Montreal, July 13 - The two remaining Montrealers detained in Toronto following the G20 protests were released yesterday afternoon. Montreal's Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC 2010) is happy to announce their release on bail as well as the release of hundreds of other Quebecers arrested during the summit. However, this announcement is severely dampened by the unprecedented criminalization of social movements and political repression unleashed upon protesters who converged in Toronto from June 25 to June 27.
Jaggi Singh and Patrick Cadorette we arrested because of their respective involvement in struggles for social justice, against capitalism and against the G8/G20. The two community organizers were jailed for over a week. Both are appreciated and valued by their peers for their commitment and exceptional work towards advancing the cause of a variety of social movements. They have been released on bail but must respect a series of drastic conditions. “We are outraged at the criminalization of community organizers involved in the mobilization against the G20. We will not let the state and the police silence our movements. A record number of people, over 130, attended the last CLAC general assembly. We are more united than ever and will continue to fight against all forms of oppression”, states Danie Roy, spokesperson for CLAC 2010.
“Over 1090 people were arrested during the G20 and of these people 827 were released without charges. Protesters were the object of physical and psychological violence and verbal abuse at the hands of the Toronto Police, both on the streets and in detention. The strategy of the police clearly aimed to repress progressive social movements. Those who came from Quebec to protest in Toronto are people who organize on a daily basis for social and environmental justice. They are involved in a wide array of movements including anti-war, workers' rights, feminist groups, indigenous solidarity and migrant justice struggles. We are not criminals!”, added Mathieu Francoeur, also a spokesperson for CLAC 2010. Many Quebecers also stated that they were victims of discrimination and were specifically targeted by the police in Toronto.
CLAC 2010 calls on all social movements to denounce the unprecedented mass arrests and police violence and to stand in solidarity with all those arrested, charged and brutalized while resisting the G20. “We have the support of most of the population and of numerous human rights groups, unions and community organizations. People are not being fooled. They will not accept the police chief's lies, which served to justify widespread suppression of basic rights in the name of so-called security”, added Danie Royer.
CLAC 2010 invites Montrealers to join us for a demonstration against police repression and in solidarity with all G20 arrestees. The rally will take place in Montreal on July 17 at 1 PM, starting at Phillips Square.
Far from reducing us to silence, this last episode of political repression contributed to an important leap in popular debate around questions of justice and freedom and has lead to many gestures of solidarity. Members of CLAC 2010 have created legal defence and psychological support committees to meet the needs of those arrested and detained in difficult, sometimes inhuman, conditions.
Montreal's Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC 2010) is a network of groups and individuals that work together to reinforce daily struggles and to mobilize their communities around the G8 and G20 summits.