Saturday, March 31, 2007

APC and Downtown Eastside Resident's Association Office Raided by Police

The following from Vancouver:
The police raided the former office of the Anti-Poverty Committee Thursday night, under the pretext of looking for the Olympic flag that was stolen by the Native Warrior Society nearly a month ago.

The office, located in a DERA building, has not been used by the APC for more than a year. The police arrived at 11:15pm with a search warrant, and left empty-handed about an hour later.

The APC believes that this search was a political maneuver - an attempt by the Vancouver Police Department to drive a wedge between APC and DERA. This strategy has been used in previous efforts by the VPD and the City to neutralize our support and isolate our organization. DERA has made it clear publicly that they have no intention of falling for the cops' bluff and selling us out.

Further, we believe that this search was an act of desperation. The police and colonial powers will do everything in their power to render invisible the Native Warrior Society and minimize all forms of indigenous struggle. The fact is that the Native Warrior Society was able to strike a significant blow by stealing the enemy''s flag. This was not a symbolic gesture but a revolutionary act and one that has got the colonial cops running scared.

We refuse to be intimidated by the cops. We will continue to stand and fight while the cops and the powers they protect scramble like fools. We laugh in their faces and say bring it on! We ally ourselves with the warriors and we say Fuck the Racist Police! Fuck 2010! No Olympics On Stolen Land!


The Anti-Poverty Committee is an organization of poor and working people, who fight for poor people, their rights and an end to poverty by any means necessary. For more information on the Anti-Poverty Committee's on-going campaigns, visit Contact us by e-mailing or phoning 604-682-3276.

If you are able to donate financially to our legal defense or other campaigns, deposits can be made directly into our account at any branch of Vancity (account is listed under 'Anti-Poverty Committee). Cheques or money orders made out to the APC can be mailed to P.O. Box 1, 12 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 1N1.


Friday, March 30, 2007

[Montreal] Legacy of Torture: The War Against the Black Liberation Movement

Legacy of Torture: The War Against the Black Liberation Movement
MONTREAL - MONDAY APRIL 2nd 7:30pm ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Monday April 2nd, 7:30pm
1395 Rene Levesque West,
Room VA-114 VA Building,
Concordia University

Wheelchair accessible. Traduction vers le français disponible. Childcare provided with 24hr advance notice. Metro/bus tickets available if needed.

For more info, contact: or 514-848-2424 ext. 7431.

Eight former Black Panthers were arrested January 23rd in California, New York and Florida on charges related to the 1971 killing of a San Francisco police officer.

Similar charges were thrown out after it was revealed that police used torture to extract confessions when some of these same men were arrested in New Orleans in 1973.

A short documentary, Legacy of Torture: The War Against the Black Liberation Movement, as well as a film featuring former Black Panther political prisoner Herman Bell, will be screened, followed by presentations and discussion.

Donations will be accepted for legal defense funds.

Presented by Certain Days (QPIRG-Concordia), Kersplebedeb, 2110 Centre, Montreal ABCF, and COBP.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Quote of the Day: Gore Vidal

I believe there's something very salutary in, say, beating up a gay-bashing policeman. Preferably one fights through the courts, through the laws, through education, but if at a neighborhood level violence is necessary, I'm all for violence. It's the only thing Americans understand.
- Gore Vidal
(Gay Community News May 22 - June 4, 1992)

Monday, March 26, 2007

[Montreal] Thursday March 29th Speak-Out on Racial Profiling & Police Brutality

Racial Profiling and Police Brutality: Standing up and Speaking Out

THURSDAY, March 29th
6:00pm to 9:00pm
3480 McTavish St. (Shatner Building)
Room 302

A Keynote Panel with:


  • Khadija Bennis, twin sister of Anas Bennis and spokesperson for the Justice for Anas Coalition
  • Jade, speaking on racial profiling of Natives in Montreal
  • Rodney Patricio, chairperson for UKPC and Kaabataang Montreal - a Filipino youth organisation based in Cote-des-Neiges

Hosted by author and journalist, Fimo R. Mitchell
Presentation by Collective Opposed to Police Brutality

Sponsored by QPIRG McGill, CKUT, SSMU's Equity Commissioner and the Black Students' Network.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Freedom to Wear What You Want

Men should not be telling women how to dress.

In fact, let me extend that: people should not be telling other people how to dress.

The only reason why i might dislike the hijab, niqab and burka is because i know that around the world many women are forced to wear them, this obligation often justified by a sexist and heterosexist logic regarding male sexuality (i.e. the idea that unveiled women are responsible for men getting all hot and bothered, and that this horniness leaves guys no choice but to act inappropriately).

But i also know - from my own personal experience - that clothing can symbolize different things to different people. An oppressive patriarchal symbol - let's say high heels and make-up - can become a symbol of resistance in other situations... for instance when a man chooses to wear them, or when to wear such femme attire means defying the priest or rabbi or imam.

