A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 40 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Castellano_ Català_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_ The.Supplement
{Info on A-Infos}

(en) Canada, Ontario, CALL TO ACTION!

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sun, 10 Aug 2003 14:23:37 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
http://ainfos.ca/ http://ainfos.ca/index24.html

Across the country cities are networking together to bring
about justice for the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and
John Clarke! Don't let the government win in the fight for
people's rights! We need your help!
If you have any questions about the information below, or
would like to verify an action in your own city, please feel
free to write me and i will get back to you on the following
day! little_fears-A-riseup.net thanks!
The day of action is September 5th, the target: your local
Canadian Consulate.

The history of OCAP's good work is on
the line and John Clarke is facing five years in prison
because he has been winning for the people of Toronto. We
need your help to pressure the Canadian governement,
protest the Consulate's offices, flood their phone lines, fax
lines and email mailboxes!

OCAP is a direct-action anti-poverty organization based in
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They mount campaigns against
regressive government policies as they effect poor and
working people. In addition, they provide direct-action
advocacy for individuals against eviction, termination of
welfare benefits, and deportation. They believe in the power
of people to organize themselves. They believe in the power
of resistance.

They have been around and fighting strong for 11 years,
giving strength back to the people of Ontario and a real voice
for the public. They get results from the government that
strips the rights of the monetarily challenged. John Clarke is
one of the strongest and longest fighting advocates, and is
now facing 5 years in jail for participating in the fights of the
people. Below are the details of the Queen's Park action
which brought about his charges.

for more information and history on OCAP and their work
please check their website at:


An Appeal for International Solidarity

On October 7th, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Organizer, John Clarke, will go on trial for the second time on
charges that he was an
architect of a 'planned riot' on June 15, 2000, at the Ontario
Legislature in Toronto, Canada. If convicted, he faces up to
five years in jail. He is being tried under antiquated and
reactionary sections of the Criminal Code that have been
seldom used in the Post War period. The use of such
sections are a serious attack on our organization and pose a
major threat
to civil liberties and the rights of assembly and expression.
We are asking for international support and solidarity in the
face of this
attack. For those unfamiliar with the events surrounding the
so called 'Queen's Park Riot' of three years ago, we provide a
brief chronology

June 15, 2000

OCAP challenges the crisis of homelessness in Ontario with
a march on the Ontario Legislature. We demand that the
Government receive a delegation of people affected by this
crisis. This is rejected and no attempt is made to negotiate
with us. As the delegation moves up, backed by some 1,500
supporters, a whole line of barricades collapses. Later we
discover that these had not been mounted in the ground as
they were supposed to be. As a section of the crowd surges
forward, a body of mounted police rides into the
demonstration and, a few minutes later, riot police begin
baton charges and a process of clearing the grounds that
precipitates an hour long confrontation that sees dozens hurt
on both

The police make some arrests that day and go all the way to
the Supreme Court to obtain the right to seize all media
videos and photos
taken that day. Eventually, some forty five women and men
are arrested. Many of the homeless people arrested have
great difficulty making bail.
One young man spends seven months in Toronto's Don Jail
before being released.

July 22, 2000

Police arrest Stefan Pilipa, Gaetan Heroux and John Clarke
of OCAP on charges of 'participating in a riot. The Crown
proceeds with these charges against Stefan and Gaetan but
later changes John's to 'counseling to participate in a riot' and
'counseling to assault police'. A Superior
Court Judge will later find that police failure to bring the three
to court in a timely fashion and the searches conducted on
their persons,
amounted to a denial of their constitutional rights. All three
are hit with bail conditions that bar them from attending
demonstrations or
associating with any members of OCAP.

September 14, 2000

A bail review hearing amends the conditions of the three.
They are still denied the right to associate with each other
but the ban on contact with other OCAP members is lifted
and a limited right to attend demonstrations is restored. This
is a major setback for the Crown/police strategy of breaking
up our organization.

June 15, 2001

Following a demonstration at the Ontario Finance minister's
office, John Clarke is arrested on minor charges. Due to his
charges, however, a Justice of the Peace denies bail on the
grounds that he is a 'danger to the public' and a detention
order is issued. He is
released by a higher court a month later but only at the cost
of the ban on attending demonstrations being re-imposed.

January 13, 2003

The Jury trial of the three accused gets underway. Most
others charged around June 15 have now passed through the
courts but, as more
serious, indictable charges, these are dealt with in Superior
Court. The Crown's allegations of a 'planned riot' led by the
three are met with a
legally effective and politically principled defense. OCAP
witnesses acknowledge that they are part of a militant poor
peoples' organization
that came to Queen's Park on the day to demand entry and, if
necessary, to try and force negotiations by means of a stand
off with the authorities. The confrontation that took place,
however, is presented as the product of the Government's
intransigence and the provocative and incompetent behavior
of the Police. A section of the Jury finds this case entirely
plausible. On May 11, after five days of deliberations, they
find themselves hopelessly and explosively deadlocked. A
mistrial is declared.

June 18, 2003

The three go back to court. The Crown announces that Stefan
and Gaetan will have their charges withdrawn. "In the public
however, John will face another trial on October 7th.

The public order provisions of the Criminal Code that are still
being used against John Clarke, were used routinely in the
1930s to try
and suppress the resistance of the unemployed. That they
have been dusted off for present day use is a disturbing
development. In law, a riot is a gathering of three or more
people that 'has begun to disturb the peace tumultuously'. A
successful conviction under such legislation would place all
militant pickets and demonstrations at risk. The accusation
counseling in this case, moreover, is based on a speech John
gave on June 15 in which he urged the crowd to support the
demands of the delegation to
be allowed to enter the Legislature. Any forceful or
impassioned political speech might be targeted for criminal
sanction if this charge
succeeds. OCAP will certainly not be silenced by any result
of the upcoming trial but the potential chilling effect on the
whole movement and the ugly precedent being sought can't
be overlooked.

We are appealing for international support in the struggle
against this reactionary legal attack. There will soon be an
open letter to the
Attorney General on our website at www.ocap.ca and all are
encouraged to sign it. Individually written letters are also
extremely welcome.
Examples and contact information are also being found on
our website. Of particular importance is the delivering of
protest letters to Canadian
diplomatic facilities. Supporters in New York City have done
this as have the California Coalition Against Poverty in San
Francisco, the Western Cape Anti Eviction Campaign in
South Africa and the Equality Trade Union - Migrants Branch
in Korea.

When charges against Stefan and Gaetan were dropped, the
Crown acknowledged that the flood of letters that had come
in had been a major
factor in obtaining this result. Support actions now are not
just a gesture. They will have an impact and may be decisive.

Please help OCAP defeat the legal attack we face so that we
can continue to fight the real crimes of poverty and
homelessness in this

In solidarity,

The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

****** The A-Infos News Service ******
News about and of interest to anarchists
INFO: http://ainfos.ca/org http://ainfos.ca/org/faq.html
HELP: a-infos-org@ainfos.ca
SUBSCRIPTION: send mail to lists@ainfos.ca with command in
body of mail "subscribe (or unsubscribe) listname your@address".

Full list of list options at http://www.ainfos.ca/options.html

A-Infos Information Center