Today I pled guilty to one count of counsel to commit mischief and one count of counsel to obstruct police. This guilty plea was part of a collective deal that secured the withdrawal of charges from 11 allies. My original charges were four counts of conspiracy, six counts of counsel, two counts of intimidation, and two breaches of probation.
One of the specific things that I pled to is in relation to the “target list” that was made for the Toronto Community Mobilisation Network. It was a list of banks, political offices, police stations, corporate outlets, and other places where people might have wanted to protest during the G20. I never considered that it might be a crime to compile such a list, even though I did indeed know that some of the places on this list would be subject to property destruction. That was going to happen whether we made the list or not.
The other specific thing I did that is being understood as “criminal,” is a direct action workshop that I facilitated where a component of the workshop entailed discussions about “de-arresting” people, and strategies and tactics for doing so. De-arresting is defending our friends and allies from the clutches of the police. I believe that people have an inherent right to protect themselves and an obligation to protect each other. People can decide for themselves whether or not the bulk of the arrests during the G20 were lawful or not, and whether or not that matters.
Nothing about this deal changes any of my analysis of the meaning of the state’s prosecution and their efforts to criminalise organising and dissent. I have posted (on my blog) the un-redacted version of my piece from October 11. Over the next few weeks I will be posting some of my reflections on the collective deal we have taken, some of the pieces I wrote when first in jail right after our initial arrests, updates on my sentencing (which is being delayed), and also maybe some other things that I have been waiting to say, and perhaps even some writing that has nothing at all to do with the G20 Conspiracy charges.
Solidarity, love and respect to Ryan Rainville, Kelly Pflug-Back, Byron Sonne and every single other person still facing charges or sentences arising from the G20.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us.