Likewise, the entire punk movement took on semi-militaristic and violent imagery, even by so-called "peace punks." i think both Sid and Siouxie deserved to be punched in the face for playing with swastikas, but i'd be the moron if i thought they were actual nazis. (Muslim punks in the novel The Taqwacores wear israeli flags for much the same effect.)

I can remember when some comrades argued that drag queens should be banned from the movement because they were dressing in a "sexist" fashion, and i can remember when certain peace groups would not allow punks to join because of their "sado-masochistic" clothing (i won't even go into what actual sado-masochists got told!)

So i'm obviously not a Muslim woman, and none of the women i know wear niqabs or burkas. But i'm willing to bet that in the current racist climate gripping Quebec, more than a few women are feeling they should cover up - not because some misogynistic cleric tells them to, but because a bunch of misogynists from the white dominant society are telling them not to.

Defiance may not be the most sophisticated emotion, but it certainly is easy to understand, and impossible for me to condemn.

In fact, i'd written the above before reading the following article from today's Montreal Gazette, in which a young Muslim woman explains that if she doesn't wear niqab, and in the current context if she did she would be scared... and as a result, she is planning on wearing the niqab in future.


So what's someone like me to think? Not only me, but most of my family and friends would be killed under sharia law, so i certainly don't want to encourage the rise of right-wing Islam. The fact that i don't live in an Islamic society, that i'm stuck in a different corner of the capitalist patriarchy, doesn't give me a pass to forget the fact that around the world thousands upon thousands of brave and beautiful comrades have been murdered by the Islamic right.

Yet still: in Quebec as elsewhere in North America, the "anti-sexism" of Bush and Harper (and Charest) has about as much progressive content as the anti-zionism of Ahmadinejad or Nasrallah. And to side with the "secular" State in its attacks on Muslim women is to feed the dynamic tension that exists between "sexually liberated imperialism" and "patriarchal anti-imperialism", squabbling siblings who puff themselves up with declarations of hatred for each other while actually concentrating their fire on those of us who hate them both.

All i can propose is that with which i started: nobody should be telling other people how to dress. Most especially, no man should be telling women how to dress. No ayatollah, no imam, no rabbi, no priest and no "chief returning officer."

Here's the article from the morning paper:


Controversy is unfounded, activist says – women remove their veils when necessary

A Muslim woman says the abrupt change to Quebec election rules for veiled voters will fuel a growing hostility toward Muslim women in the province.

“If I was wearing a face veil I likely wouldn’t go and vote on Monday,” Sarah Elgazzar of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Canada said in an interview yesterday. “I’d be scared.” A ruling by chief returning officer Marcel Blanchet on Friday means the face of anyone who votes Monday must be visible before a ballot is cast. That includes Muslim women, a scenario Elgazzar believes will keep many at home on election day.

Elgazzar said there has never been a problem with Muslim women who wear face veils.

“These women regularly uncover their faces to identify themselves, and they never asked for any kind of accommodation,” she said. “This controversy kind of hunted them down and they didn’t have anything to do with it.”

The issue blew into the open a few days ago when the Journal de Montréal published a story saying Muslim women could vote tomorrow even if their faces were covered.

Blanchet then changed the rules after he received threatening phone calls and read reports that some citizens were planning to wear masks to the polls.

Elgazzar said Muslim women who wear veils show their faces when necessary, including visits to banks, crossing the border and when dealing with police.

She said the current Quebec environment is “very hostile” toward veiled Muslim women.

“People here have the impression that they (Muslim women) weren’t ready to comply and that they (Quebecers) have won some kind of victory,” she said of Blanchet’s ruling.

Elections Quebec spokesperson Denis Dion said all voters will have to show a piece of photo identification at polling stations. If they don’t have photo ID, they must provide two other pieces of ID and sign a document before being able to vote.

He said there is no guarantee female returning officers will be available to check the identification of veiled Muslim women at polling stations.

Debate over reasonable accommodation of racial, cultural and religious minorities has surfaced several times during the election campaign, with Action démocratique du Québec leader Mario Dumont often leading the charge. Dumont has been hoping to tap into the unease many small-c conservative Quebecers feel about how far the province goes to accommodate ethnic minorities.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Muslim Women: Our New Favourite Scapegoat

Racist and sexist fucking shit.

As i mentioned yesterday, i don't have time for this crap. Which of course doesn't stop it from oozing out of the anus of the capitalist patriarchy. Political diarrhea one might say.

I'm just going to post the following article from today's Montreal Gazette. As i predicted a few weeks ago, racist anxieties (specifically regarding Muslim women) have been exploited by all three contenders in the upcoming Quebec provincial election.

Sad to say.

