Saturday, June 26, 2010

Political Prisoners to the North

At least 4 community organizers currently being held as
political prisoners as G20 related police repression continues to
increase.

As the G20 meetings happen behind fortified fences, numerous long-time
community organizers working on issues ranging from migrant justice to
climate change to indigenous sovereignty are being targeted and arrested
by police.

At approximately 4:45 a.m., June 26, about 20 police officers raided a
Toronto home. They entered the house without consent through the back
door, aggressively dragging unclothed people from their beds, kicking
others who were asleep on the floor.

Police demanded that everyone provide names and identification. A number
of people repeatedly requested to view the warrant before complying with
police demands.

“I requested a warrant at least five times from the cop who refused to
show me his badge number, to which he said they have every legal right to
do what they’re doing and they didn’t have to show us anything,” said
Tammy Kovich, a resident of the raided house.

Police forcibly detained and cuffed a number of people, and refused to
allow those in the house to call for legal advice. Without showing
warrants, asking consent, or giving notice, police did an illegal cursory
search of some of the people on the premises as well as the house itself.

“I went out the front door to get a signal so that I could call for legal
advice, and a cop grabbed me and pushed me back towards the house.  A
minute later, I was on the phone with the G20 legal people, and he grabbed
my phone away from me and smashed it onto the front porch,” stated another
resident, Renee Henderson.

One arrest was made at this house: an organizer of G20 Childcare as well
as other community projects.  A warrant was not shown for their arrest.
This individual was also detained and harassed by police earlier this week
while walking on in Toronto, and was searched without credible legal
rationale.

Across town, the door to another house was kicked in and three long time
community organizers Leah Henderson, Alex Hundert and Mandy Hiscocks were
placed under arrest. Warrants have also been issued for the arrest of
other community organizers.  These politically motivated raids and arrests
of community members are just some of the tactics the police have been
using to intimidate and silence those who have voiced their concern about
the illegitimate and undemocratic institutions of the G8/G20.

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