Sunday, November 21, 2004

An injury to one is an injury to all

By Scott Weinstein
You might recall that 230 of us were mass arrested a few hours after and a few

kilometres away from the demonstration against the World Trade Organization mini-
ministerial meeting in Montreal, July 2003. We were charged with illegal assembly,
not violence or being anti-corporate-globalization or anything like that, by the way.

(Yes, a handful of people broke some windows near the WTO meeting, but they were
never in danger of being arrested, even though we know from the police reports that
there were undercover police among them).

We were jailed, and now are starting our trials. This was just one of several mass
arrests of protesters in Montreal over the last few years. Most of the arrested at
other trials who happen to be youth, have been found not guilty or had their charges
dropped, but non have been spared the hassles, harassment and expenses resulting
from the arrests.

The Francophone Montrealer trial started last month. The Anglophone Montrealer trial
started today. We will resume later this afternoon, might continue for a few more
days, and then is scheduled to break until 9:30 am, in June or September of 2005.
Still to come are the trials for the out-of-towners who are Canadians , and those
that are Americans. Four trials for the price of four trials. This will literally
take years and chew up hundreds of thousands of tax dollars (on top of the millions
spent for the WTO security operation) if all goes according to plan of the injustice
So far, none of the judges agree to our motion to dismiss the charges, even though

the police with all their video taping and photography, are refusing to provide
visual evidence that any of us were even present at the demonstration that they
deemed illegal.
Why am I writing you about this? It would be useful to oppose this corruption, and

take a few minutes to demand our constitutional rights stop being violated and our
tax money not squandered on these mass arrests, detentions and trials of protesters.
It's a scandal how our government ignores real threats to public security, like
adequate training, staffing and funding for health care, but gets away with scaring
people about the threat of demonstrations, dumps millions and of dollars into the
black hole of 'security', and makes laws undermining democracy. It is threatening that
even today, the political establishment feels free to selectively arrest dissidents
without public backlash.
They get away with their corruption, because we don't object strenuously enough.
So, if you can, write at least a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complain to

city hall or your borough council members. The police are now rethinking the policy
of mass arresting demonstrators, because they find it too expensive (so I guess they
don't have an totally unlimited budget). Give them more pressure to stop their scam.
Lastly, many of the arrested are unable to pay the costs of their defence, so we are

asking for donations. Besides attending fundraisers, you can also just send in a
check to our lawyer
Denis Poitras,

1650, boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, suite 202
Montréal, Québec H3H 2P3.

Some contacts:

Mayor Gerald Trembley
Hôtel de ville
275 Notre-Dame Street East
Montréal (Québec)
H2Y 1C6
Telephone : 514 872-3101
Fax : 514 872-4059

Find out your borough representative:

M. Jacques Chagnon, ministre de la Sécurité publique du Québec

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