Here's the article from today's paper:

Quebec’s chief electoral officer has changed the law, obliging everyone who votes to show their face. It’s an extraordinary measure to ensure “crazies” won’t disrupt polling to protest against Muslim women voting in full veil.
Worried about the safety of election workers and the prospect of Monday’s vote turning into a “masquerade,” Quebec’s chief electoral officer took the extraordinary step of unilaterally changing the election law yesterday to force everyone who votes to show their face.

And a Muslim group said the entire controversy – which relates to Muslim women who wear full-face veils known as niqabs – has been fabricated by news media outlets that are “fuelling hate” toward Muslims and leaving some members of the community fearing for their safety.

On Thursday, reacting to a newspaper article about voting by niqab-wearing women, chief electoral officer Marcel Blanchet said they would not be required to remove their veils to confirm their identify.

Yesterday, after intense media coverage and threatening phone calls and emails to election workers, Blanchet reversed his stand. Some people on radio call-in shows were also urging Quebecers to turn up at polls in Halloween costumes.

“What’s at stake here is the integrity and serenity of the electoral process,” Blanchet said at a news conference. “It would be extremely damaging if incidents disrupt voting Monday. And it would be even more damaging if there is so much anxiety among some electors that they don’t show up to vote.”

To ensure his own protection, Blanchet said he now travels with two bodyguards.

He said he found it “troubling” that threats caused him to change the electoral law.

“I personally would have preferred not to have to do it, but my priority is to ensure that everything will run normally and that a few or many crazies won’t show up to cause trouble Monday,” Blanchet said.

The episode has some Muslims fearing for their lives, said Salam Elmenyawi, head of the Muslim Council of Quebec.

“If the chief electoral officer needs two bodyguards, imagine the woman in a niqab, how many guards she’s going to need to guard her – at a polling station or even on a street today,” he told The Gazette. “Their lives are under threat right now.”

Elmenyawi said election officials never consulted Muslim leaders about the issue.

Had they, they would have been told niqab-wearing women will show their face for identification purposes, preferably to other women. He estimates 10 to 15 women wearing niqabs might have shown up to vote. Given the controversy, he’s not sure any will vote now.

Elmenyawi said some news media – particularly the Journal de Montréal and its sister TV networks, TVA and LCN, all owned by Quebecor – are fuelling hatred toward Muslims.

The Journal wrote about the issue Thursday, the first news media outlet to do so.

Yesterday, it ran photos of Youppi and people wearing paper bags and Darth Vader or skeleton masks on its front page under the headline: “Masked voting is legal.”

Earlier in the week, the newspaper ran extensive coverage of sugar shacks that welcome Muslims. One eliminated ham from its pea soup. Another allowed Muslim customers to pray on a dance floor.

The LCN all-news channel has been giving extensive coverage to the Journal’s articles.

Mathieu Turbide, assistant managing editor at the Journal de Montréal, said he was surprised by the Muslims’ criticism and noted the “reasonable accommodation” issue is part of the news agenda.

“To suggest we are promoting hate is very extremist and does not correspond with reality,” he said in a phone interview. “We simply decided to look at the Elections Act and ask what would happen if a voter did not want to uncover her face.

“We learned there was a gap in the law, most political leaders confirmed it, and the chief returning officer has just changed the regulations.”

At TVA, which is LCN’s parent network, vice-president (news) Serge Fortin said its coverage was “irreproachable.”

“We followed the Journal story on Thursday and covered the news conference today.

“We have nothing to change. Somebody has an agenda somewhere,” he observed.

But Elmenyawi remains concerned. “This kind of ‘reasonable-accommodation police’ going around manufacturing crises within Quebec society is doing us all harm,” he said.

“The Muslim community is at the receiving end of hate, anger, disgust and indignation – and it’s damaging the social fabric of Quebec society.”

The coverage in Quebecor news outlets – and in some competing ones trying to keep up – is “feeding hysteria, and rash thinking that (Quebec) culture is under attack and in danger from Muslims or Jews who are coming, or whoever it is they’re targeting that day.”

Elmenyawi urged political leaders to calm things by asking those with concerns about “reasonable accommodation” to take them in a “rational, objective way” to the commission Premier Jean Charest created to study the issue. “I’m asking leaders to stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough,’ ” he said.

In Cap aux Meules last night, Charest expressed his satisfaction with the veil ruling. “We agree with the director-general of elections’ decision to use the powers that he has in the law, exceptional powers, to make sure when people vote they are correctly identified,” he said.

He said he doesn’t see the issue as a clash of religious rights with Quebec’s voting system. “I don’t see any collision, really. The issue is quite simple. We just want to identify the right person.”

Action démocratique leader Mario Dumont said he is pleased with the decision. “I had confidence in the director-general of elections,” he told reporters at a campaign stop in St. Eustache.

“Today, he came out with an interpretation of the law that to my mind is what those who enacted the law intended.”

