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Significant police presence at G20 Protests - Dan Kosmayer Photography

Insightful Review: 2010 G20 Protests and the Unprecedented Police Presence

The Group of 20 Summit (G20) is an international forum for world leaders to gather and discuss global financial and policy issues. The G20 was founded to make globalization for the benefit of all.

Police officers gathering during 2010 G20 Summit Toronto Canada

Between June 25th and 27th, 2010, Canada hosted the G20 summit in Toronto. The event was the most important political meeting in Canada’s history. The gathering of thousands of international dignitaries attracts hundreds of journalists, reporters, and individuals who want to express their views regarding government policy.

Policeman standing on the street
Security guard standing outside an office building in Toronto

Businesses and offices are boarded in fear as reports grow of protesters marching through downtown Toronto, Canada, smashing store windows in a show of opposition to the G20 leadership summit.

Peaceful protestors arrested at G20

Thousands of peaceful protesters were detained and arrested for no cause - including myself. I was corralled into a street intersection for 10 hours before being released because they ran out of space in the jails. I was not protesting but simply documenting by photographing peacefully for the record.

Two proud women in Toronto protesting-800px

The events that took place that day truly opened my eyes. Thousands of us were suddenly and arbitrarily surrounded and held by riot police on a street corner for hours hours during a freezing downpour; makes once appreciate what journalists and war photographers face in the pursuit of truth.

Two proud women in Toronto protesting
A woman walks past a McDonalds boarded up for G20 in 2010
CTV news studio boarded up for G20 in 2010

The protests in Downtown Toronto were for various issues, including poverty and anti-capitalism. Although most of the protests and demonstrations were peaceful, the police presence in Toronto that week was unprecedented. Riot police were visible everywhere. The following is a visual diary of the streets of Toronto, Canada.

Front side of an old man protesting on streets of Toronto
Back side of an old man protesting on streets of Toronto

On that day, thousands of protesters traveled to downtown Toronto to protest. The causes were numerous and mostly were peaceful. However, the protests were met with a significant police presence, leading to the largest mass arrest in Canadian history, with more than 1,000 people being sent to a detention center.

Dozens of police in riot gear 2010 G7 Summit Toronto Canada

$16.5M settlement reached in class-action lawsuit over mass arrests during 2010 G20 summit

Years later, a report would find that police violated civil rights and detained some protesters illegally. In 2010, Sherry Good launched a lawsuit as the legal representative of approximately 1,100 class members. Ten years after, the city of Toronto agreed to a $16.5 million settlement over the mass arrests.

Police arrest a protestor in Toronto
Police talking to protestor 2010 G7 Summit Toronto Canada
Police talking to protestor 2010 G7 Summit Toronto Canada
New reporter trying to get help as she was detained

The settlement provides financial compensation and acknowledges that the arrests shouldn't have happened and will never happen again," said Eric Gillespie, a Toronto litigation lawyer leading the case with Murray Klippenstein.

Police lockdown section of University of Toronto
Police presence on Yonge Street 2010 G7 Summit Toronto Canada
Riot police wearing gas mask
The following images are available as fine art prints
ic:G20 Protests Riot Police Toronto Canada
ic:Police in riot gear at G20 Summit Toronto Canada
ic:Police in riot gear being photographed at G20 Summit
ic:Young female protestors at G20 Summit Toronto Canada
ic:Blood fuels profit protest sign at G20 Summit Toronto Canada
ic:Peaceful protests 2010 G20 Summit Toronto Canada

*All photographs by Dan Kosmayer © 2010, All Rights Reserved

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