FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 28th, 2010.
The 24th, 27th, and 28th of September saw several court appearances of those arrested and accused during the G20 in June as part of the largest mass arrest in Canadian history. Following these arrests, approximately 300 people are facing criminal charges for their involvement in the anti-G20 movement.
On Friday, the 24th of September, procedures towards four people from Quebec were stopped, which signifies that the Crown is dropping these charges. This was the case for a number of other dropped charges in August. It is clear that the Crown is trying to save face by stopping these procedures, quite simply because there is not enough proof to continue in this cases. We cannot forget that all of those arrested, even if they will not end up being charged, have suffered violent and unjust arrests, and inhumane conditions in detention.
On the 27th of September, the 19 people facing serious criminal accusations of conspiracy appeared in court. Several voices denounced the fact that the Canadian government was trying to portray them as scapegoats for all the events that took place in Toronto during the G20, especially considering that a large number of them were arrested before the start of the demonstrations. The severity of the charges, as well as of the conditions of their release, are a clear demonstration by the Canadian government that political dissent will be harshly criminalized.
One of the charged, Alex Hundert, is still behind bars, having been re-arrested after speaking at the sides of several professors in an academic panel discussion at Ryerson University. The authorities deemed this as a breach of his bail condition of « not participating in public demonstrations ». «Not participating in public demonstrations » was a release condition given out en masse by the judges during the massive court appearances that took place following the arrests of more than 1000 people during the G20 meeting. More than 100 people had this as a condition of their liberation; however it is in clear violation of their rights, since the right to demonstrate is entrenched in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. If this condition is allowed to be interpreted as a ban on any public speaking, it will truly become a way to silence political dissidence!
The CLAC also denounces the fact that the Crown refuses to submit a copy of the evidence of the 19 accused of being « the leaders of the riots ». After the appearance on Monday, the defense lawyers were able to obtain a copy of the evidence (which contains more than 3000 pages!), but only on the condition of signing a directive not to make a copy for the accused. As a result of this, the two accused who reside in Montreal have practically no way to consult their evidence and organize their defense without making numerous trips to their respective lawyers offices in Toronto!
Also, one cannot ignore any longer that the accusations, imprisonments, and extreme bail conditions faced by the G20 arrestees are purely political. Jean Palo Lapore, who was arrested in Montreal on September 2 on charges of mischief linked to the G20 Summit, spent 22 days behind bars. The Crown totally opposed his release, and attempted to refuse the professor who accepted Juan as a surety, under the pretext that this professors son had links to the anarchist movement. This is clear political profiling and must be denounced as unacceptable.
More appearances took place today, and even more will take place during the month of October. We demand that all of the accusations against the G20 arrestees are dropped, and that all of those still in prison are immediately released.
In the face of this repression, we will not be silenced!
La CLAC (Anti-Capitalist Convergeance)