Solidarity Statement Against the Attack and Repression of International Counter-information

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May 092021
 

From the Indonesian Black Cross (WA)

The same thing has also happened in Indonesia, the silencing and repressiveness of the counter-information media has been increasingly encouraged by the Indonesian Police, with initiatives such as the creation of a “cyber police” or social media police, with one of their aims being to isolate the spread of information not only from anarchist networks but also from other political dissidents and those who have the courage to criticize the state.

The Indonesian Police from 2014 to 2019 have disbursed funds of ± 900 billion rupiah, which are used as funds for buzzers to curb the spread and growth of counter-information media. In 2018 the Indonesian Police began to re-focus on the anarchist movement in Indonesia. Also, national police recently made a statement about banning media from covering police violence. However, we are sure that both individuals and groups who are focusing on counter-information and grassroots reports will continue to exist and grow. Given the severity of this situation in which all the tools of the State and Capitalism try to carry out silencing and repressiveness either online or physically, this is not the time to be silent and surrender ourselves to fear.

Amid the continuing increase in Covid-19 cases on an international scale, governments in various countries are using it to make policies that not only choke our economic capacity, but also our most basic freedoms.

We believe nothing is completely safe and free from risks, especially when running counter-information sites online. And this is actually the fundamental reason why we must respond to this increasingly suffocating situation.

We are calling for international solidarity (by whatever means possible) for nostate, 325, Anarchist Black Cross Berlin, Montreal Counter-Info, Northshore Counter-Info, Act For Freedom Now! and other counter info sites. Solidarity for every anarchist prisoner in all corners of the world (Toby Shone, Monica, Fransico etc), the anti-eviction movements in Bara-Baraya, Pancoran, Pakel, and all forms of struggle for liberation and independence.

It has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime, what better place than here? What better time than now?” -RATM

Anarchist Black Cross (WA) – Indonesia (PALANG HITAM ANARKIS)

Leaving the SPVM Behind to Attack a High-Tech Hub: A Promising Anti-Capitalist May Day

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May 032021
 

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

This May Day, Montreal’s annual anti-capitalist demonstration organized by the CLAC gathered in Jarry Park under the theme “No old normal, no new normal”. It was a sunny late afternoon, and the energy was high amid the banners and black flags as the demo began to snake through the residential streets of Villeray.

Heading west on De Castelnau, fireworks were set off, and construction cones were used to block the road behind us. The cops seemed confused about the route we were taking, which meant that there were less of them in our near vicinity. Dropping south onto Jean-Talon, the demo continued west through the viaduct beneath the St-Jérôme commuter rail line.

Leaving the Police Behind

Turning south on Parc Avenue from Jean-Talon, the demo excitedly entered a second viaduct under the same rail line. This time, a surprise was in store for the police vans and bike cops waiting for the crowd to pass to the other side before continuing to trail the demo: smoke bombs were set off in the viaduct, and crow’s feet were deployed on the road to puncture the tires of any cop vans that might brave the smoke-filled passageway. These actions effectively blocked the viaduct, a chokepoint in the area, to all traffic.

With the majority of the cops stuck on the north side of the train tracks, the demo took a hard left toward rue Saint-Zotique immediately upon exiting the viaduct. Garbage and terrasse furniture were pulled into the street to further protect the demo, and our pace quickened.

We don’t have to accept the police surrounding our demos, flanking, filming, and harrassing us, or tailing us with a dozen riot vans ready to tear-gas us at a moment’s notice. Some situations may call for direct confrontation, but on this day our best bet was evasion. With a little inventiveness, foresight, and collective intelligence, we can leave the police behind.

Paying a Visit to the Artificial Intelligence Headquarters

About two minutes later heading east on Saint-Zotique, the demo took a right on Saint-Urbain. An assortment of bike cops were observing the demo from about a block away, but their riot cop backup was nowhere in sight, and the bike cops kept a safe distance.

