|Activist Julian Ichim walks past the police line during a protest ahead of the G20 summit in Toronto, June 21, 2010. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)
TORONTO - An anti-poverty activist who was once accused of being a G20 conspirator launched a $4 million lawsuit against Toronto Police on Monday, delivering the paperwork to the force's headquarters in person.
Julian Ichim, 32, of Kichener, Ont., is suing the Toronto Police Services Board, the OPP and an undercover officer, claiming he was wrongfully arrested, imprisoned, and beaten during the G20 riots of June 2010.
He also alleges he was unlawfully deceived by a plainclothes OPP officer during the year leading up to the event.
Standing outside headquarters, Ichim insisted his lawsuit is about forcing accountability on the part of police -- not a quest for cash.
"What I hope to do, and aim to do, with this lawsuit is first and foremost is break the silence and find out what really happened," Ichim said, shortly before serving his statement of claim to Toronto Police.
"I was identified as a threat to the G20, not because of any physical actions I have done, but rather instead for the politics that I hold, which are Marxist-Leninist politics."
Ichim claims that an undercover OPP officer whose mission it was to "infiltrate and gather intelligence" prior to the summit in Toronto, "integrated himself" into his life as a "good friend" from June 2009 to June 2010.
He alleged the officer befriended him "under false pretences and through deception," such as "pretending to unlawfully" sell cartons of cigarettes.
Ichim also alleged that the officer "insisted" he get involved with the G20 protests and breached his privacy to the point of listening to Ichin having sex and entering his home without a warrant.
Toronto Police arrested Ichim at a Tim Hortons in Toronto on June 26, 2010 -- the first day of the summit -- for allegedly helping plan the riots.
Ichim claims he was forced into an unmarked van and beaten. He also claims he was strip-searched and subjected to "cruel and unusual treatment" during his time in the makeshift holding cells police set up for the G20 Summit.
The charges against Ichim were dropped less than six months later, but he was later charged again for blogging about his experience with the undercover officer, whose name had been protected by a court-ordered publication ban. Ichin still faces the latter charges, and that case has yet to go to court.
Ichim, no stranger to social activism, once doused former Canadian Alliance Party leader Stockwell Day with chocolate milk during a campaign speech in 2000.
None of the allegations contained in the lawsuit have been proven in court.