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Activist Communiqué

Krystalline Kraus's picture
Krystalline Kraus is an intrepid journalist and veteran reporter for rabble.ca since its 2001 beginnings. She needs neither a red cape nor safety goggles to fly into her latest political assignment. She often live-tweets from events -- almost exclusively First Nations and environmental issues. You can follow her on Twitter @krystalline_k.

G8/G20 Communique: The re-arrest of Alex Hundert – Why the police should be charged with obstruction of justice

| September 18, 2010
Photo tweeted by @q_e_d who attended Hundert's solidarity press conference Saturday September 18, 2010.

The re-arrest of Alex Hundert is an obstruction of justice because the court system has already decided twice now that Hundert should remain free.

Alex Hundert was arrested last night after speaking at the G20 Strengthening Our Resolve event in Toronto post-G20.

Hundert had returned home to his surety's residence at 10:30 p.m. after speaking at Ryerson University when he was arrested by seven Toronto police and RCMP officers. He was then taken to the Metro West Detention Centre for an alleged breach of his bail condition of non-participation in public demonstrations.

Hundert's bail hearing was scheduled for Saturday at 9:30 am at Old City Hall in Toronto. He will remain incarcerated until Tuesday September 21, 2010 where two separate yet connected issues will be dealt with. 1: Did Hundert breach his bail conditions by speaking at the G20 event on Friday September 17, 2010? 2: If this is determined to be true, then the Crown will seek to again attempt to revoke his bail.

At a 9:00 a.m. press conference to support Hundert, supporters reported heavy surveillance and harassment by Toronto police (reported badge numbers are as follows: #1176, #3457, #7039).

I was at the G20 talk on that Friday night and let me assure you it was not a torch and pitch-fork affair. He was speaking at the university panel, not a protest. So let me be clear: Alex Hundert was arrested for speaking out against the G20 and the G20 police force.

The government's issue of breached bail conditions is based on Hundert's participation as an invited panellist at two recent events. The police are alleging that he is in violation of his existing bail condition to not participate in any public demonstration.

According to a statement released by his supporters early Saturday: "On July 28, 2010 the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) warned Hundert that media interviews he did with CBC radio, Toronto Sun, Vancouver Media Co-op, and rabble.ca were similarly a violation of the no-demonstration bail condition and threatened to re-jail Hundert. A day later at a press conference, Hundert and his supporters defied this media ban and decried the harassment as a blatant violation of his right to free speech as well as a violation of freedom of the press." [Editor's Note 18/09/10: "The OPP are mistaken. Hundert did not speak to rabble.ca after his arrest, but an article he wrote earlier this year can be read here. Rabble.ca did speak to Leah Henderson, who was arrested at the same time as Hundert. That article can be read here.]

Originally arrested on June 26, 2010, in a pre-dawn raid for his alleged role as a G20 organizer and charged with conspiracy, he was first released on bail on July 19, 2010. The government challenged his court ordered bail release and on Monday September 13, 2010, Justice Todd Ducharme ruled that Alex Hundert could remain free on bail.

Thus, the justice system has twice decided that Hundert should remain free and yet the government -- through the Toronto police and RCMP -- are obviously acting against the court's ruling.

Therefore, I think Toronto Police's G20 Investigative Unit and the RCMP should be charged with obstruction of justice.

G20 activists state they feel the government is conducting a campaign to criminalize dissent and specifically target First Nations solidarity activists.

Of course, it would be so easy and so Canadian to take a passive view of: "Well, maybe Alex should have stayed home if he felt the cops were gunning for him." Which only further promotes the message: "oh look, he spoke out and they took him away. Best to stay home ourselves."

According to supporter and No One Is Illegal member Mohan Mishra, "We are outraged at Alex's re-arrest. He was speaking at a panel discussion in a university classroom alongside professors, which is clearly not a public demonstration. This is yet another attempt to silence Alex, and is a strong indication of the police's intent to criminalize ideas, dissent, and effective community organizing."

I would like to personally let the government know that they do not need to protect me from the likes of Hundert. So typical is the government's reaction to radical activists: The government gets afraid of an activist so it labels that person a "threat" (even a "terrorist") to make the rest of the public afraid of them.

I am not afraid of Alex Hundert or his politics so please do not use your "Serve and Protect" mantra on my behalf. Do not claim to do this in my name. You do not serve myself or justice by protecting me from Hundert and his politics. You are in fact obstructing justice.  

**

The next couple of days will be critical regarding how activists react to Hundert's arrest. Alex Hundert will appear in court again on Tuesday September 21, 2010 at the 2201 Finch Avenue West courthouse.  

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