Conspire to Resist: A Message from the “So-Called G20 Main Conspiracy Group” (read the full statements on the plea deal here).
So much admiration and respect to this group. Today we welcomed 11 people back to the streets after 18 months but 6 others (Alex, Mandy, Leah, Peter, Erik & Adam) will have to face jail time in order to bring this show prosecution to an end.
Top image: Beehive Design Collective, middle: Sheila Hewlett, bottom: Ryan Hayes
Just finished this video tonight. Hours later we received a disturbing update: Alex has been “released” on bail after being thrown into solitary confinement and coerced into signing outrageous bail conditions.
From the public release:
Thursday October 15, Toronto, Mississauga New Credit – Less than 24 hours after refusing to sign outrageous bail conditions which included not expressing political views in public and non-associations intended to further isolate him, Alex Hundert was forced to consent to his release.
On the night of Wednesday October 14th, Alex was told by the security manager at the Toronto East Detention Centre that he had to sign the bail conditions or face solitary confinement in “the hole”, without access to phone calls or writing paper. He was put in solitary confinement after an initial confrontation with correction staff where he resisted initial attempts to make him sign. He was denied the right to call his lawyer, and told that if he didn’t sign now, they would revoke the bail offer and he would be held in solitary confinement until his eventual release from prison.
Coerced into signing these conditions, Alex was thrown out of Toronto East and left to find his own way home to his sureties’ house. The prison authorities forced him into a position where he could potentially be accused of further breaching his bail. Alex is now back on house arrest with an enforced curfew, with non-associations with co-accused and members of SOAR, AWOL, NOII and other community organizers. He also has the additionally imposed restrictions of no direct or indirect posting to the internet, no assisting, planning, or attending any public meeting or march, and no expressing of views on a political issue.
I co-host a radio show on CKLN 88.1FM on the 1st and 3rd Friday every month. Our archive of past shows is accessible here and here.
Last night’s show was titled “Neoliberal Dress Rehearsals: Fighting Austerity and State Repression with OCAP”.
We spoke with John Clarke from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) about post-G20 organizing in Toronto and the parallels between the criminalization of community organizers during the G20 and OCAP’s June 15, 2000 demonstration at Queen’s Park.
STOP THE SPECIAL DIET CUT – RAISE WELFARE/ODSP RATES NOW!
Meal, Rally and Action
Wednesday, July 21 @ 12 noon
Ministry of Community and Social Services, 900 Bay St @ Wellesley
Poster here: http://update.ocap.ca/node/896
Harvey Pekar. Underground comic book legend. I hardly knew him. Read his book on Students for a Democratic Society last year. I was surprised when I heard the news and initially got distracted by his feud with David Letterman. Amazing to see him cut through the veneer of network television by just being himself, insulting Letterman and the practices of network owner General Electric. Later, I dug a littledeeper and went back to some scans I made from the SDS book. With G20 still on my mind, these panels spoke to me.
From Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History (2008). Written (mostly) by Harvey Pekar, Art (mostly) by Gary Dumm, Edited by Paul Buhle.
No, I don’t think it’s the “same thing”, but there are definitely connections to be made between what happened during the G20 and what happens everyday in poor, racialized communities in Toronto. Police being instruments of repression and violence is not new. They were doing their jobs. And it’s the same police officers. The same officers on the beat in communities like Jane-Finch, the same officers who are responsible for the death of 18-year-old Junior Manon, who said that Junior was not murdered, who insisted that he suffered a heart attack.
So with that said, much respect goes out to Nomanzland and community groups in Jane-Finch for making the connections. It was at their arts hub opening on June 29 where the Mayor made his first (and only partial) apology for the abuse that people experienced during the G20. This was because he was confronted by the reality of people’s experiences and made to face the truth. More people need to face this truth, not just about what happened during the G20 but about the daily reality and effects of policing.