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(en) Canada, Whitby Trial Wraps Up - OCAP Member Jailed

From Mick <mickblack47@yahoo.com>
Date Sat, 11 Jan 2003 06:49:20 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

--- OCAP <ocap@tao.ca> wrote:

Eighteen months after OCAP members evicted then-Tory Finance Minister Jim
Flaherty from his constituency office, the authorities and the Province of
Ontario have little to show for their efforts to curb resistance and the
fight for justice in this Province.

In Whitby this week, the two final defendants were sentenced. Gian Mura,
convicted on two counts, has been made to serve 21 days in prison at the
Provincial Jail in Penetanguishene. With no criminal record and years of
living in poverty, Gian is the sole defendant to serve time as a part of
his sentence. However, like the entire group of defendants, Gian did spend
time in jail immediately following arrest and will be released on January
20th, to live on probation for a year.

Sean Lee Popham, who already spent 37 days in jail and 60 days under house
arrest following the demonstration in July 2001, was convicted on two
counts and sentenced to 18 months of probation.

Shawn Brant, convicted on a single count, was sentenced to 21 days in jail
and 2 years of probation - but did not have to spend more time in custody
than the days in prison following his arrest.

The conviction of a handful of people is what remains of the 19 arrested
and jailed following the demonstration at Flaherty's office in Whitby,
undertaken to strike back against the effects of slashed social spending,
conditions on First Nations reserves, and above all, because of the
responsibility of Flaherty's government in the systematic evictions of
tenants across Ontario.

Following the action in July 2001, the authorities were condemning the
'terrorist' actions of OCAP members, and calling of months of jail time to
punish the unconpromising anger and action taken by OCAP. And while it is
glaringly obvious that several defendants were targeted by the prosecution
- Shawn for being a citizen of the Mohawk Nation, Gian for his lack of
'respectable' credentials - there is no question that the prosecution, the
Durham Regional Police, and the Provincial government did not come out on
top in this latest attempt to quash resistance against the lack of rent
control, the decimation of decent affordable housing, the power accorded
to wealthy landlords under the so-called Tenant 'Protection' Act- the
ruthless rule in Ontario that attempts to keep poor and working people
silent and struggling to survive.

To send letters of support and solidarity to Gian, please send your mail
to the following:

Gian Mura
Central North C. C.
1501 Fuller Ave
Penetanguishene, ON
L9M 2H4

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