On taking down fences and the criminalization of dissent: An interview with Jaggi Singh

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On Thursday, April 28, activist Jaggi Singh was tried at Toronto's Old City Hall for statements he had made to the media about taking down the G20 "security fence." He had said to the press: "I'm here today to stand with people who question the legitimacy of this fence and support those who want to take down the fence -- to take down those fences and walls that separate us."

Singh was charged with "counselling to commit mischief over $5,000" and stated in court: "There is nothing that I can admit to in the conspiracy charges, because there really was no conspiracy. If it was a conspiracy, it was a conspiracy of thousands of people to resist the G20, which of course is not a conspiracy, it's organizing." On April 28, Singh pleaded guilty to urging people to take down the $5-million G20 summit fence erected in downtown Toronto last June. As part of Singh's plea agreement, the counts of conspiracy against him will be dropped, he will not cooperate with the Crown or police or apologize for his actions and the plea can't be used against his co-accused in legal proceedings. Many considered the case to be based on the criminalization of dissent.

This interview was done by Carmelle Wolfson in the halls of the Old City Hall courthouse in Toronto directly following Jaggi Singh's guilty plea.

For more information on the trial please see: http://rabble.ca/news/2011/04/jaggi-singh-trial-inside-courtroom

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