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Tamils Protest on Toronto Freeway - Photos

posted by Geordie Geography: Ontario Toronto Topics: police, protest, Sri Lanka, tamil, Demonstration

May 19, 2009

Tamils Protest on Toronto Freeway - Photos

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Photos by James Clark, Megan Hope and Enid Godtree.

1. Thousands of Tamils converge on Toronto's Gardiner Expressway on May 10th for almost 4 hours shutting down a key artery in the City's road network. The protest was part of a series of actions in Toronto contesting the war in Sri Lanka and the Canadian governments actions or lack thereof.

2. People get a unique view of a section of the City normally over-run with cars going 80 kph. Tamils had previously shut down major sections of the City including a 4 day protest on University Ave.

3. One of many Tamil Tiger flags at the event. Tiger supporters were prevalent amongst the protesters, many of whom were calling for a separate Tamil state in addition to an immediate ceasefire.

4. Police tactics at the event were relatively non-confrontational. Protesters were allowed to come and go from the ramp and bring in supplies (coffee,food, blankets). Protesters who biked to the event to join the demonstration created the rare sight of bikes locked up to the guard rails on the Expressway.

5. One of many vigils. Protesters were totally peaceful.

6. Toronto Police, OPP and RCMP were called into the protest. Police discussing tactics with other units.

7. Riot Police form at one end of the protest.

8. A small group of police begin beating protesters before other police order them to stop. 4 are arrested.

9. Tamils agree to end the demonstration peacefully and march to Queen's Park (the Ontario legislature)...but not everyone gets away unscathed.

10 days later, the Sri Lankan government declares a conventional victory over the Tamils. The leader of the Tamil Tigers is declared killed.


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