Journalist becomes temporary medic during g20

A journalist covering the G20 protests for found herself in a
new role after police attacked protesters, leaving some in dire need of
medical help that never came.

By Bethany Horne

I witnessed what I think was the first instance of violence during the Saturday march, at Queen and John St.: a group called No One Is Illegal, protesting against immigration policies tried to break off from the main march. In previous interviews, they had expressed that the fence around the world leaders was a symbol of the fences and borders that oppress people every day, and for them, it was an important strategy of their protest to approach the fence and protest it. However, their attempt to move down the street to the fence was blocked by police who didn’t hesitate to use batons against those at the front of the march. I was with a good friend who has medical training and helped get four, then five people out of the way of the advancing, violent police line. I held a man as blood poured out of his head, down his face and on to my pants. My friend could see his skull through the deep gash, covered the wound and told him to hold it. Calls to 911 were fruitless: the ambulance never came. Another man with a head-wound next to me was going into shock. The medics loudly asked the crowd that was still marching past us to give us any extra clothing they had on, to cover him and to hold his spinal cord steady. His eyes stared into nothingness, flickered and glassed over, and no ambulance came for half an hour. The march had already long passed us by. We heard, however, that police had deployed tear gas and the back of the march was doubling back and coming back through where we were, so we had to make a decision. We held up the first man with the head injury between us, and walked him and another less woozy guy all the way to Mt. Sinai Hospital. We left the man who was almost unconscious with three other medics behind. They were going to use five people to try to move him into a van, to get him somewhere an ambulance would pick him up. I know it took them a long, long time to accomplish that. We all thought he was going to die.

That was the most dramatic situation I was in. However, I was at several demo’s that were kettled by police, I was at clearing of Queen’s Park by mounted police, and I was at the march against police brutality yesterday. I was subjected to several illegal searches. In my opinion, the police force got entirely out of hand, criminalized journalists and peaceful protesters, and must respond to their actions.