after 15 months on bail, and as predicted from the outset, the absurd charges against indy journalist + activist dan kellar have been dropped, we present a piece from tim groves of the toronto media coop + dan's post court statement, a haiku, and a song!
- Media Release (please forward far and wide) - Dan Kellar's followed by media release
November 8th 2012
Statement to the press by Dan Kellar after charges were dropped:
Thank you for coming today, I'd like to start by acknowledging that we are on the territory of the Missassaguas of the New Credit.
Days after the birth of my first child, crown attorney Jason Miller contacted my friend and lawyer, Davin Charney telling him that it was "no longer in the public interest" to prosecute me, and that "Bindo and Brenda (the undercover cops) had moved on". While I'm glad these absurd and politically motivated charges are being dropped, I'm dissapointed that we will not get to question the ethics, morals, and motivations of officers involved in the G20 and anti-olympic undercover investigations. My charges were politically motivated punishment for my activism and organising against the G20 summit, the 2010 olympics, and the capitalist colonial canadian project.
These charges are a part of a pattern which reveals the deceptive and undemocratic actions the canadian state will take in efforts to intimidate critics and criminalize dissent. And while I'm glad the charges against me have been dropped, the equally absurd charges against Julian Ichim will soon proceed to court, and the state still holds community organisers such as Mandy Hiscocks, Kelly Pflug-Back, and Alex Hundert among others as political prisoners.
There is no victory today, there is never justice in the courts, dropping my charges just gives me an opportunity to refocus all my energy on the everyday work of resisting the cultural and environmental destruction of a violent economic system rooted in colonial oppression.
November 7, 2012
Police repressed dissent
What do you do when you find out that a person you thought was your friend is actually an undercover cop? Dan Kellar wrote a blog. Police responded by arresting him and forcing him under threat of continued detention to remove his comments from the internet. For the past year and 3 months Kellar has been on bail, and now, less than a month before a scheduled trial, Assistant Crown Attorney Jason Miller has indicated in writing that the Crown intends to withdraw all charges.
View a PDF of the blog post here
The charges will be withdrawn in court #111, Old City Hall Court, 60 Queen St. W. at 9 a.m. on November 8, 2012. Afterwards, at 10:30 a.m., Kellar and his lawyer Davin Charney will hold a press conference on the steps of the Old City Hall court house. At the press conference Kellar will provide media with a copy of the blog post.
Kellar, an independent journalist and activist, was arrested and charged on August 25, 2011 after he posted comments about two undercover police officers on his blog at peaceculture.org. His terms of release required that he remove the post and not publish anything on the internet that referred to the two agents. Leading up to the G20 Summit, the two officers, Bindo Showan and Brenda Carey, infiltrated activist groups in southern Ontario. For more than a year they deceived people in order to gain the trust of community organizers and gather intelligence. Showan, known as “Khalid Mohamed”, befriended Kellar. Together they attended protests, meetings, shared drinks, and Showan visited Kellar’s home and work. In that time, Showan made extensive notes about Kellar and many of his friends, although Kellar was never charged with any offence resulting from the undercover operation.
After the G20, Kellar observed the damage that undercover police had done to community groups. He wrote criticisms of police on his blog. Police, who were surveilling the blog, then arrested and charged him with two counts of criminal defamation and counselling to commit assault. Later the defamation charges were withdrawn but additional charges of criminal harassment and intimidation were laid. “My prosecution, and the ongoing criminalisation of those who criticise the police and our political and economic systems, reveal the lengths to which the government and authorities will conspire to intimidate activists and stifle dissent”, said Kellar.
His lawyer, Davin Charney said, “It is fundamental that people be free to criticize police. The police didn’t want these charges to go before a judge because they are totally and utterly baseless. The charges were laid to muzzle an activist. This is a case of police abuse of power and criminalisation of dissent.”
song is police man by the tra la las