Adam Lewis’ Statement to the Court
The truth is indeed stranger than fiction in this case. The truth is that my guilty friends and I, as well as my former co-accused are not purveyors of “chaos and mayhem” as we have been made out to be by the crown and the media. The truth is what occurred on the 26th of June 2010 was not just a so called “riot” but it was also a day of massive repression by various police and security forces. It was a day that showed us, and continues to show us, that the police are not accountable to anyone but themselves and the protection of systems of injustice. The truth is the criminalization of dissent is far too well known in these times.
There is also another truth. The truth of imagining a better world. Imagining a society of people who are committed to helping one another, to building strong and vibrant communities, to creating justice for and by themselves. A better world where people live with respect, hope and dignity, not one of fear, uncertainty and shame. The truth is this is the better world I am committed to creating.
I am committed to creating this better world from a variety of perspectives and forms of action. I myself have been involved in political work for many years at this point, from letter writing and meetings with MPs and other politicians, to street marches, information and educational nights, bookfairs and beyond. I also tie my academic work as a university student into this work, thinking about how we might create the world we wish to see in all facets of my life. Apparently daring to dream is a dangerous affair…..
The truth is that I am proud of the organizing I have done, the conversations I’ve had, the friendships I’ve made and the commitment to social and political change and the resistance that so many have made part of their daily lives. This doesn’t mean that we all haven’t learned a lot along the way, but there is one truth that will stay with us forever. The truth that people everywhere are waking up to the glaring injustices that exist in this world and are doing something about it. Everywhere people are recognizing their own power and demanding change in a myriad of ways. I still believe that this is the way to foster change and create a better world.
I have accepted a guilty plea in this case, but I must affirm that I still do not believe that organizing to create something better in a world rife with injustice should be any crime at all. I want to affirm that creating something better is possible and that we all must take up this work in every aspect of our lives. We will have different ideas and take different actions, but there must be space for us all to dream and imagine what we ourselves might want to see in this world.
The fiction that exists is that there is only one way to act, to think, to hope and to imagine. The fiction that somehow property is more valuable than the health, well being and physical security of human bodies. The fiction that this society is one of equality, justice and respect. I am not interested in keeping this façade alive. I am unwilling to believe that society as it stands now is NOT in a chaotic state or that chaos only exists in the protest actions of those who work for change. I am interested in something better.
And so I stand before you today, guilty and ready to accept punishment for the beliefs, actions and dreams that I have I acknowledge that my experiences have been influenced by the privileges that I have as an individual with a variety of social positionings and avenues of access available to myself. My experience is somewhat unique in this regard. But this also means I have some responsibility to act. To work toward change. To imagine something better and commit to a life of action.
So yes indeed truth might seem stranger than fiction, but it is something worth fighting for.
“I pledge allegiance to the world, nothing more, nothing less than my humanity. Until the last lock breaks none of us are free…”– Strike Anywhere