FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
23 August 2010
Almost all the people facing criminal prosecution for being on the streets during the G8/G20 Summit (25-27 June) are appearing in court today, accompanied by friends, families and supporters. They are outraged by the ongoing expensive and failed security operation, and are demanding that all charges be immediately dropped. Families and supporters are gathering for a press conference at 10am at 2201 Finch Avenue.
“The people who are facing serious charges today share the same values as millions of people around the world. They were on the streets demanding safe and affordable housing, workers rights, environmental justice, and an end to war and occupation,” says Maryam Adrangi of the Toronto Community Solidarity Network, highlighting only a few of the banners under which people were protesting G8/G20 policies. “Their arrests and ongoing prosecution is an attack on people’s freedom to organize and create change.”
“It is likely that many people’s charges will be dropped today or in the months to follow. It’s time for the police and the courts to step up and end all the prosecution, drop all the charges,” says
Jessica Denyer, there to support a number of her friends who face G20-related charges. Over 1,100 people were arrested during the G8/G20, making it the largest mass arrest in Canadian history.
According to a 1995 Ontario Civil Justice Review, a single three-day non-jury trial can cost taxpayers up to CAD$40,000. The cost of 300 trials in 2010, with some lasting significantly longer than three days, could be up to CAD$12million. Considering the immense evidence of police violations, it is likely that most of these proceedings will end with people being released and charges dropped. An early cancellation can save the taxpayers money and finally put the G20 nightmare behind us.
At the G8/G20 meetings, G20 governments promised to cut deficits in half by 2013. This decision will inevitably result in huge social cutbacks and rising poverty. “As we saw in Toronto in June, G20 austerity measures will be backed with lines of riot police and violence. But people are refusing to be silenced or intimidated even in the face of such brutality. We are demanding real justice for those criminalized, and real justice for our communities that are struggling every single day.” says Mohan Mishra from No One Is Illegal – Toronto and an organizer for the June 25th, Justice for Our Communities demonstration.
Following the Court Appearances today, a rally is taking place at 6pm at Police Headquarters (40 College Street).
See details of the rally here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=151725754840488&ref=mf
For more information, contact media liaisons: