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(en) Canada, Ontario: ORGANIZING ON TRIAL... AGAIN

From ocap@tao.ca, "[mailto:ocap@tao.ca]"@ainfos.ca
Date Fri, 12 Sep 2003 20:44:39 +0200 (CEST)

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A benefit & support night for John Clarke's Retrial
Tranzac Club 292 Brunswick Ave (Brunswick just south of Bloor St.)
$10 donation suggested (pwyc)
Naomi Klein, writer & journalist, author: NO LOGO
Bryan Palmer, writer, author: Working Class Experience
Peter Rosenthal, lawyer, mathematican , activist, council for John Clarke
** new video footage from June 15th, 2003 also to be shown **
On June 15th, 2000, an OCAP anti-poverty demonstration clashed with police
at Queen's Park when a delegation of poor & homeless people were refused
entry to address the legislature. Many demonstrators were arrested and
eventually prosecuted by the Crown. As well, a month after the
demonstration, the police arrested the so-called "riot leaders" - John
Clarke, Gaetan Heroux, and Stefan Pilipa.

Nearly three years later, on January 13th, 2003, their trial before a jury
began - the Crown painted the three men, and particularly John Clarke, as
evil masterminds orchestrating and executing a full assault on the
splendid seat of democracy. Five months and more than a million dollars
later, the jury could not agree if a riot had even taken place, and the
judge declared a mistrial.

In the wake of this, thousands of people have contacted the Attorney
General to demand that no new trial take place. Support demonstrations
were held outside of Canadian Consulates in the United States and as far
away as South Korea and South Africa.

On June 18th, 2003 a re-trial announcement was made: charges against
Gaetan and Stefan were dropped, but the Crown decided to proceed against
John Clarke one more time.

His 2nd trial begins Tuesday, October 7th, 2003.

John Clarke has dedicated his life to the struggle of the poor against
backward social policy. His work as organizer for the Ontario Coalition
Against Poverty has catapulted the otherwise ignored reality of homeless
and working poor people to the front pages and the nightly news. More
Importantly, it has been an inspiring example of a militant, modern day
social movement. Looked at in very practical terms, the prosecution of
John Clarke is an attempt to silence an effective and widely respected
poor peoples organization. But even further, to proceed with a 2nd trial
reveals what seems to be a political vendetta.

We cannot allow the Crown to isolate John Clarke and we cannot allow the
state to criminalize the struggle. Please come out on Oct 7th and support

Housing for All.
Fight to Win.

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