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G20 class-action lawsuit can move ahead, Ontario court rules

Demonstrators confront police officers during the G20 protest in Toronto June 27, 2010.

Ryan Enn Hughes/The Globe and Mail

An Ontario court is allowing hundreds of people detained during the G20 summit in Toronto four years ago to proceed with a class-action lawsuit.

The suit was stalled last year when a judge ruled it couldn't proceed as a class action because its "broad, sweeping nature" was viewed as problematic.

But a Divisional Court panel hearing an appeal of that ruling has now cleared the way for the suit to move forward.

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In a unanimous decision, Justice Ian Nordheimer wrote on behalf of the panel that police actions alleged in the suit, if proven, would have "violated a basic tenet of how police in a free and democratic society are expected to conduct themselves."

More than 1,000 people were detained by police during the G20 summit in June, 2010, after protesters using so-called Black Bloc tactics broke away from a peaceful rally and ran through the downtown, smashing windows and burning police cruisers.

The vast majority of those detained were released without charge within 24 hours.

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