Bail hearings continue for G20 activists detained for a month; Crown appealing release of some

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Communities express support for defendants and denounce criminalization of dissent.

July 26, Toronto – Leah Henderson, Amanda (Mandy) Hiscocks, and Alex
Hundert, along with others, are facing politically-motivated charges in
relation to the Toronto G8/G20 protests. The three were pre-emptively
arrested at gun-point in a house raid on the morning of June 26, before
protests began.

Mandy continues to await a bail hearing on Monday July 26 after a month of detention. Alex and Leah, released on bail on July 19, have learnt that
their release is being appealed by the Crown. “The appeal of our bail
release, like the pre-emptive arrest, is a strong indication of the
state’s intent to criminalize ideas, dissent, and effective community
organizing,” says Alex Hundert.

Friends, family, and supporters are attesting to these activists’ valuable
efforts to serve the community and to further social justice. “I am
concerned that the press is vilifying Alex, an idealistic and powerfully
intelligent young man,” says Gershon David Hundert, Alex Hundert’s uncle and Professor of Jewish Studies at McGill University. “He is passionately committed to righting wrongs. Without the energy, passion, and dedication of young people like him, our democracy would be endangered.”

According to Michael Keefer, Professor at the University of Guelph, “I
know Ms. Hiscocks as a generous, open-hearted, and gentle young woman. She is a pillar of the Guelph community who has, amongst other things,
coordinated a youth shelter and clean up of Speed River.” Approximately 30 professors across Ontario have written in support of Mandy, calling for
her release from detention, claiming that “Her community activism is in
the public interest. Her continued detention is not.”

Alex, Mandy, and Leah’s dedication to the environment, Indigenous rights,
women’s liberation, and economic justice has earned them respect across
the country. They are known in their communities as researchers, childcare providers, legal workers, festival coordinators, and sports coaches.

Judy Da Silva of Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabe (Grassy Narrows First Nations) attests to Alex and Leah’s commitment: “Alex and Leah support the Grassy Narrows community in our continuous struggle to protect our boreal forest from logging and pollution. They are friendly, patient, generous, and work tirelessly on environmental and social issues.”

Harjap Grewal, a regional organizer with the Council of Canadians, states
“Over the last year I have gotten to know Alex and Mandy. Their work
carries purpose and commitment to marginalized communities, amongst whom they share many friendships.”

These politically-motivated charges illustrate the increasing
criminalization of those who work for social change. “The arrest at
gunpoint of these three and the delay before bail hearings amounts to the
criminalization of dissent. It is not the first time perceived leaders of
an action have been jailed for what they were alleged to have said in
meetings or demonstrations. I have worked with Leah Henderson, she
deserves an award not vilification and arrest”, adds veteran activist Judy
Rebick.

“It is important for people to continue to raise their voices, and for
communities to refuse to let this attempt at silencing be anything more
than further inspiration to build the world we believe to be possible –a
world where land and people are valued over profit and power”, says Leah
Henderson.

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