On our right stood the “O Mile-Ex” building, which functions as the headquarters of Montreal’s artificial intelligence sector, as politicians and academics have strained over the past five years to position the city as a global AI hub. The inter-connected buildings at 6650 and 6666 Saint-Urbain house MILA (a research institute affiliated with Université de Montréal that collaborates with Google and Facebook), Thales (a French defense and security contractor), Borealis (the AI lab of the Royal Bank of Canada), Quantum Black (the AI lab of notorious global consulting firm McKinsey), SCALE AI (a “supply chain supercluster” controlled by the Desmarais family), and a couple dozen other labs and startups.

While they talk a lot about “ethics” to distract the public, these companies develop technologies that strengthen the hold of capitalism and authority over our lives. Whether they lead to more efficient supply chains for large corporations, automated video surveillance and facial recognition to protect the government and the property of the rich, or workplace monitoring algorithms that impose dehumanizing conditions on workers, we know who stands to gain from these tools, and it is not the exploited, excluded and oppressed of society. As anarchists wrote recently, “what is at stake is our capacity to have secrets, to resist, to agitate, to attack what destroys everything we love and protects everything we hate.”

In addition, the O Mile-Ex facility with its hordes of tech yuppies is a massive driver of displacement in the surrounding area. Together with the new Mil campus of Université de Montréal, its effects spill over into Parc-Extension, a working-class, mostly immigrant neighborhood under increasing threat of gentrification.

Technology companies have exploited our isolation during COVID-19 confinement measures to increase their profit margins and expand their presence with little resistance, and as the crisis of the pandemic gives way to the next phase of the crisis of capitalism, they seek to shape a “new normal” that cements their power.

The O Mile Ex building with its windows missing

For all these reasons, it was a beautiful sight to see multiple crews within the crowd target these buildings. As MILA’s windows were broken one after another by hammers, rocks and other projectiles, any illusion that these businesses and researchers enjoy the benefit of a social consensus shattered as well. Smoke bombs were tossed into the building through the holes in the windows, hopefully setting off the sprinklers and causing water damage.

After the attack on O Mile-Ex, some cops that appeared toward the south on Saint-Urbain received volleys of rocks and fireworks. The demo headed east on Saint-Zotique, continuing to evade major police deployments, turning south on Clark then cutting through Parc de la Petite-Italie to then turn north on Saint-Laurent. The park and the many intersecting streets on Saint-Laurent provided respectable opportunities for de-blocking and departure. The dispersal was accelerated by riot cops that began charging up Saint-Laurent behind the demo, firing tear gas. Some police were even spotted on the roof of a residential building, dropping tear gas canisters on the crowd: an unexpected maneuver. A civilian driver who was aggressively trying to push through protesters was confronted and had his car windows smashed out. The cops that swarmed the area where people were dispersing detained a few people, arresting two, but no serious charges have been laid. Blocking streets more consistently with garbage and other obstacles in these contexts could have been helpful.

It is a precious experience to take risks together in the streets with hundreds of comrades and anonymous accomplices, who dream of a world after capitalism, of burning police stations and border posts, of looted supermarkets, of forests, mountains, and rivers protected from all forms of industrial degradation and returned to the nurturance of indigenous peoples’ territorial autonomy. Although the accomplishments of one May Day demo may be minor as regards the whole landscape of our aspirations, we believe the relationships we develop through these moments should not be underestimated.

– Anarchists

Anticapitalist May Day 2021: No Old Normal, No New Normal!

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May 022021
 

From the Convergence des luttes anticapitalistes

The Convergence des luttes anticapitalistes (CLAC) denounces the violent repression of its demonstration again this year. Indeed, the SPVM proceeded, as usual, to unjustified and brutal arrests. The police used truncheons and tear gas to silence the people who are tired of being exploited every day to enrich the nauseating bourgeoisie and their companies that profit from COVID-19. Several people were injured and the police even destroyed the cell phone of one participant.

