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"Some of the 463 people arrested during the Summit of the Americas complained Monday they were stripped, mistreated and hosed down outdoors with cold water even though they had protested peacefully. They also said they were forced to go to the bathroom in front of fellow protesters and as many as six of them were crowded into jail cells designed for only one person.

'They took away every freedom we have,' said a protester who identified herself only as Laura from Halifax, shortly after her release from the Orsainville prison outside Quebec City.  In 30 hours of detention, she says she was fed only two small sandwiches, two crackers, a juice box and small amounts of dirty water.

Pierre Morneau said he was stripped and hosed down with a group of other protesters to get rid of traces of tear gas.

'One of us asked them, 'What are we contaminated with' ' said Morneau. 'They told us, 'You're contaminated with the scum that you are.' '

A police spokesman said protesters are welcome to lodge their complaints.  'If people feel their rights have been violated they can take the proper steps and file a complaint with the police ethics commission," said provincial police spokesman Const. Richard Gagne. It's easy to make accusations but proving them is a different story.'

Gagne said some procedural problems may have occurred because 230 people were arrested at the same time on Saturday night.  Quebec Public Security Minister Serge Menard said Monday he plans to find out why protesters were jammed together when there were 600 prison cells available.

In Ottawa, NDP Leader Alexa McDonough repeated her call in the Commons for a public inquiry to find out why tear gas and rubber bullets were fired at peaceful protesters.  . . .

The protesters who complained of mistreatment said they had been demonstrating peacefully. One said she was detained while collecting garbage left by other protesters. , , ,  Most were charged with participating in a riot and interfering with police and released on $300 bail.  A man who was hit in the throat with a rubber bullet was out of intensive care in a Quebec City hospital.

Meanwhile, life returned to normal Monday for Quebec City residents: civil servants went back to work, the streets were cleaned and Premier Bernard Landry blasted the federal government.  Landry was still upset that Ottawa refused him the right to speak at the summit, calling the government's behaviour "inequitable."

"If Quebec had been sovereign, none of this restriction would have taken place," Landry said.

Anti-capitalist graffiti was still scribbled on many buildings in the provincial capital.

Mayor Jean-Paul L'Allier said he'd be wary of hosting another international trade summit... Several homes and businesses had their windows smashed during the summit. However, more damage has been caused during the province's recent Fete nationale holidays, he said. Cleaning crews also sprayed water on sidewalks to remove traces of the tear gas fired by police and militant protesters.  As he ripped away part of the fence that some Quebec City residents called a Wall of Shame, one worker said the city should be back in its usually pristine condition within days."

 

~ALEXANDER PANETTA - National Post, April 23, 2001

 from Summit protesters say their rights were violated in Quebec jail

 

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Video footage courtesy of Toronto Video Activist Collective
Photographs from
IMC.

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