G20 defendant Alex Hundert appeared in an Ontario Superior Court today to submit an application for review of his restrictive bail conditions. These conditions include non-associations with a large number of his friends and fellow social justice activists, as well as the imposed restrictions of no direct or indirect posting to the internet; no assisting, planning, or attending any public meeting or march; and no expressing of views on a political issue.
The date for the appeal has now been set for Nov. 18-19, 2010.
According to Natalie Des Rosiers of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, "Bail conditions ought not to go so far as to prevent people from expressing their point of view. By only releasing dissenters on the condition that they refrain from publicly expressing their opinions, the government appears to be silencing its critics."
Canadian Labour Congress President Ken Georgetti has called these new set of bail conditions "chilling." Georgetti says, "The court has gone way too far in restricting Mr. Hundert's rights."
The Canadian Association of Journalists added its voice to the chorus of those saying an Ontario Justice of the Peace's bail conditions go too far.
"'Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including the freedom of the press, are fundamental constitutional rights,' CAJ president Mary Agnes Welch said. 'While having some rights restricted while on bail is a reasonable expectation, for the court to strip Mr. Hundert of these particular rights while on bail sets a dangerous precedent that should concern all Canadians.'
The CAJ is concerned these bail conditions could be requested by the Crown in other cases and end up being copied by other Justices of the Peace, leading to a pattern where one of our most important freedoms as set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is eroded, one judgment at a time"
A supportive statement from [email protected] adds larger context to this criminalization of dissent. "While he [Hundert] is facing a total gag order, others are still in jail including Indigenous sovereignty activist Ryan Rainville of the Sackimay Nation, some face deportation, and others are still being rounded up and arrested on political charges."
Don't let the silliness of "Officer Bubbles" distract from the real issues.
[Please note that this article does not include any interviews with Alex Hundert and this article was not written by, for, or on behalf of Alex Hundert.]
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