We write to express our ongoing support and solidarity for the G20 defendants. We support the decision of the G20 defendants to enter into a plea agreement with the Crown. We also wish to express our deep sadness and dismay that key community organizers will be serving potentially lengthy jail sentences.
As lawyers, law students and legal workers who work with and support social movements, we recognize that there may be limited opportunities for victories before the courts. Both historically and in the present, the legal system, including criminal charges against activists, have often been used as a tool to suppress social movements for progressive social change. The MDC opposes the use of conspiracy charges to this end. We believe that it is an important victory that no convictions or guilty pleas were obtained on the conspiracy charges laid against the G20 Defendants.
Despite attempts by the state to silence and repress community movements through criminalizing protests and organizing, in Toronto, and globally, including through the Occupy movement, people are uniting in the fight against austerity measures and cuts to social services, and in their support for environmental justice, social and economic equality and sovereignty for Indigenous nations. This gives us hope, as more and more people are becoming energized and dedicated to ending inequality and oppression.
The MDC offers our solidarity to the G20 Defendants. We also wish to express our commitment to supporting those now facing jail time.
The Movement Defence Committee is a Committee of the Law Union of Ontario (an organization of progressive lawyers, law students and legal workers) that provides legal support to movements for social change in Toronto.