On Thursday, the chief electoral officer had said a fully veiled person would be given the same treatment as a person whose face is covered by a bandage. To vote, she had to declare her identity, sign a sworn statement and either produce documents that confirm her identity or be accompanied by someone who confirms her identity.

If a voter has lost his or her medicare card or has no driver’s licence – both of which have photos – that person can identify themselves under oath before a three-person identification verification panel at every group of polling stations. Under the change announced yesterday, anyone who shows up at that panel must now show their face.

The electoral law allows the chief electoral officer to unilaterally change rules under “exceptional or emergency” circumstances, Blanchet said.

This change applies only to the current election, he said.

Whether someone’s face is visible during voting does not pose a problem in Ontario, British Columbia or Alberta, officials from those three provinces said yesterday. In all three, the only requirement is to be on the list of electors. For those who must register to vote on site, all that is required is proof of identity and address; there is no requirement to present photo ID.

A check of the Elections Canada website reveals there is no requirement for photo ID either to be added to the voters list or to register to vote on site.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Someone Else's War (not a review!)

A quick recommendation: check out Lee Wang's film Someone Else's War.

i was lucky enough to be at the world premiere of this film at the San Francisco International Asian-American Film Festival a few days ago, and think it is a film that should be checked out by everyone in the anti-war and also especially anti-capitalist movements.

Unfortunately i do not have time to write a review, or even an adequate synopsis, at this point. Our trip to SF was a bit of a disaster in terms of the anarchist bookfair i was counting on to pay some bills, and has left me in hyperventilation mode regarding work. So i'm gonna try and be disciplined and not blog until i get some of the most pressing crap out of the way.

Nevertheless, to explain why i am recommending this film: it's not revolutionary, and it's not even anti-imperialist, but it is an informative expose of the U.S. army's dependence on migrant Third World labour to maintain its military infrastructure within Iraq.

I learned, for instance, that 80% of Halliburton employees are not American. This overwhelmingly Asian proletarian workforce earns less than $400 a month (compare to $75,000+ a year for American Halliburton employees), live in segregated camps surrounded by concertina wire and patrolled by private security guards, rely on table scraps from the US Army cafeteria to survive, and are sometimes not even paid the wages they had been promised.

While not touched upon in the film, i could not help but think of the many parallels between these workers' conditions and those of other trafficked individuals. This is indentured servitude, with a fee paid by the workers in order to be "placed" in a job overseas, putting them in a position where they are obliged to work a certain amount of time simply to pay off this initial debt. Some have signed up to work in other countries, only to be told - once they're already far away from home - that they must either accept a placement in Iraq or be heavily fined.

Not a review, not even a good synopsis. But i've got other work to do. If you can, check this film out!

(a list of upcoming screenings available here)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

[Montreal] Justice For Anas Coalition Holds Public Assembly March 21st

The justice For Anas coalition - struggling for justice and answers regarding the 2005 police killing of Mohamed Anas Bennis in Montreal - has organized a Public Assembly for next week, bringing together speakers who will share their knowledge and experiences with racist and violent police in this city.

If you can, be there! as this certainly seems to be an important event:


we demand access to all information regarding Mohamed Anas Bennis' death, a Public Inquiry into the events of December 1st 2005, and an end to police brutality and impunity.

Wednesday March 21st 2007, 6:30pm
6767 Côte-Des-Neiges
(metro CDN, bus #165 north)

Voluntary contribution
refreshments will be served

wheelchair accessible
whisper translation (English/French)
on-site childcare available - please call 24 hours in advance (514-342-2111)

  • Khadija Bennis, the sister of Anas Bennis who was killed by Montreal police officer Bernier of Station 25 on December 1st 2005, on the corner of Kent and Côte-Des-Neiges.
  • Huguette Milberg, from Mothers United Against Racism, a group of women struggling against the racial profiling of their children by the Montreal police.
  • Hind Charkaoui, the sister of Adil Charkaoui who was incarcerated for two years based on a Security Certificate, and who is still struggling against the system of Security Certificates and deportation to torture.
  • May Chiu, one of the commissioners from the People’s Commission on Immigration Security Measures.
  • a member of Kabataang, a Philippino youth organization.
  • a documentary film about the case of Anas Bennis

A Killing and a Cover-Up:
The Case of Mohamed Anas Bennis

On December 1st 2005, on the corner of Kent and Côte-des-Neiges, Montreal police officer Bernier from Station 25 shot and killed Mohamed Anas Bennis, a 25-year old Canadian of Moroccan heritage, while in the presence of three other police officers from the same Station.

More than one year later, the events of that morning remain shrouded in mystery. Both the police and the Quebec government have refused to hand over evidence and information related to Anas’ death. “We feel like we are being lied to, that they are hiding things from us,” says Khadija Bennis, Anas’ twin sister and a member of the Justice For Anas Coalition.

