No One Is Illegal Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories Support for G20 Defendants
Following the recent plea deal by the G20 “Main Conspiracy Group”, No One Is Illegal Vancouver Coast Salish Territories would like to affirm our support and solidarity with all G20 defendants. We stand with all the people who were subjected to intimidation, abuse, and imprisonment by the $1 billion security apparatus of the Canadian state as it protected the meeting of the worst criminals on this planet. We offer our love and rage to all who have been singled out and scapegoated for our collective resistance against the systems of injustice propped up by the G20. Your diligence, passion, and commitment to a world where we can all live in dignity is a threat to the elite 1%.
The recent G20 plea deal was a strategic response in which six people pleaded guilty to counselling charges. Eleven defendants’ charges have been withdrawn, and the plea deal prevents any deportations and any of the conspiracy charges from becoming convictions. There were a total of twenty-one people in the supposed G20 main conspiracy group including three members of No One Is Illegal from across the country. As written by the co-defendants “The total of fourteen withdrawals demonstrates the tenuous nature of the charges.” Mandy Hiscocks, Alex Hundert, Leah Henderson, Peter Hopperton, Erik Lankin, and Adam Lewis are all facing jail time – from several months to several years. They are being caged for organizing legitimate resistance to the G20 and for being active in Indigenous sovereignty, anti-poverty, feminist, queer and trans liberation, migrant justice, and land defense organizing. We are painfully aware of the courageous sacrifice you are making for all of us, thank you.
We are proud and humbled to be alongside you.
With some friends free and others going to jail it is impossible to qualify this deal as a “victory” or a “loss”; but it is undoubtedly a principled stand. Rather than the plea itself, we believe that the nature of the charges themselves is what we need to seriously consider within our movements. Regardless of convictions or acquittals in the criminal injustice system, the reality is that political dissent – of all stripes including for example workshop facilitation – is what the state seeks to criminalize through charges such as conspiracy and counseling. With the expansion of prisons accompanying austerity, we can only expect greater resistance and hence greater criminalization. Such charges also seek to instill fear in those choosing mass resistance and direct confrontation, and with comrades going to jail we hope that organizers have not been dissuaded from organizing in the future. We feel that we also need to honestly discuss and debate the nature of prolonged surveillance and infiltration that we experienced in the lead up to the Olympics and G20. As a grassroots anti-colonial migrant justice organization, we have been considering the impacts of all of these in our own organizing over the past year.
We also stand in support of those defendants who continue to face charges and criminalization including Kelly Rose Pflug-Back, still facing numerous charges, and Indigenous G20 defendant Ryan Rainville of the Sackimay Nation. We are inspired by Ryan’s steadfastness: “As an Indigenous man, it is my responsibility to continue to use my voice to speak the truth and to
contribute to the cause of justice and freedom for all peoples. While criminalizing voices of dissent is part of the ongoing post-G20 crackdown, the repression of Indigenous resistance is part of the ongoing legacy of colonization for 500 years across Turtle Island.”
The colonial state of Canada and its “Justice” system continually executes campaigns of criminalizing dissent that is well known to communities of resistance. State repression of poor, homeless, Indigenous, queer and trans folk, and racialized people is perpetual in this capitalist colonial state that further entrenches us into poverty and attempts to marginalizes us into invisibility and criminalize our existence, bodies, and minds. Daily, we stand with those deemed “undesirable”. Daily, we organize against the racism and xenophobia that defines the history of colonization and displacement in Canada. Our movements will not be informed or defined by fear but our commitment to self-determination and honouring the survival of our communities as unjust policies of the elite crisscross our lives. If our daily organizing is a conspiracy, then we declare that we will continue to conspire – openly, defiantly, boldly, and fearlessly.
Till all the walls and fences falls!
No One Is Illegal, Power to the People.