Occupy Toronto hold rally for arrested, injured protesters
Two injured during Friday's arrests
Occupy Toronto protesters held a rally Saturday afternoon denouncing the arrests of five of the group's members.
Four of the Occupy Toronto protesters appeared in court today after they were arrested during a clash with police on University Avenue Friday night.
Police have said that was the second time they had asked the protesters to remove their tents and gear. When they did not comply police said they had to forcibly remove them.
The two men and two women are facing a number of charges including: obstructing a peace officer, possession of marijuana and assault with intent to resist arrest.
A fifth was arrested in the evening after dozens of people rallied outside a police station demanding the release of the four.
Some protesters said they would be at City Hall Saturday to show support for those arrested.
Several dozen people staged a brief protest outside Toronto police 52 division demanding the release of the four.
Injured protester arrives in court
Angela Turvey, one of the two injured protesters, appeared in court with bruised and swollen eyes. Her father, Leslie Turvey, spoke with reporters outside Old City Hall Saturday afternoon.
Despite some gasps from those seeing a swollen-eyed Angela enter the courtroom, her father said he wasn't surprised by the state of her after having seen some YouTube video.
Angela's mother added that it hurt to see her child like that.
Leslie Turvey said he had questions about the police presence and the arrests.
"It seemed to have been a pretty peaceful situation. Why the police were there is beyond me," Turvey said. "As well, why did they have to target my daughter?"
Turvey said his daughter has a serious pre-existing neck problem and that police ignored her attempts to share this information with them during her arrest.
"Police weren't willing to listen to her pleas for a bit of leniency on how they handled her," he said.
"Doctors have told her that she's not to put her arms behind her back because it could paralyze her."
Claims of police brutality
Police confirmed in a release that two people suffered "minor injuries during the arrest and were treated at hospital."
Occupy Toronto said the two injured were victims of police brutality.
The group says a woman was punched in the face and was treated for an eye injury at St. Michael's Hospital and added that a man was under police guard while he was treated at Toronto General.
Jeffrey Wong, a protester and friend of those arrested, recounted what he saw.
"As I got there I saw several of our occupier friends who were talking to police — one of them being John Erb — he was very vocal, opposed to the police presence and harassment," Wong said.
"He kept yelling and he kept chanting and the police finally snapped and leaped at him and took him down and wrestled him to the ground and put him in cuffs."
Wong said Angela Turvey was recording the incident with her phone and police insisted she turn it off and back away. When she refused, Wong said police also wrestled her to the ground.
Wong claims that both Erb and Turvey were lifted by their arms and legs and carried across the pavement and then dropped on the sidewalk.
"Angela was also treated that same way, lifted up by the arms and dragged over — instead of actually allowing the gurney and ambulance to come to her, lifted her, picked her up while she was bleeding and dragged her across Osgood to University," he said.
Protesters have uploaded various videos to Youtube, showing a protester being arrested as their bloodied face is pressed against the sidewalk
John Erb, 44; Angela Turvey, 36; Craig Poirier, 35; Alice Evonic, 19 and one other person faced charges Saturday.
With files from the Canadian Press