This veil of secrecy, the government’s callous disregard for Anas’s mourning family and their quest for justice, the incredible police impunity... all this should be familiar by now. Just think: the Security Certificates; the secret trials; the deportations to torture; the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) harassment of refugees and immigrants; the long list of racialized people, both citizens and non-citizens alike, who have been brutalized and even killed by the police without the Canadian State so much as batting an eye, the five hundred Indigenous women who have disappeared without any real investigation ever being carried out... the list just goes on and on.

In a context of criminalization and marginalization of racialized communities across Canada, in a climate of ongoing systematic attacks against the oppressed, and in an era when the rhetoric of a “war on terror” serves as an excuse to give more and more power to the police and other repressive institutions, this Public Assembly is a forum to discuss the impact of racial profiling and police brutality and to explore the different ways that we can resist against police abuse.

  • the immediate release of all reports, evidence and information concerning the death of Anas Bennis to the Bennis family and to the public;
  • a full, public and independent inquiry into the death of Anas Bennis;
  • an end to police brutality and impunity.

Justice For Anas Coalition
tel: 514-342-2111

The flier for this event is available for download

* bilingual version, 2 pages (you can do a two-sided photocopy, cut it down the middle and then have both French and English fliers) - 6.2 M in uncompressed pdf format or in a zipfile 1.6 M
* French version - 3.2 M in uncompressed pdf format or in a zipfile 802 K
* English version - 3 M in uncompressed pdf format or in a zipfile 726 K

One can also download all three pdfs in one zipfile.

[San Fancisco] 12th Annual Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair

is now a two-day event!

SATURDAY, March 17, 10-6pm
SUNDAY, March 18, 11-5pm

County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park,
Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Way,

The speaker and panel schedule has been posted. There’s a lot to see!

Both days of the Bookfair (March 17 & 18) include:

MAIN BOOKFAIR ROOM: With over 50 booksellers, distributors, independent presses and political groups from the Bay Area, the west coast and North America. This is the heart of the Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair.

SPEAKERS and PANELS: During both days, lively panel discussions will tackle subjects ranging from “Resisting State Repression” to “Power and Democracy in Revolutionary Latin America” to young women celebrating “The F-Word.” Renowned authors and social activists Chris Carlsson, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, James Kelman, Ward Churchill, Michelle Tea and others will speak on topics pertaining to anarchists and non-anarchists alike.

The Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair has become one of the largest annual gatherings of anarchists and radical books in the world. Last year over four thousand people, from every walk of life, locals from San Francisco and visitors from around the world, enjoyed good conversation, speakers, art, and of course..books!

In 1996, the first Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair began as a celebration of the 20th anniversary of Bound Together Bookstore, a collectively run anarchist bookstore located on San Francisco’s Haight Street. The Bound Together Bookstore continues to sell radical books every day, and the collective has organized the bookfair every year.

As always, everyone is invited!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Mohawk Warrior Society Distances Itself From Highway 177 Blockade

The following form the Mohawk Warrior Society at Kahnawake in regards to the armed blockade on Highway 117:

Mohawk Nation at Kahnawake
March 11, 2006

It has come to the attention of the Mohawk Warrior Society at Kahnawake that a group of people have barricaded Highway 117, north of Ottawa. This group is being led by Guillaume Carle, chief of the recently formed Confederation of Aboriginal People of Canada.

Concerns have been forwarded to our society that this group is claiming to have the support of the “Warrior Society”. The Mohawk Warrior Society at Kahnawake would like to clarify that it has not leant support to Guillaume Carle or the Confederation of Aboriginal People of Canada, nor do we support the blockade of Highway 117 at this time. We must stress that none our warriors are present at their blockade.

For further information, please contact the Mohawk Nation Office (Kahnawake Branch) at 450.632.7639.

In peace,

Acting Secretary
Rotisken’rakéhte - Mohawk Warrior Society
Kahnawake Branch of the Mohawk Nation
Six Nation Iroquois Confederacy

Jane Doe on Rape

Balcony Rapist to be released
Why men rape and why women's resources are cut need attention, argues '80s victim
Toronto Star, Feb 23, 2007
Betsy Powell
Crime Reporter

Jane Doe has mixed feelings about the release from prison of the man who raped her more than 20 years ago, saying that focusing on one "isolated" case gives everyone "permission to forget about the larger problem."

"A woman is raped every 17 minutes in this country and the crimes are committed by men that we know and are tied to ... husbands, men we work with ... and we pay absolutely no attention to that," said the woman, dubbed Jane Doe, who was sexually assaulted in 1986 by a man known as the "balcony rapist."

Paul Douglas Callow, now 52, is scheduled to be released from a prison in British Columbia today after serving 20 years in jail for brutal sexual assaults on several women, including Jane Doe.