More than 750 people gathered to denounce the exacerbation of social injustice and precariousness during the current pandemic. Capitalism and neo-liberalism have laid the foundations for this disaster and it is certainly not through this economic system that we will get out of the crisis. The organizers would like to thank the participants of the demonstration who took to the streets this year, despite the health crisis, with masks and distancing measures.

As part of the International Workers’ Day, CLAC organized today the annual May Day anti-capitalist demonstration, which started at 4PM in Jarry Park. Last year, due to the health situation, there was no rally, but we did call for a day of visibility actions, which was a great success.

This year, we went to protest in the Mile-Ex to denounce the artificial intelligence companies that are shamelessly taking advantage of the crisis, converting public subsidies into tools for the private sector. The companies located there are a major force in the gentrification and displacement of the residents of Parc-Extension in addition of participating in the technological surveillance proliferation.

Stacy Langlois, a protester, said: “As always, it is the workers, the poor, the migrants, the people in predominantly female jobs, who are killing themselves – literally – to support the rich. We’re the ones who cook and deliver their food so they don’t have to go line up at the grocery store like the rest of us.” She continues: “Their recovery plan is to keep us in misery.”

In addition, the tightening of borders and the abuse of immigration authorities are on a mission to preserve these inequalities. Migrants who were “lucky” enough to come here are dying in our hospitals and warehouses. The streets of the poorest neighborhoods are empty, as the police are always looking for their next victims. The First Peoples are being humiliated, assaulted and killed by the governmental bodies driven by the extractivist companies. And in all this chaos, we are forced to obey, to remain silent, to be blind to everything that is happening around us. It is absurd and revolting!

In a fiery opening speech, Steven Lafortune-Sansregret cried out: “What we must revive is not the economy, but the struggles for the end of capitalist exploitation! “Together, ready to fight, we are much stronger and much more numerous than those who oppress us with impunity. Let’s refuse this “uberized” future and build a world of mutual aid and equity. To achieve this, we will use all necessary means.

We don’t want the world they are trying to sell us! No old normal, no new normal ! Let’s abolish capitalism!

Rioting Against the Curfew!

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Apr 242021
 

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

On Sunday April 11th, in response to Legault’s re-instatement of the 8pm curfew, people took to the streets in Montreal to enjoy the spring weather and express joyous rage at this shit world that continues to steal our lives away from us. Without any stated political intenton, a callout was made on social media to gather in the Old Port to party and defy the curfew. A number of anarchists joined what turned out to be a mixed crowd of people, mostly younger, whose main commonality was anger that their few freedoms were being further curtailed by the government. The atmosphere prior to 8pm was excited and raucous, with ‘fuck Legault’ being the most frequent and loud chant. Motorcycles revved their engines, people danced, drank, and laughed with their friends to celebrate spring in defiance of this bullshit world.

The first SPVM cruiser to drive by was met with boos and middle fingers, the second with eggs, bottles and rocks. Revolt was in the air, and we were delighted to be in the midst of such a rowdy display, especially after such a long, bleak winter. As the curfew approached, we noticed riot cops gathering to the East on Rue de la Commune and Rue St. Paul. There were only a few cruisers West on de la Commune. At that time they kept their distance, monitoring the demonstration.

Around the same time, ‘reporters’ arrived from ‘Rebel Media’, a far-right, Toronto-based news outlet. Rebel Media is famous for employing reporters with ties to Stormfront, a prolific neo-nazi website, and working with other racist, transphobic, alt-right personalities, as well as peddling anti-immigrant, COVID-denying conspiracy theories. Despite Rebel Media’s desperate attention-seeking behaviour, they are pretty obscure failures, even as youtube provocateurs (note: as of April 14 they were suspended from YouTube). It was clear that the vast majority of attendees did not know who they were, so unfortunately many young people excitedly and positively interacted with them.

The vultures from Rebel Media produced a laughable and pathetic report that blamed ‘antifa’ for the property destruction and looting that happened that night, rather than showing how a real cross section of Montrealers respond with legitimate rage and a desire to be heard in a world that marginalizes their voices.

