Montréal, 12th of july 2011- On June 29th 2011, the Anti-Gang Squad of the Montreal Police Organized Crime Division arrested four activists, simultaneously searching their respective homes. The arrests are connected to the last May 1st protest, organized by the Convergence of anti-capitalist struggles of Montreal (CLAC).
Let’s remember that on May 1st more than 1,200 people marched in the streets of Montreal, as part of the International Worker’s Day, for the fourth edition of the anti-capitalist demonstration. From the meeting point until the dispersion, the police tried to intimidate and harass the protesters. The cops used every tactic: massive presence, armoured horses, an unjustified attempt to arrest a protester, charging the children’s contingent (BABY BLOC), and finally, dispersion of the demonstration at the corner of René Levesque and Metcalfe by a forceful intervention.
The arrests and house searches of protesters on June 29th should not surprise us. They are happening in a context of capitalist crisis where the exploiting minority must rely on a continuous and active repression of activists, to prevent the development of their activities. We can witness this increased repression in recent years when hundreds of arrests and dozens of harassment visits were made.
Governments everywhere are consenting to subsidies to large multinationals and banks to boost the economy, while imposing austerity measures against their populations. Everywhere, though unevenly, the people take the streets to oppose these measures. Two worlds clash and will be clashing more and more ; the one of the capitalists, the banks and the "big shots" that stir big money, and the one of the impoverished majority – exploited and oppressed.
In this context, one could expect that the failed police assaults which took place in the streets of Montreal last May have turned into charges against activists with accusations ranging from “armed assault” to "assault on a peace officer," "obstructing police" and "possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose." The message is simple and has been repeated over and over again by the bourgeoisie in concrete and recent examples, such as the G20: impunity for police when it defends the interests of capital, and harassment and prosecution for anti-capitalist activists.
We are not surprised that the police, for lack of evidence, are seeking to attack activists, some of whom are well known and do not hide their political views. If the police believe that monitoring our meeting places can prevent us from organizing, they are making a big mistake! Despite the intimidation and repression, we will continue the fight. If the police are looking for someone to blame for the May 1st event, they should look into their own ranks.
CLAC strongly condemns the police operation that occurred on June 29th, conducted primarily for political reasons. CLAC denounces the arrest of four activists during the operation and demands the full and unconditional release of those arrested.
Court procedures will take place tomorrow, Wednesday July 13th, at the Montreal courthouse at 9:30 am.
Down with political repression!
Solidarity is our weapon!
Source : CLAC-Montréal