CUPE is adding its voice to a growing list of organizations calling for a public inquiry into the traumatic and excessive use of force by police and government officials during the G20 summit.
“As we approach Canada Day, it’s deeply disturbing to think that something so undemocratic and fundamentally un-Canadian has just happened in our country,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.
“Citizens of Toronto have a right to know why they were not consulted about the security process leading into the summit. Small business owners deserve to know why their businesses were not protected, and why they are not being compensated for damages. And hundreds of innocent people need to know why they were arbitrarily searched, detained, or subject to unreasonable aggression by the police,” said Moist.
Pressure for an independent investigation has been mounting steadily this week, with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Amnesty International, opposition parties, and tens of thousands of Canadians calling for accountability from police and government officials.
The Canadian Labour Congress has issued a statement on police actions. As well, CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn and Secretary-Treasurer Candace Rennick have issued a statement on behalf of CUPE members from across Ontario – many of whom bore witness to acts of unprovoked violence in Toronto.
“CUPE deplores the actions of those individuals who committed acts of vandalism during the summit protests,” said Moist. “However, the peaceful expression of dissent is a right that must be protected with vigilance. It’s the sign of a healthy democracy, and one of the bedrock values of this country.”