We felt we lacked the numbers to deal with Rebel Media, and it seemed likely if we did attack, the crowd may have taken their side, because no one knows who Rebel Media is, let alone that they were being used to create far-right propoaganda. It was a frustrating situation.

At the same time, fires were being lit by small groups within the demo, but were extinguished by what appeared to be a small but organized group of white men wearing tactical gear and patches associated with far-right types attatched to their jackets, one of who had a go-pro camera on his head. They were seen at times having a group discussion before moving in and around the demonstration to monitor the crowd. Despite some unrelated fights and confusion here and there, the vibe was still extremely positive, people partied and chanted, and celebrated being in the streets together.

Later, larger groups began starting even bigger fires in the square, and this time the LARP-ing paci-flics didn’t intervene. There was some resistance as riot cops began tear-gassing and trying to disperse the crowd, but most people began running and scattering away as the cops entered the square. West of St. Laurant was seemingly free of cops, and multiple groups of people autonomously began setting fires, looting and destroying shops and other property as they left. Even though we wish it lasted longer, in that short time it was heartening to see people work together to take a little bit of their lives back by looting from the bougie shops in the Old Port, as well as generally fucking shit up. A city bus being used to transport riot cops was also liberated and covered in graffiti while others partied in and around it, celebrating a small victory if even for a brief minute.

In a media comment, Mayor Plante called the revellers ‘stupid’, and cried about the damage done to small businesses, asserting ‘we must remain united and stick together’. This is just the usual shitty liberal narrative: suddenly ‘we are all in this together’, all equal as ‘citizens’ when it’s time to maintian social order. They gloss over the very real divisions within society, held together through oppressive structures by which the wealthy, predominantely white property owning classes exploit working class, poor and predominantly POC folks.

At the same time, leftist identity politicians on social media condemn the riots, claiming they are responsible for causing further harm to those already most at risk. Others fall for the narrative of elusive ‘outside agitators’, white anarchists, who infiltrate peaceful crowds to cause violence. While we acknowledge the very real dangers that marginalized people in particular face from COVID19, we’d point it it was mostly people of color who showed up, and acted on their own initiative during this riot.

It is not revolt and militant solidarity in the streets that causes harm, but the institutions and laws which govern capitalist civilization. These are what keep us chained to shitty jobs where we are the most at risk of catching COVID19,that harass and murder us, and protect an economic system based on the theft of indigenous lands. We accuse these IDPOL clout-chasers of taking power away from the marginalized people who showed up and threw down. We accuse them of doing the work of the police and the politicians by trying to pacify, alienate and delegitimize the rioter’s rage.

Demonstrations continue to be called on the nights following April 11th. So far, the second and third demos were quite a bit smaller than the first, and were heavily repressed by the police. Nevertheless, with no real end in sight to the curfew, we think it is imperative to keep up the struggle. In this sense we are ‘all in this together’- we have militant solidarity with the youth (and others) whose futures are also increasingly bleak.

There are a number of tactical considerations we would like to consider in light of the events on the 11th. While the paci-flics were able to intervene when smaller groups were starting smaller fires, when bigger fires were being lit they were not able to. And as soon as the crowd was dispersed, they were not ready to deal with looting or vandalism. Clearly they are relatively weak, and small in number. While there weren’t enough of us to feel confident in confronting them at the time, we believe if anarchists and anti-authoritarians showed up in larger numbers, acting together, its possible we could shut them down and even force them out of the crowd if they attempted to pacify folks. Our numbers will lend us a greater legitimacy to others present, and likely allow us to have critical conversations with them about who these people are and why we defend certain actions.

