Spartacist Canada No. 167

Winter 2010/2011


Defend All G20 Protesters!

Following the brutal police violence and mass arrests of over 1,100 anti-G20 protesters last June, the capitalist state has pursued a sinister witchhunt against the left. Nineteen activists and organizers face an array of conspiracy charges and long prison sentences if they are convicted. The Canadian rulers mean to use the trials of these so-called “ringleaders” to intimidate and deter all those who would protest the poverty and violence of this imperialist capitalist order.

Among those charged are Peter Hopperton, Leah Henderson, Amanda Hiscocks, Alex Hundert, Syed Hussan and Jaggi Singh. All have highly restrictive bail conditions including house arrest. They may not associate with fellow activists, possess a passport or use a cell phone. They are barred from taking part in any public demonstration. Hundert has been specially targeted. For speaking at a political meeting on September 17, he was re-arrested. Again, on October 23, he was thrown in jail—where he remains—after copying down the license plate of a crown prosecutor! Native rights activist Jaroslava Avila was nabbed by ten plainclothes cops at the University of Toronto after attending a public meeting.

Also still in jail is Byron Sonne, a computer expert arrested just before the summit. Sonne faces a slew of trumped-up charges for simply vowing to keep tabs on the police during the summit. Meanwhile, Roger Clement, a former federal government employee, has been convicted in the firebombing of an Ottawa branch of the Royal Bank in protest against the G20. Free Hundert, Sonne and Clement now!

The capitalist rulers have a long history of using such frame-up prosecutions against the left and labour movement. As far back as 1837 trade unionists in Ontario were targeted by conspiracy laws. Today, such conspiracy charges are favoured by the state as a means to go after perceived opponents against whom there is no evidence of any crime.

Multiple inquiries have been launched with the sole purpose of deflecting attention and quelling public anger. Calls for such inquiries have been eagerly embraced by the reformist left, who always push the illusion that the capitalist state and its cops can be reformed to serve the interests of the oppressed. Meanwhile, many of these left groups joined in the state witchhunt of the Black Bloc anarchist protesters (see “Police State Crackdown in Toronto,” SC No. 166, Fall 2010). Defend all the G20 protesters! Drop the charges!

We urge our readers to contribute to the legal defense of those facing G20-related charges. Send contributions payable to OPIRG York, with “G20 legal defence” in the subject line, to: Toronto Community Mobilization Network, 360A Bloor St. W., P.O. Box 68557, Toronto ON M5S 1X0.