Tuesday November 9th 2010, Toronto, Mississauga New Credit: G20 defendant Ryan Rainville was released from prison today nearly 3 months after he was taken from his community in Waterloo. The young Indigenous man from Sackimay Nation was released to the home of interim sureties, while applying to the Sagatay First Nations Bail Program.
Rainville was released on strict conditions including non associations with a number of other G20 defendants who are not his co-accused including a those charged with conspiracy, as well as non-associations with a number of other community organizers. Rainville continues to face G20 related charges, which will proceed to trial in early 2011.
Ryan’s close friend Luke Stewart explained some reasons as to why Ryan participated in the week-long convergence against the G20 in Toronto: “The G20 protests are part of a larger movement around the world against austerity measures and global capital’s imposition on the world’s majority. We dare to dream of a world with freedom, justice, and equality; without tanks and prisons and borders and other oppressive institutions that steal sustenance from the world’s majority. In solidarity with the people of Seoul who are on the streets this week, we will continue to organize against the G8 and G20 leaders and their corporate villains that pillage the earth with industrial projects and profit from war.”
One week prior to Rainville’s release, he was visited by G20 Integrated Security Unit investigators at Maplehurst, where he was being held. The investigators offered Rainville guaranteed release on bail and a reduced sentence if he agreed to cooperate in identifying individuals in photographs. In the presence of his legal counsel, Rainville refused to
cooperate. He told the law enforcement officials that he would rather spend time in jail till trial then turn on his friends and allies in the social justice movement.
Upon his release, with a warm smile from ear to ear, Ryan stated “Though I have spent nearly 3 months in jail, my spirit has not been broken by this system. I continue to be committed to speaking out against the daily injustices perpetrated by capitalist exploitation and colonial assimilation. 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.”
Indigenous communities are targets of Canadian governments which criminalize those who stand up against injustice and for their sovereign responsibilities. The Office of the Correctional Investigator of Canada has stated that while the Indigenous adult population comprises 2.7 percent of the Canadian population, Indigenous people comprise 18.5 percent of the prison population.
“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,” Rainville continued.
According to Indigenous supporters of Ryan: “As native people, our bodies and our minds are constantly under attack from the state. Their power rests on our degradation. Their violent exploitation of the land and water feeds and profits the colonization of every poor and oppressed person. We denounce the ongoing state repression of all people resisting the austerity measures which are designed to force our relations, friends and allies into enslavement to a faltering system, to assimilate us into submission, and exterminate those of us who refuse to bend to colonial terms.”