He was called the "balcony rapist" because of the way he entered residences in Toronto's Wellesley and Sherbourne Sts. area during the mid-1980s. He raped five women at knifepoint and had been convicted of sexually attacking two other women in the 1970s.

While RCMP in B.C. said Callow will reside in Surrey, Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant yesterday vowed never to let him set foot in this province again.

"We'll do everything we can to protect Ontarians from him causing any further harm," he said, adding he has no information that Callow has any intention of heading this way.

Bryant says he's satisfied Callow has consented to a recognizance order with "quite stringent conditions" that prevents him from legally leaving B.C. unless he goes to court first. The order also singles out Ontario – the province would be notified should Callow ever decide to come here, allowing the province to go to court to fight it.

It's rare for a court to issue an order preventing someone from entering a province without court approval, something Bryant called a very "strict provision."

"This is put into place for that rare individual who has completed their sentence but poses a danger to the law of the land that requires the extraordinary measure of constant monitoring and restriction upon his liberty," Bryant said. The Charter does not allow the Crown to seek a dangerous offender application if the offences were committed before the legislation was proclaimed.

Jane Doe launched a lawsuit in 1987 against Toronto police, arguing that investigators were negligent for not making the public aware of the rapist.

More than a decade later a judge awarded her $220,000 in general and special damages. Justice Jean MacFarland ruled that Doe and other women were used without their knowledge or consent to attract a predator.

After Doe's assault, women wanted to put up posters warning neighbours of the rapist, but police wouldn't allow them to, fearing it would compromise a stakeout.

Doe, a writer and teacher, doesn't disagree that Callow is a "very bad man who does need to be watched."

She'd just prefer it if more emphasis was placed on the bigger picture.

"All I can say is `you got it wrong, you've got to redirect your gaze – what we need to be looking at is why do men rape, why have services to women's community organizations been cut and why has that money been funnelled to so-called victim rights' groups who represent the law and order agenda that calls for bigger prisons and longer sentences when we know for a fact that they're not a deterrent," Doe said.

"What would make me feel safer and what would guarantee public safety is if there were the resources for the women who experience sexual assault, if there were resources for men who leave prison after they've done time – that's how we engage public safety."

She doesn't buy the contention that her advocacy work on rape and sexual assault has improved things.

"Nothing has changed," she said, pointing to government statistics showing the vast majority of sexual perpetrators are never punished.

Sexual offences accounted for 1 per cent of the 2.4 million Criminal Code incidents reported by police in 2002, a proportion that has not changed for the last decade, according to Statistics Canada.

But the agency notes that police statistics represent only a small portion of all sexual offences and offenders. Victimization surveys suggest that as many as 90 per cent of all sexual offences are not reported to the police. Once reported, sexual offences are also less likely than other violent offences to result in charges.

Judge Aims To "Discourage" Jaggi Singh's Activism

A Montreal Municipal Court judge released protester Jaggi Singh on $1,000 bail yesterday, saying the hefty bond could discourage his activism.

Singh had been in detention since Thursday, when he was arrested at an evening march to mark International Women’s Day.

Police contend Singh violated a bail condition not to attend any illegal or unpeaceful demonstrations. He’s also required to leave any protest that turns violent.

Several witnesses testified yesterday Thursday’s march was peaceful.

Singh, 35, was freed on $2,000 bail in November after he was arrested at Montreal General Hospital, where Prime Minister Stephen Harper was holding a news conference. Singh was charged with violating bail conditions, obstruction and assault.

The above from the March 14th 2007 Montreal Gazette.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

[Quebec] Armed Blockade by Indigenous Protesters on Highway 117

Blockade on key highway is partly lifted

GRAND REMOUS – Part of a crucial Quebec highway was reopened last night following a day-long blockade by armed aboriginals protesting against forest management by the province.

The Sûreté du Québec said the northbound lane of Highway Mont Tremblant 117, about 300 kilometres northwest of Montreal Montreal, was reopened about 9:15. It was to be used alternately for north and southbound traffic within the La Vérendrye provincial park.

The southbound lane remained closed last night, blocked by two teepees and two trailers, said SQ Constable Mélanie Larouche.

Between 25 and 50 people set up the blockade around 5:30 a.m. on the heavily used highway, the only route between the Laurentian and Abitibi-Témiscamingue regions.

The protesters say the Quebec government reneged on a verbal agreement that ended earlier protests by granting local aboriginals living outside reserves the right to harvest trees.

“The protest is about the government of Quebec, the Liberals, lying to us,” said Guillaume Carle, chief of the recently formed Confederation of Aboriginal People of Canada.

“As soon as we lifted the barricades (last time) they turned on us,” Carle said in an interview.

Two vans, a pair of teepees, heavy equipment, barrels and logs were set up across the highway, about 70 kilometres north of the nearest town, Grand Remous. The stretch between Grand Remous and Val d’Or, the next closest municipality about 300 kilometres north, is used by about 1,800 vehicles a day on average, Transport Quebec said.