In regards to the police, they didn’t engage with the crowd until large fires were lit. We feel it may be possible to strike at the police first, before they intervene, but it didn’t seem viable at this time. Rage is growing against the police, and it is possible that at later times we may be able to take action first, but this would also require us having sufficient numbers, and reading the vibe of the crowd. In any case, in order to allow us to hold the streets in these situations, we must also be able to defend against dispersal techniques. Specifically this means dealing with tear gas, which has been effective at quickly breaking up crowds. Coming prepared with projectiles, or having the means to break up paving stones etc in order to provide them for those present would be advantageous as well. We also need to have the numbers to be able to act as a distinct group, to deal with tear gas, and to calmly resist the riot cops. We believe that this would build confidence within the crowd, facilitate a more combative engagement with riot cops, and show that we don’t need to simply retreat.

We must continue to counter liberal narratives intent on pacifying revolt, taking us off the streets, and giving our power back to the politicians and self-appointed experts. We can do this during demos when pacifists try to speak and act out against violence against police and property, and after the fact by responding to IDPOL types and media reports with our own analysis. As anarchists and anti-authoritarians, we must be present for these defiant events. This is where we build complicity and affinity with rebels outside our circles, and when possible, have critical conversations with those present about tactics and targets. Equally, we need to be able to push out far-right grifters and reactionaries who are there to exploit our revolt.

This summer is gonna be hot, let’s throw gas on the fire and burn this fucking prison world down!

Solidarity with the rioters and revellers!
Fuck the curfew!

Hamilton: Fuck the Covid Cops!

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Apr 212021
 

Anonymous submission to North Shore Counter-Info

PDF of posters.

Like millions of other people in Ontario, I woke up this morning in a world where the police had been given the authority to stop you at any time, question you, demand information without any reason, and make orders which have to be followed. In practice, a lot of this stuff already happens, but formalizing what is usually an abuse of power is a huge blow.

The government claims this is to try to stop the spread of covid. They are banning us all from sitting outside in the park with friends at a distance while factories and prisons are still operating full steam, prioritizing profits over relationships. Giving the police enhanced power to enforce these kinds of rules is just unbelievably fucked.

I was pretty upset so I made a bunch of posters and put them up around my neighbourhood in East Hamilton. Would they have been better if I’d taken more time? For sure. Should I have put “Covid is real” or something on them so it’s more clear I’m not an anti-masker or denialist? Probably. But I would say it’s more important to act, to make visible some opposition to these authoritarian measures, so that we don’t all feel scared and alone.

As an anarchist, I believe in informing myself, discussing with people close to me, and coming up with our own set of practices for dealing with covid that reflect our own values and priorities. Just like with any other law, even when the things we decide are appropriate are illegal, it just means we have to put a bit more effort into finding the means to do them. I oppose the ability of the state to dictate practices and priorities onto us, and especially their ability to enforce them with repression, even if I might choose to adopt practices that a similar to the ones they suggest.

Some anarchists have been circulating texts that mimic the discourse of the far-right, worrying about the free speech of dissident conservative politicians, or about the right of religious reactionaries to gather, or minimizing covid. Others have become indistinguishable from liberals and try to shut down criticism from their comrades by claiming we are trying to kill their grandparents or something. We can do better.

Things are scary right now, it’s true. The social pressure to just go along with whatever authoritarian crap is super heavy, but putting these posters up alone in the middle of the day on the weekend was a good experiment in talking with my neighbours about it. We are never as alone as we think we are.

(I’m including a pdf of my posters in case you suck at graphic design more than I do. But it’s easy to make your own with free software like Gimp and LibreOffice Draw. Wheat paste is three or four parts warm water to one part flour; add the water to the flour slowly, stirring lots, then dump in a whole bunch of sugar.)

Solidarity to the people in Montreal who have been fighting against the curfew there!

Keep your collectives and affinity groups tight, and always maintain a good social distance from the state!

Report-back from the Protest Against the Curfew of April 18th

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Apr 202021
 

From Pas de solution policière à la crise sanitaire (facebook)

Thank you all for attending last night’s protest! Many hundreds of us took to the streets to denounce the imposition of a curfew, a measure that is an attack on our freedom and on our relations and aspirations of solidarity.

