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north america / mexico | economy | press release Wednesday July 07, 2010 18:15 by Secrétariat externe UCL - Union Communiste Libertaire
Free our comrades - Solidarity is not a crime
The UCL wishes to salute the courage of all those people, radical or not, who dared to challenge the climate of terror created by the State and who took part in the protests against the G20 Summit in Toronto. [Français]
Free our comrades - Solidarity is not a crime
The UCL calls for solidarity in the wake of demonstrations against the G20 Summit in Toronto and the intense political repression that accompanied it. About thirty of us went to Toronto to demonstrate with the Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC-2010) and with our comrades in the anarchist organization, Common Cause. What we saw and what we experienced revolted us to the extreme, and that is why we take the streets again on Thursday July 1st to denounce the repression and demand the release of all detainees.
Against the G20It is perhaps useful to recall some basic facts. The G20 is an illegitimate institution that enjoys enormous power of influence in the international sphere. Increasingly, the organization is called upon to intervene in the global economy. This is clearly a body of global governance at the service of capitalist interests. The policies and guidelines discussed at its meetings have a major impact on the lives of the peoples of the Earth. For example, the guidlines on fiscal austerity confirmed late last week, in effect means that after injecting massive public funds to stabilize the capitalist economy in crisis, they are given the bill to the masses. There is no shortage of reasons for the protests against the G20, as it is a concentration of everything that is wrong with the current system.
ResistanceDespite a climate of terror and an unprecedented media campaign to discourage people from demonstrating against the G20, people mobilized. At the culmination of events, Saturday, about 20,000 people took to the streets in a massive united march. One sector of the march was made up of thousands of anti-capitalists and anti-colonialists. Mobilized under the banner of a diversity of tactics, the "Get off the fence" convergence managed to elude the police and allowed for all kinds of direct actions, including actions of the Black Bloc, so widely reported in the media. The message was clear: your billion-dollar security operation will not stop us demonstrating or challenging the symbols of capitalism. Overall, the event was a success. The business center of Toronto was completely blocked and people were able to demonstrate despite the police.
RepressionThe police crackdown began long before the demonstration. On the one hand, the public areas of Toronto were completely militarized and the police presence was stifling. On the other hand, the security services had been harassing activists for months, some groups had been infiltrated and there had been preventive arrests of key people in brutal raids from Friday night to Saturday. The already difficult situation, with identity checks, searches and various sorts of harassment, intensified late afternoon Saturday. Taking as their formal pretext the chaos in the city center and the actions of the black bloc, the police decided to let off steam on anyone at hand. Suddenly, there was no authorized demonstration area. It was enough to be young and have the vague air of a demonstrator to get arrested (as many journalists and passers-by discovered). We were no longer safe anywhere: there were raids on many private apartments and the suburbs were invaded, cars and buses were blocked and their occupants arrested, etc. All were good excuses to arrest people and break up the movement. Over two days and two nights, more than 900 people were arrested, often brutally, making it the largest wave of arrests in the contemporary history of Canada. After being humiliated and detained for hours in what can only be described as cages, often without being able to communicate with the outside world, the vast majority of those arrested (+ 700) were released without charge, which is a testament to the arbitrary police action.
SolidarityIt was an honor to demonstrate with you all. The State has shown its true face this weekend, but the repressive police operations have become a fiasco in terms of public relations for the forces of repression, and rightly so. Whether we were in Toronto or not, thousands were revolted by what was seen. Don't make the mistake of believing that it's over. We must not forget our comrades who are still in prison in Ontario. That's why we call to join the massive demonstration in solidarity with the victims of political repression during the G20 summit called by the CLAC-2010. Meet up the Carré Saint-Louis, Sherbrooke metro, at noon on July 1.
Union Communiste LibertaireJune 30, 2010
Translation by Hayden/SDS and Nestor McNab.
Note: You will find eye-witness reports on our website from members of the UCL arrested at the G20 Summit in Toronto: