He was carrying a back pack so they thought he was a terrorist. He was actually innocent, though he probably broke one of the underground rules.. I live in fear of breaking the rules. A couple of weeks ago I was surrounded by security guards in the apartment where my student girlfriend lives. They had determined that I had a key to her appartment. This is against the rules. ?)(_&^%$.. I love this country and all the wondeful people who live here. :-)

    • deepthought profile image


      10 years ago from In the middle of nowhere and worldwide but still that T.O.kid from da north of America

      Well that's the Toronto police for you. Taking everything to the extreme as usual. I know they had a job to do and in the mix of chaos. It's hard to know who is who but they needed to show the media that they were doing something. Nice hub and photos by the way

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      10 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      What underground rules? Lost you there ...

    • profile image

      Mister Bytchy 

      10 years ago

      I guess since it was TO, home of Myers and the Jays, he should be thankful. Had it been London he might have been shot in the back of the head 5 times for carrying a backpack.

      I believe this contravenes one of our underground rules!

    • nextstopjupiter profile image


      10 years ago from here, there and everywhere

      It does not come as a surprise that the majority of people is (still) sleeping because of all the sleeping pills handed out by the masters (the banks ... ) and their slaves (the politicians) - I call it manipulation. Let's hope that your hub is a wake-up call.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      10 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Sadly enough you are right Captain Jimmy. "Power" and wealth are being centralized more and more as time passes. Yet, people are not reacting. Are the majority of people truly sleeping or have I just gone completely crazy?

    • Captain Jimmy profile image

      Captain Jimmy 

      10 years ago from WV

      NWO, coming soon to a world near you! Sad!

    • lmmartin profile image


      10 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Wow -- sure glad those guys are out there to stop all the dangerous elderly. Do they get hazard pay?

    • dabeaner profile image


      10 years ago from Nibiru

      G20 - New World Order -- Sieg Heil.

      Those outfits are not nearly as stylish as jackboots, but seem to be new and improved.


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