OCAP Statement in Solidarity with the G20 Conspiracy Defendants

Nov 28, 2011

Last week, the G20 ‘main conspiracy’ group accepted a plea deal whereby 11 members of the group will now have their charges withdrawn and 6 will face jail time for charges of counseling. Today, 3 of those 6 will have their sentencing and will immediately begin their incarceration. The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty wishes to reaffirm our support for all G20 defendants.

As the G20 leaders must have known, when they met in Toronto two summers ago to plan out an inhuman agenda of Global Austerity, the measures they intended to impose on the mass of humanity would require a considerable escalation in state repression. It is therefore, far from surprising, that those who challenged the gathering itself would be among the first to feel the impact of the escalation of this already brutally repressive machine.

The Canadian State has reverted to the use of politically based conspiracy and counseling charges, and other such tactics, to try and single out those who seek to mobilize resistance. There is much that could be said about the nature and dangers of such charges. There is much that we need to discuss within our movement about how we must organize and respond in the face of such measures.

It is clear that the legal enforcers of inequality and misery, hope that their heavy tactics will intimidate others who might consider fighting back. It is vital that they be shown to be wrong in this calculation. It is imperative that we are not intimidated and that we respond to them by moving forward with the building of a serious and effective challenge to austerity.

The G20 trials were only an opening shot. As governments at every level escalate their war on our communities, those who do more than bleat out a passive and futile message of opposition will face criminalization. We will always be dedicated to offer all support we can to those who are criminalized. But ultimately the more important question is that their efforts to silence us will not work and that we will grow in the face of their intimidation. So, as some of our comrades and allies prepare for more time in jail, let us pledge to honour them by moving forward with our fight.

Despite the state’s attempts to infiltrate and demoralize our movements, we will grow stronger. We must ensure that there are not enough prison cells to deal with the movement we are building. It is a long and hard road ahead. Sometimes we will lose and sometimes our victories will be bittersweet. But we take strength in knowing that the work we do here is not in isolation and not unconnected to inspiring movements and historical moments around the world.

This is a system that breeds and enforces inequality, poverty and misery on every level – from welfare cheques and the lack of housing, to the laws and courts themselves. The challenge for us is how do we not only defeat their current austerity agenda, but create a society where their greed and exploitation is replaced by true democracy and solidarity.

In solidarity with all defendants. Strength and love to Erik, Peter, Adam, Leah, Alex and Mandy.

Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

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