Montreal, November 11, 2010 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
After Toronto, the leaders of the world’s economic superpowers will meet in Seoul the 11 and 12 of November for yet another G-20 Summit. On this occasion, there will be gatherings everywhere around the globe to denounce capitalism, misery and poverty. As underlined by Mathieu Francoeur, spokesperson for the CLAC: “In order to replenish the coffers of the State, robbed by the banks’ and big enterprises’ embezzlement of public funds, the criminal institution that is the G-20 found as sole solution to this crisis the imposition of measures ensuring the continual impoverishment of workers and most deprived everywhere around the world.”
These anti-social and retrograde austerity measures can only serve to fuel generalized social discontent. The response of the G-20 governments is to increase the repression of popular mobilisations. We saw it in Greece, in France and in Toronto, and we will see it again this weekend in South Korea. More than 50 000 police officers will be mobilized to stop the thousands of expected Korean protesters from penetrating the G20 fortress, itself surrounded by an almost-10km-long fence; an unheard of police strength to protect such a summit!
The demonstration in Montreal will categorically denounce the repression experienced last June; in all of its illegal, abusive and never before seen nature. More than 1,100 individuals were treated like criminals, less than 400 were charged and now only a few dozen are being forced to navigate the judicial system. Despite this sad masquerade, the Canadian State continues its witch-hunt. Even though more than a hundred accusations were dropped in the last few weeks, more than a dozen Quebec residents are still facing serious charges. Among them, four individuals are subject to extremely restrictive bail conditions interfering with their freedom of mobility and expression. As Mathieu Francoeur recalls: “Let’s not forget the case of Alex Hundert from Toronto whose imposed bail conditions prevent him from expressing political opinions either in public or to the media. This dangerously resembles conditions found under dictatorial regimes.”
Furthermore, a class action has recently been submitted to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to investigate the criminalization of social protests in Canada. During a hearing on October 25, the IACHR ordered Canada to immediately provide more detailed information surrounding the events that took place throughout last June’s summit, specifically the exact number of individuals imprisoned, the grounds for their detention, and their detention conditions. Let’s not forget that many serious rights violations were carried out during the G-20. Bill Blair, the Toronto Police Chief, was recently forced to admit to the Parliamentary Committee on Public Safety that the mass arrest of dozens of Quebec residents sleeping in the University of Toronto’s gymnasium was done without a valid warrant and that close to one hundred police officers removed their identification badges’ so they could act with full impunity.
Next November 12, while the Seoul G-20 Summit will continue promoting social, economic and environmental violence against the majority of the world’s population, let’s bring our rage to the streets of Montreal!
Family-friendly march: Cabot Square Atwater/Ste-Catherine (Atwater metro), 5pm.