G20 defendant Alex Hundert remains in jail after his Sept 17, 2010, re-arrest for refusing to sign what he deemed to be overly restrictive, excessive bail conditions that would have triggered his release -- Hundert was already out on bail when he was re-arrested after his participation in a September G20 panel discussion.
By refusing to sign the Justice of the Peace's bail conditions, he is forced to remain in jail. Hundert will be appealing these addition bail conditions, which include 1: non-association with individuals such as Harsha Wallia and Dan Keller and groups such as AW@L and No One Is Illegal; 2: no planning and or participating/planning public meetings or marches and 3: no expressing political views in public, including in the media.
I am honestly not sure if these types of conditions are even legal, (I'm trying to find out) but the last one is a real kicker. No expressing political views in public? Does that include voting in the October 25, 2010 election? Would Alex get re-re-arrested for wearing a pin with a slogan?
This current bullshit (yes, I did go there!) stems from Hundert's participation-by-invitation to speak at Ryerson University on Sept. 17, 2010 at a G20 panel called "Strengthening Our Resolve" (please click this link to see the video for yourself).
--Because he spoke at the panel discussion, Hundert was arrested later that evening for allegedly breaching his bail conditions.
--Because of the G20 bail conditions imposed on him at the time -- which included the condition of non-participation in public demonstration -- the government concluded that Hundert's speaking on that university panel was akin to participating in a demonstration.
--Stemming from that arrest, on October 8, 2010, Hundert was found to be in breach of his no demonstration bail condition for speaking as an invited panelist at that and one other university event.
--On Oct. 12, the court ruled that although Hundert had breached his bail conditions, his bail would not be revoked if he agreed to sign up for extra bail conditions. He refused to sign.
Demonstrations were held across Canada in support of Hundert on Tuesday Oct. 12, 2010, and activists from Environmental Justice Toronto dropped a solidarity banner off the Gardiner Expressway early Tuesday morning. It is inspiring to see such community activism based on a "we've got your back' model. Very inspiring. I'd like to see much more of this in the future.
Now. there has been some playful but cynical, back and forth regarding the government's apparent confusion between a public demonstration and a panel discussion. But let me be clear, there is NO confusion on the part of the government.
The government and the police know exactly what they are doing, dragging Hundert back into court like some animal caught between its teeth.
It had already attempted to get Hundert's bail revoked. This will be the third time in total that the government has put Hundert behind bars for his alleged involved with the G20 protests.
This case originally stem from the government's allegations that Alex Hundert was one of the G20 "ringleaders" and he faces conspiracy charges for his community organizing around the late June G20 protests in Toronto. He was originally arrested at gun-point in a pre-dawn raid on June 26, 2010.
Released on July 19, 2010, the government then challenged his court ordered bail release but on Monday Sept. 13, 2010, Justice Todd Ducharme ruled that Alex Hundert could remain free on bail. Now he is back in jail yet again on yet another breach of bail question.
See a pattern, anyone? Anyone?
Governments all around the world try to break the back of social justice movement through the extremely expensive and time consuming judicial system in what can only be described as a war of attrition.
Yes, the potential for arrest just for participating in a public discussion is worrisome, but this worry does not stem from a simple, buffoon-esque confusion between two entirely different events, but represents instead a free-fall down the slippery slope of criminalizing dissent.
I'll say it again. This is bullshit.
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