G20 protesters were back on the streets of Toronto Tuesday afternoon to rally for gay and disabled people’s rights.
Syed Hussan, a spokesman for the Toronto Community Mobilization Network, said the protest was meant to be a fun-filled roving kiss-in near the Eaton Centre.
The raucous, loud, music-filled march started at about 4:30pm and was, for the most part, peaceful. But many were there to speak out against what they called an oppressive police presence.
“We say, ‘Enough is enough.’ We’re not here to take police repression. We’re here to say, ‘Back off our streets. They are our streets,'” said organizer Ro Valasquez.
And witnesses claim police did indeed use undue force while arresting one male protester.
“I saw the police officers holding him on the ground with their knees on him, beating him and trying to block out the visual of that from the media,” described journalist Jesse Rosenfeld.
Hussan called the G8 and G20 illegitimate bodies that are non-representative of women, gay and disabled communities, and says they should be abolished.
He said earlier in the day, feminist activists did “creative transformations” of public statues — hanging banners, putting up placards and taking pictures.
The protest comes a day after hundreds of activists stopped traffic as they marched through city streets and briefly took over a gas station.
With files from the Canadian Press