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Activists decry arrests at peaceful march

A woman is arrested as she was waiting outside Toronto's detention centre during the G20 summit.

Jacques Boissinot/Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

Activists are condemning arrests at a peaceful protest this morning outside a G20 detention centre in Toronto's east end.

At an afternoon news conference, the Toronto Community Mobilization Network said they had negotiated with police ahead of the march and received assurances that demonstrators would not be arrested if they protested peacefully.

Spokeswoman Maryam Adrangi said police were rounding people up when they went to the detention centre to try to find their friends.

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"We are finding police are meeting them there with brutality," she said. "They are circling groups of people in smaller groups. We have seen plainclothes officers snatching people and throwing them into cars."

Mack Scott, a legal observer for the protesters who was at the protest Sunday, said six people were arrested as police drove the protesters back.

Police would not confirm if they had made a deal not to arrest protesters. On Sunday afternoon, authorities said that 562 people had been arrested since June 18, and 224 since 6 a.m. Sunday alone.

About 100 peaceful protesters descended on the film-studio-turned-jail on Sunday morning, chanting "let them go." Many banged pots and pans and carried signs reading "Free our comrades" as they marched down Eastern Ave., heading to the detention centre.

As they stood outside the gate to the facility, at least two vans pulled up. Officers in plain clothes jumped out of the van and arrested a few protesters. Others began fighting back. A tense stand-off ensued as a bus with officers in riot gear pulled up to the scene.

Officers in riot gear set off a warning device that created a cloud of smoke before chasing the group down the street.

Police grabbed some protesters out of the crowd, throwing them to the ground and dragging them away. Others streamed away from the area, crying. Three stood nearby consoling each other and hugging.

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<iframe src="" scrolling="no" height="650px" width="600px" frameBorder ="0" allowTransparency="true" ><a href="" > covers G8 and G20: Sunday, June 27</a></iframe>

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association also expressed concern that the arrests weren't warranted.

"The protest outside the detention centre was not out of control, it was peaceful," said Nathalie Des Rosiers.

The Integrated Security Unit, which is overseeing summit security, could not confirm how many were arrested, but said police had fired ARWENs, guns that deliver bursts of harmless gas.

A woman who said she was arrested while peacefully protesting yesterday described the conditions inside the detention facility to CTV. Identified as Briory, she said protesters were housed in cages, some without benches. She said the cells were grimy and cold, and that police started handing out sweat pants and sweatshirts but ran out as arrestees flooded in.

"For the people who were resisting, there were smaller cages, like 6 by 5 [feet]" she said.

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The decisive show off force is in stark contrast to Saturday, when a roving band of militant protesters freely rampaged down Queen Street West and in the financial district.

Police cars were set aflame, banks vandalized, and stores looted before police reinforcements arrived.

G20 Day of Protest Globe photographers cover the streets of Toronto

The more than 500 people who were arrested in the aftermath are being taken to the detention centre.

Police chief William Blair announced Sunday that the force had created a special team to investigate all crimes committed in Toronto related to the G20.

Earlier Sunday police raided a building on the University of Toronto campus.

At least 70 people, not believed to be students, were arrested and charges are pending.

<iframe width="600" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src=",-79.373817&spn=0.04347,0.102997&z=13&output=embed"></iframe><br /><small>View <a href=",-79.373817&spn=0.04347,0.102997&z=13&source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">G8/G20 in Toronto: Sunday, June 27</a> in a larger map</small>

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Reporter and Streetwise columnist

Tim Kiladze is a business reporter with The Globe and Mail. Before crossing over to journalism, he worked in equity capital markets at National Bank Financial and in fixed-income sales and trading at RBC Dominion Securities. Tim graduated from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and also earned a Bachelor in Commerce in finance from McGill University. More

Washington correspondent

Adrian Morrow covers U.S. politics from Washington, D.C. Previously he was The Globe's Ontario politics reporter. He's covered news, crime and sports for The Globe since 2010. He won the National Newspaper Award for politics reporting in 2016. More

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