CPC(M-L) HOME TML Daily Archive Le Marxiste-Léniniste quotidien

September 17, 2010 - No. 154

In the Parliament

Whose Democracy? Our Democracy!


Toronto, June 25, 2010


In the Parliament
Whose Democracy? Our Democracy!

Police Brutality During and After the G20
People's Courage and Determination Against the Criminalization of Dissent - MLPC Youth for Democratic Renewal
Support All Those Arrested for Opposing the G8/20! Donate to Their Legal Defence!
G20 Arrestees and Charges
Coming Events

Honduras
Successful Signature Campaign Affirms People's Demand for Constituent Assembly




In the Parliament

Whose Democracy? Our Democracy!

Third session of 40th Parliament reconvenes September 20

Parliament is scheduled to resume at 11:00 am on September 20 after recessing for the summer on June 17, just ahead of the G8/20 summits. Thousands of Canadian people took to the streets of Toronto over the course of the week leading up to and during the G8/20 summits, opposing the undemocratic nature of the G8/20, which imposes their economic and political agenda on the world. "They are few! We are many!"; "This is what democracy looks like! That is what a police state looks like!" they cried, echoing concerns across the country about the marginalization of the Canadian people, decision-making and Parliament itself.

Police attacks on demonstrators and more than 1,105 arrests, indicate the degree to which dissent is being criminalized in Canada. The issue of police repression is not that of excessive or disproportionate violence by the police forces during these events. The issue is the premeditated use of fascist violence against the people to suppress their political opposition to the reactionary agendas of these imperialist summits. The Canadian state is involved in open criminality whereby all norms of civilized behaviour and justice are being trampled in favour of monopoly right and imperialist dictate. It is such interests that are behind the attacks on women, youth and workers at the G8/20 and it is these forces that are behind the wrecking in the Parliament.

Canadians experience the savagery of economic power being concentrated in fewer and fewer monopolies and financial oligarchs that use their monopoly power to trample economic rights. So too they feel the brutality as political power is increasingly concentrated in fewer hands and wielded using the Royal Prerogative and by wrecking the established institutions to realize an anti-social and anti-national agenda and negate political rights. Power has been removed from the House of Commons and concentrated more openly and firmly in the hands of interests alien to the people. Canadians are faced with a state power that lacks legitimacy and is more and more openly an instrument of anarchy and violence on behalf of the rich and U.S. imperialism.

The violence used against the people during the summit is part and parcel of the fascization of the state. The people face an authority premised on violence and aggression, but which also wants to stand as the arbiter of what is "peaceful" and "legitimate" protest. In the days leading up to the summit, not a single voice in the House of Commons challenged the legitimacy of these violent imperialist institutions. Aside from discussion on the government's proposed maternal and child health initiative and its stand on abortion, discussion in Parliament was limited. Parliamentarians voiced approval of this exclusive and unrepresentative meeting of these most powerful and aggressive states, as if they were talking about a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. Protesters were presented as a given, with some debate as to the cost of security for the two summits. However, there was not a word as to why the people opposed the meeting of the G8/20 on Canadian soil nor their rejection of the anti-social and imperialist nature of these bodies. A motion in Parliament insisted that the Harper government provide a breakdown of how $1 billion and more was spent on hosting the summits and how they managed to spend so much, but not a voice was raised to ask why the G8/20 were allowed to meet in Canada at all. Since the mass repression against the people in June, attempts to convene the House of Commons Public Safety Committee to hold hearings into what happened at the G8/20 have failed.

As the 3rd Session of the 40th Parliament reconvenes on September 20, Canadians want to know what happened at the G20. They are very concerned by the criminalization of dissent and the overall state repression conducted against the people in the name of security and the G8/20 summits. People are refusing to forget, let alone forgive, the gestapo tactics used against protesters and passers by. They are refusing to accept that the right to political protest against violent imperialist institutions such as the G8/20 can be criminalized. The Harper government will not absolve itself by throwing insults at people, interfering in the functioning of committees charged with investigating the events surrounding the G8/20 and hiding behind the police forces.

