This March 15th come out and march against police brutality!
The following from COBP - particularly relevant in the context of ongoing police abuse and impunity, from the December 2005 killing of Mohamed Anas Bennis to last Thursday's police assault against the International Women's Day demonstration in downtown Montreal...
CALL OUT FOR MARCH 15, 2007: STOP THE REPRESSION NOW!
11th INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY
Thursday March 15th,Like the past eleven years, the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality (COBP, in its French acronym) is calling for participation in the International Day against Police Brutality held in the city of Montreal, in addition to holding local activities in your own regions. In 2006, demonstrations were held in Montréal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver, as well as several cities in Mexico. Join the struggle against police brutality and impunity, a movement that has no borders for dignity, justice and freedom! We must defend our rights; no one else will do this for us.
The four main demands for this year’s demonstration for March 15th are the following:
1) STOP THE POLICE KILLINGS AND IMPUNITY
The police harass and brutalize people; and they abuse their authority on a daily basis. Police forces are part of a patriarchal institution – and officers are sexists and macho. Women, and particularly sex workers, are often victims of abuse on behalf of the police. During the course of 2006, two Montreal police officers (SPVM) were accused of numerous rape charges against minors. Since Officer Allan Gosset killed Anthony Griffin on November 11, 1987, the Montreal Police have killed at least 37 people in twenty years. In most cases, police officers, coroners, prosecutors, and ministers do everything in their power to protect the killer cops and hide the truth. These crimes have to this day gone without punishment. A public inquiry on these deaths is more than overdue; this hidden scandal must be exposed. Millions of dollars are invested in the so-called “war on terrorism” to place surveillance cameras in the streets and metros, while the government increases its social control on people. Yet where is our security in the face of police abuse? As the police now patrol the metros of Montreal, will we witness an innocent person being shot to death because he has dark skin, and thus be perceived as a “terrorist”?
2) STOP THE WAR ON THE POOR
The city of Montreal continues to use laws and police resources to chase the poor on the streets who are considered unsafe by local businesses and tourists. The municipal government adopted a bylaw in 2006 announcing the closure of public squares and sites at night. We support the demands of the Street Youth Manifesto which declares “Respect our rights, specifically our right to a decent income for survival. We demand that the solicitation in public places be decriminalized, such as begging, squeegee, and sex-work. […] Eliminate repressive practices, intimidation and discrimination such as abusive ticketing, and quadrilaterals which aim to deliberately displace and exclude us.”
3) STOP RACIAL PROFILING AND COLONIALISM
The City of Montreal practice racial profiling, which discriminates according to skin color, perceived culture and/or religion. Mohamed Anas Bennis is dead probably because he had a beard and was wearing traditional Muslim dress. Five Muslim men are currently targets of the infamous “security certificates”, suspected of being terrorists by the Canadian government. For years, they have been detained without charges and held under secret evidence, facing deportation to torture. Three of the detainees, Mahjoub, Jaballah and Almrei are on hunger strike in “Guantanamo North”, while Charkaoui and Harkat must respect restingent totalitarian conditions like the GPS ankle bracelet. We demand the end of deportations and the detention of refugees. The roots of racism in Canada - a country built on stolen land and the genocide against First Nations - run deep, and this racism continues to be in practice with the policies of the Canadian Government. Canada, as well as provincial governments, must respect the autonomy of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (Six Nations, Kanehsatake territories) and all First Nations throughout Turtle Island (North America). The police here participate in imperialist war ventures, and work with police forces who commit massacres, as in Haiti, and who torture, arrest and arbitrarily detain people in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places in the world.
4) STOP THE CRIMINALIZATION OF DISSENT, FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!
The Montreal police continue to violate the rights of protestors in 2006, with 33 arrests last March 15 and more than 3 mass arrest operations, as well as 3 search warrants against animal rights activists. Despite a request for a public inquiry submitted to the United Nations to expose the abuses of Montreal Metropolitan Police, the government turns a blind eye as the police continue to repress dissidence and the right of freedom of association. We demand the freedom of all political prisoners here and everywhere: Gary Gabriel, a Mohawk from Kanehsatake was released after months in jail following the illegal attack on his community January 12th, 2004; Chris Hill, a Mohawk is still detained on charges related to the Six Nations Land Reclamation in Ontario; the five detained under security certificates; and the thousands of voiceless people detained because they are natives, blacks, and poor…
Collective Opposed to Police Brutality – 514-859-9065 – firstname.lastname@example.org – www.cobp.ath.cx
For the 11th International Day Against Police Brutality (IDAPB), there will be demonstrations and other events in Montreal, Trois-Rivieres, Toronto, Belleville (Ontario), Halifax, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Whitehorse (Yukon) and in Mexico.
The groups that support the 11th IDAPB, March 15th, 2007 include:
- Collective Opposed to Police Brutality (COBP)
- Anticapitalist Ass Pirates
- AFESH-UQAM (Association Facultaire des ÉtudiantEs de Sciences Humaines)
- AGECVM (Association Générale des ÉtudiantEs du CÉGEP du Vieux Montréal)
- Anarchist Black Cross-Montreal (ABC-Montreal)
- ASSÉ (Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante)
- A Thousand Voices (Nova-Scotia)
- Block the Empire-Montreal
- Certain Days Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar Collective
- Haïti Action Montréal
- Ici La Otra
- McGill Black Students' Network
- Mob UQAM
- NEFAC (North Eastern Federation of Anarco-Communists)
- No One Is Illegal
- Les Pairs Aidants
- PASC (Projet Accompagnement Solidarité Colombie)
- La Pointe Libertaire
- Solidarity Across Borders
- Les Sorcières