March 22, 2021
From North Shore Counter-Info (Canada)
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From Blockade Defense

(Le français suit l’anglais)

Out of the charges laid for the 2020 Shut Down Canada blockades, some of the most serious are the ones against defendants in Hamilton. These charges stem from a 24 hours shutdown of the CN and CP tracks through the city on February 24th to 25th, which was a direct response to the OPP’s attack on Tyendinaga territory that morning and in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en.

Initially, six people were charged for this action, but we are pleased to announce that charges against two of them were withdrawn in the past couple of months. Each remaining defendant is charged with four counts of indictable Mischief over $5000, each of which carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison.

At the same time as the Hamilton blockade occurred, another blockade action took place in Toronto. It blocked the same stretch of tracks, lasted about the same amount of time, and those arrested were accused of nearly identical actions. However, those who were arrested in Toronto were charged only with a single count of summary Mischief over $5000, a charge whose maximum penalty is six months incarceration.

The difference in the charges laid by the Hamilton Police Services is inexplicable. At this point though, the charges are officially out of the police’s hands and are being dealt with by the Hamilton crown attorney’s office.

While the charges in Toronto were withdrawn by the crown there as part of a peace bond, the crown in Hamilton is seeking jail time against some defendants and seems set on taking them all to trial.

The Hamilton crown attorney’s office needs to hear that people all across Canada are watching this case and will not accept this kind of vastly disproportionate treatment. They should immediately drop the charges against all blockade defendants.

The Hamilton defendants have an important court date coming up on April 12th. Before then, we need your support to get the message to the crown to drop the charges. We are asking for your help by contacting the Hamilton crown attorney on Thursday March 25th by phone or email to make the message clear.

The crown’s most involved with the case are:

Steve O’Brien: steve.obrien@ontario.ca
Jeffrey Levy: jeffrey.levy@ontario.ca

The general email for the office is VirtualCrownHamilton@ontario.ca.

If you send an email, BCC us at dropthecharges@riseup.net so we can know about it!

The contact number for the office is 905-645-5262. You can ask to speak to either of them, ask to leave a message, or say what you have to say to the person who answers the phone. If you call, send us an email at dropthecharges@riseup.net to let us know.

The text below can be the body of an email or the script of a call. Please be polite and remember that we are not trying to pressure or threaten anyone, but are simply communicating the public interest in the case.

Script:

Hello,

I’m contacting you because I am concerned about your office’s decision to pursue charges against four defendants in connection to the February 24-25th rail blockade in Hamilton last year.

The four defendants in Hamilton were a small part of a movement involved tens of thousands of people and is of major public interest. I believe that all charges connected to the movement should be withdrawn, including those against the Hamilton blockade defendants.

The charges laid against defendants in Hamilton are significantly more serious than those laid for similar facts in other jurisdictions. In fact, a blockade that was held the same week in Toronto on the same line for the same duration was resolved by peace bond four months ago.

Thank you for your time,

***
Appel Ă  la solidaritĂ©! Contactez le bureau du procureur de Hamilton le 25 mars pour demander l’abandon des poursuites en lien avec les blocages!

Parmi les accusations en lien avec les blocages ShutDownCanada de 2020, celles contre les dĂ©fendeur·esses Ă  Hamilton sont parmi les plus graves. Ces accusations visent un blocage de 24 h sur les voies ferrĂ©es de CN et CP en ville du 24 au 25 fĂ©vrier en solidaritĂ© avec les Wet’suwet’en et en rĂ©ponse Ă  l’attaque du PPO sur le territoire de Tyendinaga le matin mĂȘme.

Au départ, iIl y avait six personnes inculpées dans cette affaire, mais nous sommes ravi·e·s de pouvoir vous annoncer que les poursuites contre deux de ces personnes ont été abandonnées il y a quelques mois. Les autres défendeur·esses sont accusé·e·s sous quatre chefs de Méfait (criminel) de plus de $ 5000, dont chacun emporte une peine maximale de dix ans de prison.

Au moment mĂȘme oĂč se dĂ©roulait le blocage Ă  Hamilton, un autre blocage avait lieu Ă  Toronto. Il bloquait la mĂȘme voie, a durĂ© environ le mĂȘme temps et les personnes arrĂȘtĂ©es Ă©taient accusĂ©es de faits presque identiques. Cependant, les dĂ©fendeur·esses de Toronto n’ont Ă©tĂ© inculpé·e·s que sous un seul chef de MĂ©fait (dĂ©lit) de moins de $ 5000 dont la peine maximale n’est que six mois de prison.

Impossible d’expliquer la diffĂ©rence entre les accusations portĂ©es par la police de Hamilton et celles de Toronto. Mais en ce moment, l’affaire n’est plus entre les mains de la police et la responsabilitĂ© reste avec le procureur de Hamilton.

Tandis qu’à Toronto les poursuites ont Ă©tĂ© abandonnĂ©es par la procureur dans le cadre d’un engagement de ne pas troubler l’ordre public, le proc Ă  Hamilton cherche de la prison ferme contre certain·e·s dĂ©fendeur·esses et s’obstine Ă  les faire passer en procĂšs.

Il faut que le procureur de Hamilton comprenne qu’il y ait des gens partout au Canada qui observent cette affaire de prĂšs et n’acceptent pas ce traitement disproportionnĂ©. Le procureur devrait abandonner immĂ©diatement toutes les poursuites en lien avec les blocages.

Les dĂ©fendeurs et dĂ©fenderesses de Hamilton ont une audience importante le 12 avril. Dans les prochaines semaines, on a besoin de votre soutien pour faire Ă©couter le procureur. On fait appel Ă  contacter le bureau du procureur de Hamilton le jeudi 25 mars, par tĂ©lĂ©phone ou courriel afin d’envoyer un message clair.

Les procureurs les plus impliquĂ©s dans l’affaire sont:

Steve O’Brien: steve.obrien@ontario.ca
Jeffrey Levy: jeffrey.levy@ontario.ca

L’adresse courriel gĂ©nĂ©rale du bureau c’est VirtualCrownHamilton@ontario.ca.

Si vous envoyez un courriel, pensez à nous mettre en CCI pour qu’on soit au courant!

Le numĂ©ro du bureau c’est 905-645-5262. Vous pouvez demander Jeffrey ou Steve, indiquer que vous voulez leur laisser un message ou dire ce que vous avez Ă  dire Ă  la personne qui rĂ©pond au tĂ©lĂ©phone. Si vous appelez, envoyez-nous un courriel Ă  dropthecharges@riseup.net pour nous le dire.

Vous pourrez utiliser le texte ci-dessous comme le corps d’un courriel ou comme aide-mĂ©moire pour un coup de fil. Veuillez rester poli·e et souvenez-vous que c’est pas l’intention de menacer ou mettre la pression sur qui que ce soit, nous voulons tout simplement communiquer l’intĂ©rĂȘt public dans cette affaire. Comme le bureau du procureur Ă  Hamilton est unilingue anglophone, on a laissĂ© le texte en anglais:

Hello,

I’m contacting you because I am concerned about your office’s decision to pursue charges against four defendants in connection to the February 24-25th rail blockade in Hamilton last year.

The four defendants in Hamilton were a small part of a movement involved tens of thousands of people and is of major public interest. I believe that all charges connected to the movement should be withdrawn, including those against the Hamilton blockade defendants.

The charges laid against defendants in Hamilton are significantly more serious than those laid for similar facts in other jurisdictions. In fact, a blockade that was held the same week in Toronto on the same line for the same duration was resolved by peace bond four months ago.

Thank you for your time,




Source: North-shore.info