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) calls on workers, women, youth and all democratic-minded people to step up their fight for democratic renewal and to build an effective opposition to the reactionary agendas of the G8/20 being unleashed against them. This will block retrogression and contribute to a nation-building project to resolve Canada's political and constitutional crises in favour of the people and their interests.

Return to top


Police Brutality During and After the G20

People's Courage and Determination Against
the Criminalization of Dissent

The Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada Youth for Democratic Renewal resolutely salutes everyone in the movement against the G8/20 for standing their ground in the face of the concerted attacks of the Canadian state. The aim of the state violence and intimidation is to stop people through fear-mongering and threats from participating in the movement, and most importantly to liquidate the fighting forces in the society. By arresting many of the main activists of the movement, slandering them and their organizations in the monopoly-owned media, and threatening the polity with this example, the Harper government aims to wipe out its political opponents through force and bullying. The tremendous pressure on the movement to give into this force and to permit itself to be wiped out is concrete. Leading up to the G20 summit in Toronto, the people's movement to denounce the illegitimate G8/20 had worked tirelessly to develop its infrastructure, establish the necessary organization and activists, and mobilize people from all walks of life to take a just stand. With the unleashing of state attack against the people generally and organizers specifically, the movement has is experiencing concrete difficulties in its work and has been forced to reorganize itself, reorient its infrastructure, and recruit and train further activists in the midst of the attack.

For example, with many of the lead organizers facing charges and either still in jail or out on bail with wide-ranging conditions that do not permit them to continue their political work, who will do the work? Such organizers also constituted the links of the movement with its supporters and resources, links that have to be reestablished with much difficulty. These are some aspects of how the use of arrests, court charges, bail conditions and slander is aimed at wiping out the movement. In the face of this pressure and the seemingly overarching power of the Harper-led state, the movement has not only continued its efforts but has done everything necessary to create conditions where it can step up the work so it is on a par with these attacks. Confronting this situation, it has further consolidated itself so as to stand with all those detained or facing charges.

An August 30 update from the Toronto Community Mobilization Network (TCMN), one of the main organizers of actions to oppose the summits, addressed this issue. Entitled "Arrests, Intimidation and Ongoing Resistance," it points out that "Many people that spent the last year as the Toronto Community Mobilization Network, putting together the infrastructure for the Convergence [Space] have been arrested, beaten, and intimidated. Many of our most beloved and central organizers are under house arrest conditions while many others in the city have leaped forward to join the resistance." The update explains that a new organizing space had to be established and that the TCMN is focusing on supporting all those facing charges.

This is the reality engendered by the Harper government policy of negating the people's right to conscience, freedom of association and dissent. The movement has already come to this conclusion and has further realized that the best guarantee of our security is to push the organizing forward by stepping up the work. On this basis, people are all out denouncing this state attack, establishing the mechanisms to fully support those facing charges, calling for all charges to be dropped and demanding a public inquiry into what took place. They are grappling with how to deal with the conspiracy charges that have been laid against organizers, a new legal method being used by the state to criminalize dissent. Conspiracy charges do not require proof that any illegal activity actually took place. The test of evidence is sufficiently lowered such that even who one associates with becomes so-called proof of shared intent or encouragement of the alleged illegal activity. Youth for Democratic Renewal has every confidence that we can find our bearings on the legal front and establish our tactics to deal with these charges. Such charges are essentially political and a political program in support of these political prisoners will be the most decisive aspect of blocking this aspect of the state attack.

Youth for Democratic Renewal again salutes the courage and determination of everyone who under difficult circumstances are rising to the occasion and showing what the Canadian people are made of. The most precious human quality today is that which not only refuses to conciliate but instead creates the conditions to affirm principle no matter what. This quality imbues the Canadian people as part and parcel of the fighting spirit of humanity with its aspiration for a world of justice and peace.

To contact Youth for Democratic Renewal: youth@mlpc.ca

No to the Criminalization of Dissent!
Free the Political Prisoners!
No to Impunity!

Return to top


Support All Those Arrested for Opposing the G8/20! Donate to Their Legal Defence!

TML calls on Canadians to go all out in donating or fundraising money as political support to cover the legal expenses of G8/20 arrestees facing charges. Donations can be sent to the G20 Legal Defence Fund which has been established by the Toronto Community Mobilization Network under a lawyer and board of trustees. At this time, the fund has only raised a fraction of the funds required. By everyone donating, it will be possible to cover the full legal expenses of all those who require such assistance.

Ways to donate to the G20 Legal Defence Fund:

1) Transfer funds to: OPIRG York:

Transit number 00646 / Institution number 842 / Account number 3542240

Use your online bank account or contact your bank directly to transfer funds, with a note that it is for "G20 Legal Defence."

2) Write a cheque payable to "Toronto Community Mobilization Network" or "OPIRG York" with 'G20 Legal Defence" written on the subject line. Cheques can be mailed to:

Toronto Community Mobilization Network
360A Bloor Street W
PO Box 68557
Toronto, ON M5S 1X0

3) Donate by PayPal by visiting g20.torontomobilize.org and writing "G20 Legal Defence" in the "Add special instructions for the Merchant" section.

Return to top


G20 Arrestees and Charges

Between June 21-27, the all-sided state attack against the movement opposed to the G8/20 was such that:

- At least 1,100 people were held for long periods, either on the streets or in the film studio converted to a detention centre specifically to hold those opposing the G8/20 policies.

- Thousands more were detained and questioned though exact numbers are hard to ascertain at this time.

- At least 306 people had charges laid against them.

- 304 people appeared in court on August 23, 104 of which had their charges withdrawn, stayed or considered completed by the courts. Many people were told to take a 'deal' whereby they would have to plead guilty or face further repression. The majority refused to take this deal on principle, insisting that they would defend their right to organize in the face of this repression.

- At least 232 people continue to face ongoing prosecution and criminalization, and will be returning to the courts in the coming months and years.

- Of these 232 people, at least 110 face charges of conspiracy and "counseling to commit" various offences. Of these 110 people, two are presently in prison while the prosecution are attempting to put two of them back in jail.

- About 18 people face the gravest conspiracy charges and have been released with extremely difficult bail conditions. Many are under house arrest, unable to use laptops or cell phones, access the internet, associate with loved ones or friends, and not permitted to join or organize public demonstrations.

Arrests continue to occur. The most recent known arrest took place in Hamilton on August 26 when a member of the Hamilton Coalition Against the G20 was taken into custody and charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit an indictable offense.

Return to top


Coming Events

Toronto
Strengthening Our Resolve: Movement Building and
Ongoing Resistance to the G20 Agenda
Friday, September 17 -- 6:30-9:00 pm
Rogers Communication Centre Room RCC 204 (Eaton Lecture Theatre),
Ryerson University, 80 Gould Street

Speakers include Alex Hundert, G20 defendant charged with conspiracy, Jen Meunier, an Anishinaabekwe (Algonquin) Indigenous sovereigntist, Liisa Schofield, a documentary filmmaker and anti-poverty activist with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, and others. [more]

Roots Rhythms Resistance
Friday, September 17 -- 7:00-1:30 am
Hart House Arbor Room, University of Toronto, 7 Hart House Circle
Wheelchair accessible at West Entrance of Hart House. Childcare provided.

