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Police arrest protesting cyclists along the streets of downtown Toronto during the G20 Summit on June 27, 2010. (Ryan Remiorz/Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)
Police arrest protesting cyclists along the streets of downtown Toronto during the G20 Summit on June 27, 2010. (Ryan Remiorz/Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Police arrest more than 600 as Toronto G20 protests continue Add to ...

Mr. Soudas said the police were "ensuring that these thugs don't rampage across the city and create even more damages.''

G20 Day of Protest

A protestor jumps on an abandonned police car after clashes during a G20 protest in Toronto.
G20 Day of Protest Globe photographers cover the streets of Toronto

Prime Minister Harper is playing host to the G20 summit, which includes the G8 countries (Canada, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia) as well as emerging economic powers such as China and other nations representing a broader spectrum. The G8 summit, which was held north of Toronto in Huntsville, Ont., wrapped up on Saturday.

There were reports early Sunday morning of two men emerging from the sewer system on Richmond Avenue near Bay Street in downtown Toronto. Ms. van Acker confirmed police arrested four people for coming out of the sewers around 2:30 a.m. She said it wasn't clear what they were doing or if they were connected to the protests.

The city sealed off several maintenance covers close to the security perimeter leading up to the summit, but Sergeant Tim Burrows said this one was among those deemed far enough away as not to pose a security risk.

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.

"There is a small group of criminals, whose only motivations are violence and destruction, who have appalled those who came to express their views in a peaceful manner. We will investigate every crime committed at the Summit, and track down and charge all those responsible," Mr. Blair wrote in a statement.

On Saturday afternoon, thousands of protesters snaked through the downtown core in what was a mostly peaceful march until a breakaway group reached Queen Street.

With no apparent political message, the group's members smashed windows, vandalized storefronts and burned police cars in their wake. Their goal: To reach the sheltered security perimeter of the G20 summit.

Heavily armoured officers from the Integrated Security Unit used riot shields, batons and tear gas to control crowds. A spokesperson also confirmed the use of plastic bullets and pepper-spray guns, which fire individual sacs that release pepper spray on contact.

Police ramped up their arrests late Friday night and early Saturday morning, when pre-dawn raids led to the arrest of four key resistance organizers. Amanda Hiscocks, Peter Hopperton, Alex Hundert and Leah Henderson were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit mischief over $5,000. Prominent Toronto Community Mobilization Network spokesman and organizer Syed Hussan was arrested late Saturday morning and charged with counselling to commit an indictable offence.

Riot police make a mass arrest in front of the Novotel Hotel in downtown Toronto, during large demonstrations for the G20 summit.

Shortly after midnight, police conducted mass arrests outside the Novotel following a standoff inside the hotel, where staff are on strike. About 300 people were arrested outside the hotel, the ISU said.

Activist journalist Jesse Rosenfeld, who was helping to organize alternative media coverage of the summit, was arrested in the melee at the Novotel. Mr. Rosenfeld has previously written opinion pieces about the G20 for The Guardian's Comment is Free website.

Mr. Rosenfeld was charged on Sunday with breach of the peace, his father, Mark Rosenfeld, told The Globe. Mark Rosenfeld said his son is expected to be released at 11 p.m. Sunday.

Shortly after learning of his son's arrest, Mr. Rosenfeld told The Globe he was "in shock".

"I find the treatment of my son, and all journalists and peaceful protesters threatened with arrest, reprehensible," Mark Rosenfeld said.

Journalist Steve Paikin, host of TVO's The Agenda, said police were overly aggressive during the arrests.

"i can appreciate that the police were on edge today, after seeing four or five of their cruisers burned. but why such overreaction tonight?" he posted on his Twitter account.

With reports from Jennifer MacMillan, Jeremy Torobin, Jill Mahoney, Ann Hui, Natalie Stechyson, Laura Blenkinsop, Katie Hewitt, Jeff Gray, Colin Freeze, Cigdem Iltan and Matt Frehner.


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