Toronto police officers take up positions as they face off with protesters during a protest at the corner of Queen Street and Spadina Avenue on June 27, 2010 in Toronto. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
Sherry Good says she was kettled by Toronto police during the G20 weekend in 2010. (Cole Burston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)Both want damages for false arrest or imprisonment, and violations of their constitutional rights. They maintain a senior officer gave orders for the indiscriminate roundup of anyone present at various downtown locations — enough to warrant class certification. "Arrestees included peaceful protesters, bystanders, journalists, legal observers, and Torontonians who were present simply by chance," their factum states. "Without the possibility of a class action in this situation, police can arrest entire crowds and only risk a few lawsuits from a few determined and well-resourced people." Lawyer Eric Gillespie, who represents Good, said the idea that the individual conduct of each class member needs to be examined is misguided and counter to well-established precedent. "There are so many examples of class actions that are radically dissimilar on their facts but have been certified," Gillespie said. "We say this is about as cut and dried as you will ever get."
Protesters hold a vigil outside the temporary detention centre where hundreds of anti-G20 demonstrators and others were held and processed on June 27, 2010 in Toronto. (Photo by Simon Hayter/Getty Images)Co-counsel Murray Klippenstein said the encircling and arrest of large groups of legitimate protesters is illegal, and they should be allowed to sue as a group. Arguing, as the police are doing, that people are free to sue individually makes little sense and is "just not feasible," Klippenstein said. "It wouldn't help justice or the protection of Canadian freedoms." The Canadian Civil Liberties Association, which is intervening in the appeal, also argues class actions are appropriate. In green-lighting the two actions, the Divisional Court stressed the broader issue at stake. "It is important to remember that the police cannot sweep up scores of people just in the hope that one of the persons captured is a person who they believe is engaged in criminal activity,'' the court said in its ruling.
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