Together, we were able to put forward a clear message that rejects the false solutions of Legault’s government and the City of Montreal. We denounced the curfew and any use of police to deal with the health crisis, highlighting its cruel impacts on homeless people, sex workers, drug users, undocumented workers and so many others.

The struggle against the curfew and false, authoritarian solutions to the pandemic continues and is gaining steam. We stand firm in the will to refuse the dichotomy between blind obedience to the government and the silly manipulations of conspiracy theorists, which are exploited by the far right.

Just as we marched against the police state, the SPVM devoted themselves to providing a clear demonstration of it. Despite the deployment of hundreds of cops, we took the streets, chanting and shooting fireworks, for more than an hour! Things heated up when riot police forced their way into the crowd to grab a comrade. Despite the crowd’s efforts to help the comrades targeted by the police, we didn’t succeed in freeing them. It is the responsibility of all of us to develop practices so that such situations cannot happen again.

Many of you have expressed your willingness to continue the struggle. Please know that we do not intend to give up. Our main goal is to help mobilize. Feel free to self-organize, plan actions; we will not hesitate to use our platform to support you to the best of our abilities. In particular, we encourage our comrades to join the more spontaneous gatherings organized by the young Montrealers who have been acting on their legitimate anger over recent days; we will circulate relevant calls on our platforms. Stay tuned!

A special thanks to the AQPSUD with whom we have been fortunate to struggle since the very beginning of mobilizations against the curfew. Thank you for your presence and for all the work you do on a daily basis.

If you have received a ticket for breaking curfew, write to wewontpay@riseup.net to participate in a mutual aid effort for contesting the fine.

Let’s stand together in the face of police repression, let’s learn to leave no one behind.

And above all, let’s never stop fighting.

Charges Dropped Against Lennoxville Rail Blockade Defendants

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Apr 172021
 

From Blockade Defense

We are a group of people who, back in february 2020, held an all-day railroad blockade in so-called Lennoxville, Quebec, on stolen Abenaki land, in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en land defenders and against the ongoing violence of colonialism. We have recently learned that the criminal accusations that had been laid against us have finally been withdrawn and that our case has been closed.

On the one hand, it brings us joy to avoid the stress and hassle of a criminal trial, and even moreso considering how the Sherbrooke police shamelessly lied to us and broke their own protocols in order to arrest us on that sunny winter day.

On the other hand, however, we find it important to remember and acknowledge that the criminal charges we were facing come from a State (and its whole legal system) that sees nothing wrong with colonial genocide, with murdering and dispossessing indigenous folks, and with destroying life in the name of profit. So-called Canada and so-called Quebec are on stolen native land, and no amount of laws or repression will ever make us see this as fair or acceptable. Our action was one of many others in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en people who have been continuously threatened and harassed by the RCMP and pipeline industry goons.

The funds we had raised for our legal battle will be split evenly between the lawyers who supported us, the Tyendinaga and Hamilton friends who are facing trial for their own solidarity blockades, as well as the Unist’ot’en Camp Legal Fund.

No reconciliation without decolonization.

Montréal Counter-info is Back

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Apr 172021
 

We are back from an involuntary absence of a few days due to the seizure by the Dutch police of the server hosting our site. The British police led this operation as part of an investigation into the 325 site, which was hosted alongside us on the same nostate.net server. We want to express our full solidarity with the comrades of the 325 collective in the face of these repressive actions. You can read their statement here.

Call for Solidarity! Contact the Hamilton Crown’s Office on March 25th to ask for Blockade Charges to be Dropped!

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Mar 232021
 

From Blockade Defense

Out of the charges laid for the 2020 Shut Down Canada blockades, some of the most serious are the ones against defendants in Hamilton. These charges stem from a 24 hours shutdown of the CN and CP tracks through the city on February 24th to 25th, which was a direct response to the OPP’s attack on Tyendinaga territory that morning and in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en.
Initially, six people were charged for this action, but we are pleased to announce that charges against two of them were withdrawn in the past couple of months. Each remaining defendant is charged with four counts of indictable Mischief over $5000, each of which carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison. 