“People become very nervous very fast as soon as the road is cut off because there is only one route with direct access between Abitibi-Témiscamingue and the south,” said André Gilbert, deputy mayor of Val d’Or, about 520 kilometres northwest of Montreal.

“Ever since the trains stopped being used (as a mode of transport) and the majority of companies here don’t have warehouses to store goods like they used to, everything – gasoline, food, newspapers, construction materials – comes by truck.”

Airplane mechanic Philippe Lambert of Amos, 60 kilometres northwest of Val d’Or, receives parts everyday from Montreal via the 117 but had to make do without several orders yesterday.

“If I don’t get a part, I can’t work,” he said. “It’s a drag – for the customers, too,” he said.

The only practical alternate route is Highway 101, which runs through northern Ontario and adds about two hours to the drive. (The other – much longer – detour is via Highway 113 east toward Lac St. Jean and south to Quebec City). In the event of a longer blockade, the necessary detour would add significant costs to the transport of essential goods to the region, Gilbert said.

The 117 also provides a vital link to Northern Quebec and to western Canada. Many of the trucks loading cargo off ships in Sept Îles en route to Calgary use the highway to bypass Toronto and shave about 100 kilometres off their trip, Gilbert said.

Police set up a secure perimeter about 200 metres from the blockade after some protesters were spotted with hunting rifles at the blockade site, about 70 kilometres north of the nearest town, Grand Remous.

Carle said Quebec has allowed rampant clear-cut logging in the region but left aboriginals out of the planning and the economic benefit from forestry activity.

“We’re being robbed,” he said as he drove to the site of the protest yesterday.

Calls to newsprint giant Abitibi-Consolidated weren’t immediately returned yesterday

Carle said protesters are also upset about living conditions for aboriginals across Canada who live outside reserves.

“No electricity, no heat, no water,” said Carle, who said his group has about 6,000 members across Canada. “The conditions are unacceptable.”

Last month, the protesters picketed the office of the Quebec minister of natural resources.

Carle said the group wants rights to log in the region as well as a say in overall forestry planning.

He said the barrier would remain on the highway until the province sends someone to negotiate a proper agreement.

RCMP Dirty Tricks

Comrades should be reading the following article, not because we have any sympathy with drug lords - reactionary scum often in bed with the cops - but because what the RCMP did to them they will most certainly be willing to do to us...

The victims of this police investigation had not been found guilty of anything, but had their homes broken into, money stolen, and were set up to go on a murderous vendetta against each other as a result.

You know if they're pulling this shit here, they're gonna be doing worst against the oppressed and against any revolutionary or insurgent movement they can fuck with. COINTELPRO Canadian style...

From today's Gazette:

Alleged trafficker reels as $2.9 million vanishes
RCMP took cash from basement hiding spot

Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2007

During its three-year investigation of the Italian Mafia in Montreal, the RCMP secretly broke into cars, homes and safes of alleged drug dealers and bookmakers, seizing millions of dollars in cash and sowing dissent and confusion among gangsters that almost led to a homicide.

On the night of Sept. 14, 2006, the RCMP, acting on a search warrant, broke into a Laval home belonging to the parents of a suspected drug trafficker and seized $2.9 million.

The trafficker and his wife and parents were on vacation in Las Vegas when police searched the house. The money belonged partially to the trafficker and partially to Giuseppe (Pep) Torre, according to court documents.

Police allege that Torre operated a drug-smuggling ring through Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. The drug trafficker, who cannot be named because of a court order, organized cocaine shipments for Torre, police allege.

The RCMP found the money hidden under the basement steps in a metal box and in a sports bag. The two containers were stuffed with 28,794 $100 bills, plus one $50 bill.

The police seized both containers of cash.

The next day, the trafficker returned alone from Las Vegas and panicked when he discovered the theft. As police listened on their wiretaps, the trafficker immediately called Torre, told him about the missing cash and said: "Pep, I'm finished."

"Don't tell me this, man," Torre replied.

The trafficker asked Torre to come to his parents' home.

Then he called his wife and father in Las Vegas. "Listen to me, they took everything. I have nothing left, so ... nothing, nothing."

His father tried to reassure him, reminding him that he was still alive. The trafficker told his father the robbers must have known the money was in the house.

He said what really shocked him was that just before leaving for Las Vegas, "I put in an extra $250,000."

The trafficker told his father he believed his brother-in-law was the thief.

Police then picked up a call to Torre from the trafficker's wife in Las Vegas. She pleaded with him to go to her home in Laval and retrieve money she had hidden behind towels in the bathroom. He could not go because he had to protect his parents' home.

In another phone call, the trafficker told Torre: "I'm gonna f---g choke the guy, cause I'm gonna kill him." Police claim he was referring to his brother-in-law.

