Two banners were hung in Montréal in solidarity with the G20 prisoners. Solidarity with the G20 prisoners / Tear Down the Prison Walls was hung from a building on St. Catherine street downtown. Solidarité avec les Incarcéré(e)s du G20 / Propageons la Révolte (Solidarity with the G20 Prisoners / Spread Revolt) was hung in the St. Henri neighborhood. Flyers were scattered at both sites, and further distributed in the metro system and on the street in the following days. We hope this counter-information action brings a smile to our locked up comrades.
Solidarity and Complicity with the G20 Prisoners!
It has now been almost a year and a half since the mobilization against the G20 in Toronto that witnessed the largest mass arrest in Canadian history. A $1 billion security operation caged over 1100 people over the course of a weekend in order to defend a meeting of the bureaucrats from the richest capitalist economies. A group of individuals, many using the black bloc tactic (wearing masks and black clothing), nonetheless broke this militarized social peace; a peace that exists to keep us obedient and passive so that capital can flow smoothly. The large breakaway demonstration attacked corporate property and the police, liberating space from the control of authority and targeting places of capital for destruction. What more human response could there be to a financial district—an urban space devoid of life, deprived of affordable rents, scoured of autonomous livelihoods, subordinated to the needs of traffic and commerce, held under the eye of surveillance cameras, occupied by police, and plagued with corporate outlets and banks—than to destroy it?
The day before the demonstration, twenty organizers were rounded up and charged with criminal conspiracy for planning the disruption of the summit. This vague charge is increasingly being used against anarchists and is essentially used for ‘thought crime’. After over a year of non-association conditions, pre-trial detention, house arrest, and a publication ban, six people took a plea deal to lesser charges in which the rest of their co-accused charges were dropped in November 2011. Mandy Hiscocks, Alex Hundert and Leah Henderson are expecting sentences between 10 and 16 months. Peter Hopperton, Erik Lankin, and Adam Lewis are currently serving jail sentences of 3-5.5 months. Others face prison time for alleged participation in the riot.
Innocence and guilt mean nothing to those who understand law as a structure that does not keep us safe, but that keeps us in line. In the words of the conspiracy defendants, “There is no victory in the courts…The legal system exists to protect Canada’s colonial and capitalist social structure.” To consider questions of guilt or innocence is to indulge in all the hypocrisy of a judge, a prosecutor, or a cop. It doesn’t matter that most of these people were already arrested when the property destruction occurred, and it doesn’t matter that they didn’t lead any conspiracies because anarchists don’t have leaders. What matters is that when all those workers died, when all those people were evicted, when all that money was taken from us by the banks, when all those bombs fell, when all that air and water were poisoned, it didn’t matter whether rules were broken or followed. To speak of rules and laws is to perpetuate one of the greatest lies of our society.
Repression is the inevitable consequence of living under capital and the State, whether in a democracy or dictatorship, because few are fully blind to the domination around them and many are willing to fight back against it. To combat this social unrest, the State responds with repression. Many systems of oppression target various identities daily for being a potential enemy to the social order; whether colonized, genderqueer, or not white, to name a few. Imprisonment is structured to perfect control over anybody who’s locked up, and manifests itself outside its walls as a threat towards those whose privileges don’t fool them into identifying with power. Repression tries to prevent us from making the all-too-sensible decision to revolt against the systems that destroy our lives and future.
The new omnibus ‘tough on crime’ bill is an intensification of social control, as is the federal prison expansion that will see expansions at 36 federal prisons between now and 2014, along with provincial prison expansions in every province. Correctional Services Canada will be the largest building contractor by 2012. The Montreal police even have a new ‘anti-gang’ police squad, GAMMA, dedicated to the surveillance and repression of anarchists and other ‘marginal movements’.
Prison is the concrete intensification of the alienation, isolation, and exploitation that surrounds us in our daily lives. With a desire for freedom comes the simple realization that prisons, and the world that needs them, must be attacked with revolutionary intentions. The urgency for rebellion makes itself even clearer when the State is tightening its grip on our throats in times of austerity.
As anarchists, we understand solidarity as lying in action. When we act we expand our own freedom as well. When the State takes anarchists and other rebels captive in its cages of democracy, revolutionary solidarity involves continuing the struggle that they are imprisoned for. Solidarity with prisoners in struggle should not be due to debt or sacrifice, but because our own liberation is intrinsically tied with their liberation and the destruction of prison. By actively pushing their struggles forward outside the prison walls, our solidarity ensures that the State’s attempts to intimidate and control us are only met with escalated resistance. Our struggles against the State and capital must grow into a force that their cages cannot contain.
Let’s lose our fear, and spread rebellion against authority.
Prisoners to the streets!
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