At the same time as the Hamilton blockade occurred, another blockade action took place in Toronto. It blocked the same stretch of tracks, lasted about the same amount of time, and those arrested were accused of nearly identical actions. However, those who were arrested in Toronto were charged only with a single count of summary Mischief over $5000, a charge whose maximum penalty is six months incarceration. 

The difference in the charges laid by the Hamilton Police Services is inexplicable. At this point though, the charges are officially out of the police’s hands and are being dealt with by the Hamilton crown attorney’s office. 

While the charges in Toronto were withdrawn by the crown there as part of a peace bond, the crown in Hamilton is seeking jail time against some defendants and seems set on taking them all to trial. 

The Hamilton crown attorney’s office needs to hear that people all across Canada are watching this case and will not accept this kind of vastly disproportionate treatment. They should immediately drop the charges against all blockade defendants.

The Hamilton defendants have an important court date coming up on April 12th. Before then, we need your support to get the message to the crown to drop the charges. We are asking for your help by contacting the Hamilton crown attorney on Thursday March 25th by phone or email to make the message clear. 

The crown’s most involved with the case are:
Steve O’Briensteve.obrien@ontario.ca
Jeffrey Levyjeffrey.levy@ontario.ca
The general email for the office is VirtualCrownHamilton@ontario.ca.

If you send an email, BCC us at dropthecharges@riseup.net so we can know about it!

The contact number for the office is 905-645-5262. You can ask to speak to either of them, ask to leave a message, or say what you have to say to the person who answers the phone. If you call, send us an email at dropthecharges@riseup.net to let us know.

The text below can be the body of an email or the script of a call. Please be polite and remember that we are not trying to pressure or threaten anyone, but are simply communicating the public interest in the case.


Script:       

Hello,       

I’m contacting you because I am concerned about your office’s decision to pursue charges against four defendants in connection to the February 24-25th rail blockade in Hamilton last year.        

The four defendants in Hamilton were a small part of a movement involved tens of thousands of people and is of major public interest. I believe that all charges connected to the movement should be withdrawn, including those against the Hamilton blockade defendants.      

The charges laid against defendants in Hamilton are significantly more serious than those laid for similar facts in other jurisdictions. In fact, a blockade that was held the same week in Toronto on the same line for the same duration was resolved by peace bond four months ago.       

Thank you for your time,

Blockade Defense: Website launched to support #ShutDownCanada defendants

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Mar 182021
 

From Blockade Defense

There are currently at least sixty people still facing serious criminal charges from the 2019 and 2020 raids on Wet’suwet’en territory and the solidarity movement known as Shut Down Canada. Dealing with criminal charges is often an isolating and scary experience, especially when the legal system intentionally tries to make people feel alone and powerless. We think a support campaign is the best way we can fight back against these forces and show the state that we will not allow our friends and comrades to be criminalized. If we can support one another now, then we can support one another in all the struggles to come.

More than avoiding repression, what matters is how we deal with it. We need to always be finding ways to show those targeted they are not alone — this makes it easier for them to get through it with strength and integrity. As people move through the justice system, displays of solidarity and practical support make a real difference in the outcome. We need to show that those who are brave and take risks will be supported if we want to be brave together again in the future and see our movements grow.

We want to provide a space where defendants can write about their experiences with repression and criminalization, statements of solidarity, and updates about the charges, which will be posted on our Updates section.

We want to help defendants to fund raise for their legal battles, where we provide links to different defendants and communities’ GoFundMe pages.

We want to help defendants feel more supported in the incredibly isolating process of state criminalization, and are offering a PO box where letters of support, postcards, and zines can be sent, which we we then forward to defendants.

And, finally, we want to create an email campaign to pressure for charges to be dropped or for prominent figures to publicly support charges being dropped. We have created a basic sample template for a (polite) email, and a list of talking points that defendants have given us, and compiled a list of emails for it to be sent to.

Please share this campaign on your various data-mining surveilance platforms and use the hashtag #BlockadeDefense