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article imageToronto G20 detainee Tommy Taylor had to 'beg for water' Special

By Andrew Moran     Jul 11, 2010 in World
Toronto - Several G20 detainees spoke to the massive crowd during the march from Queen's Park to the front of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, including Tommy Taylor. Taylor spoke with about his experience at the temporary detention centre.
Digital Journal reported last week of a G20 detainee proposing to his girlfriend at a rally at Queen’s Park in Toronto. He and his girlfriend were not activists nor did they protest at all during the weekend of the G20 Summit. However, after being unlawfully detained and having their civil liberties suspended, Tommy Taylor and his now fiancée, Kate Bullock, are protesters.
“Is truth more important than following orders? Any raise of hands?” Taylor asked the police at Saturday’s rally in front of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and no police officer raised their hands.
Shortly after his release, Taylor wrote a 11,000-word document describing the specifics of his arrest, the temporary detention centre in the eastern part of the city, his treatment by police officers and all the names and badge numbers he could think of.
“I’m going to start by saying that at no point in this note will I be exaggerating, bending the truth or lying in any way. I can also say I’ve never felt this angry, violated or betrayed,” began his Facebook page, which has now been translated into seven different languages. “Second, to those who are disgusted with the violence and vandalism — I agree. It was disgusting, but happened to property, by a small group. You can see the photos everywhere of the few individuals who did that. They were also allowed to by police, who parked the cars and left. Everywhere else there were organized riot police in the thousands. They left Yonge Street alone – why? Just read more than the headlines and photo ops.”
Taylor also highlights his experience with law enforcement at Saturday’s demonstration in this video.
Digital Journal had the opportunity to briefly speak with Taylor about his ordeal and how other detainees were treated by the police officers at the detention centre.
“When I was first put into my cell, which was a 10X20 cage, there were 40 guys in it. When they actually allowed the journalists in they said, 'you know this is meant for 10 people, we understand there were upwards of 20' but there was 40 guys: 39 guys and one 16-year-old kid.”
Taylor noted that the police officers knew the young gentleman was 16, which was already against the law. The 40 guys were detained for 24 hours, including the teenager.
The G20 detainee went onto describe what his fiancée went through in the detention centre, which corroborates what other female detainees have alleged what happened in the facility.
Officers at the detention centre.
Officers at the detention centre.
“There was some girl screaming for medication, she was on some pretty heavy medication. They were with her stuff and it just became insane for the first eight hours; someone screaming for medication. I started yelling, “What’s going on, are you giving her her medication?” and then the girl was never seen again.”
Taylor then stated when one of the girls had to go to the washroom, they would scream out “wall” so one of the girls could have some privacy and male police officers wouldn’t watch them. Also, since they were all handcuffed they all had to wipe each other down.
“For the first time in my life, I had to beg for water. There was a water riot; you could hear all the cages screaming for water; all the people losing it. I had never been in a situation like that, and never had to for being a Canadian.”
Taylor added that he cursed to himself when he received a small cup of water for being grateful because he feels that he shouldn’t have to feel grateful for even a small amount of water. Eventually, Taylor asked for more water and later he passed out.
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