Words of Resistance Series and the R3 Artists' Collective invites you to this fundraiser for the G20 Legal Defense Fund and R3: Reparations Fund, used for anti-colonization work. [more]

Vancouver
G8/20 Arrestee Legal Fundraiser
Friday, September 17 -- 9:00 pm-1:00 am
Commercial Drive Legion, 2205 Commercial Dr.
For information: Facebook

Event featuring speakers and bands, to raise funds and celebrate the victories of the resistance both on the streets of Toronto and in the courts. [more]

Hamilton
G20 (un)FAIR
Saturday, September 18 -- 6:00-9:00 pm
The Factory, 126 James Street North  (wheelchair accessible)

Join us for a convergence of people willing to share insights around the implications of the G20 Economic Summit and the protests that ensued. [more]

Fredericton
What's Left of the G20?" A Critical Response to Toronto
Monday, September 20 -- 7:00-9:00 pm

Holy Cross House - Holy Cross Conference Room, St. Thomas University
Presented by: Fredericton G20 Movement Defense, g20fredericton@gmail.com

The first of a series of educational and socially engaged fundraising events in support of those arrested or detained at the Toronto G20. Panelists: Thom Workman, UNB Political Science professor; Roland Chrisjohn, STU Native Studies professor; Ella Henry, Student and demonstrator.

Hamilton
Hamilton Coalition Against the G20 Open Meeting

Tuesday, September 21 -- 6:00 pm
Room TBA (contact hamiltong20resistance@gmail.com), McMaster University

The Hamilton Coalition Against the G20 invites all those interested in taking a just stand against the G20 and the criminalization of dissent to join in. Find out more information about the Coalition, share your views and see how you can be part of this work. Everyone welcome.

Edmonton
What is the G8/ G20 and Why do People Protest It?!
Wednesday, September 22 -- 6:00-10:30 pm

Ed South - Room 129, U of Alberta
Organized by: APIRG
For information: Jess, outreach@apirg.org

Part of APIRG's Alternative Week of Welcome, this event is a fundraiser for the legal fees of those arrested (estimated at about $400 000). Special Guest: Leah Henderson, an Edmontonian, a political organizer and a G20 defendant arrested in a violent pre-emptive house raid.

Vancouver
G20 Solidarity Rally
Monday, September 27 -- 12:00 noon-3:00 pm
The Knoll (unceded Musqueam territory), University of British Columbia, 6138 Student Union Blvd.

Rally and legal fundraiser in support of those who are facing political persecution for their participation in the G20 protests in Toronto. Speakers include Kirk Chavarie from UBC Okanagan and Yifan Lee from Food Not Bombs who were arrested, Sozan Savehilagh from No One Is Illegal and others. [more]

Return to top


Honduras

Successful Signature Campaign Affirms People's Demand for Constituent Assembly


"For true independence; for the Constituent Assembly, 1,269,142 sovereign declarations and counting!"

The Honduran National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP) exceeded its goal of collecting 1.25 million signatures to demand a Constituent Assembly and the return of former President Manuel Zelaya, Prensa Latina reports.

The signature-collecting process in cities, towns and villages of the country's 18 departments began on April 20 and ended September 15, in celebration of the 189th anniversary of Central American independence from Spanish rule.

On September 14, the number of signatures stood at 1,269,142, reported Rasel Tome and Elogio Chavez, members of the FNRP committee responsible for this work. "Today we tell the international community to hear the voice of the sovereign people, who cry out for justice and call for change. The people have spoken," said Tome.

The purpose of convening the Constituent Assembly is to change the constitution in effect since 1982 and rebuild the country after the 2009 coup which ousted Manuel Zelaya as president. Zelaya was able to return to the country three months later, where he remained in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa until being exiled to the Dominican Republic. The FNRP is demanding that the government of Porfirio Lobo guarantee the former president's safe return to Honduras. "My exile is a crime committed by the current administration and my return should be as requested by the OAS with guarantees and freedom to perform my duties," Zelaya said in a letter to Radio Globo.

Return to top


Read The Marxist-Leninist Daily
Website:  www.cpcml.ca   Email:  editor@cpcml.ca