I’ve been following events that took place during the G8/G20 meetings in Toronto last weekend. There have been numerous complaints of police abuse during the meetings including random arrests of anyone unlucky enough to be near the police or in the area. This included many journalists and photographers. Some had their gear taken or damaged by overzealous officers.
National Post photographers Brett Gundlock and Colin O’Connor were among the hundreds of people arrested. They were taken into custody while attempting to photograph clashes between police and demonstrators. Both men were charged with obstruct peace officer and unlawful assembly. They share their stories here.
Aaron Lynett, also from the National Post, was hit with rubber-coated bullet in the lower-back. You can see his injury here. Gazette stringer Vincenzo d’Alto also took a rubber bullet or a beanbag in the leg during the Queen’s Park raid and Reuters photojournalist Mark Blinch was also assaulted and injured by riot police on Sunday night, near Queen and Spadina Streets. The CBC posted the article G20 reporters complain to police watchdog. A summary from the Canadian Journalism Project of police attacks on media personnel last weekend can be found here. This is troubling stuff indeed.
The News Photographers Association of Canada is following this story in their forums. If you ever think you might cover an event like this in the future NPAC had plenty of photographers sharing the tips for safety and precautions.
Photographer Phil Snell is urging anyone “with stories to tell from the recent G20 in Toronto, I urge you to document everything right away (if you haven’t done so already). If you have injuries, then please have them photographed and visit a doctor so that they can be properly documented by a medical professional. Write down your experiences with as much detail as possible. If you find writing it out clearly a bit difficult, then do so by talking it out while recording it then write it down afterward (retaining the voice recording). As well, please find others who were near you and might have images/video of any incident. It is VERY important to gather your evidence in a timely manner after any incident like this that might end up with some sort of legal proceedings. Think along the lines of federal inquiry.”