One day after hundreds of police and protesters took over the streets of Halifax, the two groups were quick to assign blame but no closer to figuring out why Saturday's peaceful G-7 protests turned violent.
At separate news conferences held one after the other Sunday afternoon, panels from both sides sat down with media.
Some elements speak for themselves: 500 police, about 200 demonstrators, 31 arrests, four people charged and more than 30 injured.
The violence broke out early Saturday afternoon when protesters removed police barricades on Argyle Street. RCMP and Halifax Regional Police moved in with tear gas.
During the news conference at regional police headquarters Sunday, a senior RCMP official said the force knew that the protest would become violent.
RCMP Supt. Craig MacLaughlan said the information was gained from plainclothes police and protesters in the crowd.
RCMP and Halifax Regional Police were responsible for unified planning of security for the weekend's meeting of finance ministers from G-7 countries, the seven most powerful industrial nations of the world.
Halifax police Supt. Chris McNeil, who along with Supt. MacLaughlan was responsible for security, said, "from the moment some members of the crowd pulled down barricades . . . the protest went from the quiet civil disobedience promised by protesters to being unlawful."
Although one of the protest organizers agrees on the time violence erupted, she said demonstrators were simply planning for another peaceful day.
"We had a beautiful, wonderful peaceful protest on Friday," Cheryl-Ann Simpson, an organizer with the Atlantic G-7 Welcoming Committee, told reporters at a news conference at Brunswick Street United Church.
Friday's protests included dancing, drum-beating and noise-making.
"We tried to accomplish the same thing on Saturday . . . a non-violent fun day for everybody," she said.
She says protesters were never out to hurt anyone.
"You plan and you plan and you plan but in the end, it's the people . . . and when people are scared and they feel backed into corners," they may act differently, she said.
"We can't account for the actions of every single individual but . . . what we saw from protesters in the street . . . should not be classified, for the most part, as violence," she said.
While police say the number of protesters hit the 300 mark, Ms. Simpson says there were 175.
"Certainly the numbers (of demonstrators) that were in the streets did not warrant the number of police in riot gear following people throughout the city," she said.
Police said Sunday that there were nearly 500 RCMP and Halifax officers combined on the streets at the height of the clashes.
While police said their videotapes reveal provocations such as a protester using a slingshot to fire ballbearings at police and others using glass bottles as well as balloons filled with "unknown substances," the protesters disputed those claims.
MLA Howard Epstein, who attended the rally for 90 minutes Saturday and witnessed the use of tear gas, says he saw a slingshot hurling an object above the heads of police officers and that it was water in the balloons.
"So far as I could see, (the police) were quite clearly the first to use any physical force. . . . But if you want to classify (the demonstrators') small water balloons as physical force, it was clear that the use of tear gas was wildly disproportionate and inappropriate."
Police and protesters continued to scuffle on various streets throughout the afternoon, moving down toward the waterfront.
One bystander, who witnessed the "absolute terror" late Saturday afternoon on Lower Water Street, says she was more afraid of the police than the protesters.
"I was really, really scared," the woman said Sunday.
"I thought, 'If I'm not careful, my face is going to end up on the pavement,' " she said.
Supt. McNeil confirmed that Tazers, a type of stun gun, and pepper balls were used.
"Six people were touched with Tazers. . . . We also had four pepper ball systems deployed, " Supt. McNeil said. "Two people were targeted and hit when they were advancing on police. The other pepper balls were fired on the ground as a warning to protesters."
Dr. Tim Bood, a Halifax general practitioner who helped victims Saturday, said 30 "or maybe more" protesters were treated, six of whom were "seriously" injured.
The doctor, who attended the protesters' news conference, said doctors try to remain objective but that his examinations raised concerns of excessive force that "could be looked into."
Police also confirmed Sunday that another officer drew his handgun when assisting a fellow officer making an arrest.
"The decisions made (Saturday) in response to the violence exhibited by a small number of organized people are fully supported by the RCMP," Supt. Mac-Laughlan said.
"We are very proud of both members of the RCMP and Halifax Regional Police and their professional approach to this incident."
Without police, Supt. McNeil said, crowds of bystanders could have been "injured" and Spring Garden Road "severely damaged."
He explained that police received information that "a plan had been hatched to trash Spring Garden Road."
The bystander from Lower Water Street says the protesters were not headed up that way.
"They had no idea where to go when they got down to the waterfront," she said.
"There really were, in our minds, a lot of people who were . . . just trying to get away from the police when they were arrested, and that is what struck fear in people the most," Ms. Simpson said.
Her co-organizer Max Haiven urged people to write letters to MPs and MLAs or to launch a complaint with police.
"Clearly, many people don't feel comfortable coming to a protest like this, especially when we see such hideous police oppression, but letter-writing still does work . . . to some extent."
"The police are here to protect us. They are not here to terrify."
In total, 31 people were arrested for breaching the peace.
Two men will appear in Halifax provincial court this morning on charges of unlawful assembly and violations of court orders from other parts of the country as a result of other demonstrations.
Two others, a male and a female, will appear in court Sept. 3 to face charges of resisting arrest. Another male was arrested on an outstanding warrant for prohibited weapons and theft charges.
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