The trafficker phoned his sister, told her about the theft and accused her husband. She denied he had anything to do with the theft and told him he should be looking at his "black friends."

The trafficker then phoned Alarme Sentinelle, the company that had the security contract for his parents' home.

"The (thieves) are right now counting their millions, all in browns ($100 bills). It's my money. It's my life. It's my daughter. It's my whole future."

The trafficker called his sister and told her he was going to get his gun and find her husband. He then headed downtown to look for his brother-in-law.

About 10 minutes later, Montreal police stopped the trafficker, searched his car and found a firearm. The car was seized and the trafficker arrested.

After the arrest, Torre arranged for several sacks of money to be picked up at the trafficker's home in Laval. Torre got his wife, Polisena delle Donne, to fetch the money.

On Sept. 18, Torre held a meeting at the Bar Laennec with fellow alleged underbosses to discuss the $2.9-million loss. The police had bugged the bar.

In a second incident, police followed a bookmaker around the city as he delivered money. The man had been running cash from illegal gambling operations in Ottawa and Montreal where betters gambled about $1 billion a year, primarily on sports.

When he left his car to enter a betting shop, police opened his trunk and took a suitcase containing about $43,000 in cash.

In a third case, police broke into the home of another suspected drug dealer, opened his safe and seized about $200,000 in Canadian and $80,000 U.S. cash.

Again, the drug dealer had no idea who had taken his money.

The three-year investigation ended on Nov. 22, 2006, when police arrested 91 people, including alleged leaders of Montreal's Italian Mafia Nicolo Rizzuto, 82, Francesco Arcadi, Paola Renda, Giuseppe Torre, Lorenzo (Skunk) Giordano and Francesco del Balso. The trafficker who lost the $2.9 million was also charged.

The charges include drug trafficking, illegal gambling, money laundering and gangsterism. A trial date has not yet been set.

Montreal Women Opposed to Police Brutality: A Woman's Place is NOT at home!

*ENOUGH!! A Woman's Place is NOT at home! *
Call to action: International Day Against Police Brutality, March 15 (details below)

On Thursday, March 8th -- International Women's Day -- Montreal police brutally attacked and injured three women who came to the aid of Jaggi Singh when the police arrested him at the annual Women's Day celebration in Montreal.
As the state spins it, Jaggi Singh is to blame for everything! We see it very differently. The arrest of Jaggi Singh and the brutalization of the three women are inextricably linked. Jaggi Singh was there to celebrate International Women's Day with his sisters and got arrested.

As women we are very familiar with being blamed for our own victimization -- the woman who was raped "asked for it", what was she doing out there anyway? Why was she dressed like that? Milia Abrar, who was murdered in Montreal in 1998, had challenged traditions: she asked for it. The missing women, mostly Indigenous sisters, along the 'Highway of Tears' asked for it. The women at École Polytechnique asked for it. The woman whose partner killed her asked for it. The women who were brutalized by the police on 8th March asked for it!

In Montreal on March 8th, 2007, we were criminalized and brutalized for demanding equality. But we served notice long ago. ENOUGH!

What happened in Montreal on March 8th, 2007 must be condemned. As women we must join other Montrealers marking the International Day Against Police Brutality. Be there in numbers.

The days when women were to be seen and not heard and when a woman's place was in the home have gone forever. We will not be silenced, we will not be intimidated by police brutality and we will stand beside Jaggi Singh and all those who walk together with us in our on-going struggle for gender equality!
--Montreal Women Opposed to Police Brutality

International Day Against Police Brutality
5PM, Thursday March 15th, 2007
Bring banners, noise-makers

Monday, March 12, 2007

Racist Violence From Toronto Cops: Beaten for Being Muslim and Wanting to Use the Elevator!!!

In a photo provided by Afzal Badin, he displays some of the injuries inflicted by Toronto police officers

This is a story of racism and police abuse, horrible in its own right. While what happened to Afzal Badin and his family shouldn't happen to anyone, all indications are that it is happening to more and more people, and not all of them are surviving the ordeal. Just think of another your Muslim - Mohamed Anas Bennis - whose run-in with Montreal police in December 2005 left him dead, in circumstances which one can easily imagine were similar to those described below (cops on an unrelated investigation bump into a visibly Muslim young man and decide, for reasons one can only imagine, to take him down).

From today's Toronto Star:

Police hit with $2.6M lawsuit
Young Muslim alleges racial stereotyping, says plainclothes officers didn't identify themselves when quarrel escalated to an armed invasion of his home and a beating

Mar 12, 2007 04:30 AM
Jim Rankin
Staff Reporter

Afzal Badin, late for evening prayer, assessed that the kitchen knife in his hand was no match for the men in the hallway with handguns. He abandoned his plan to confront them, ran back into his family's apartment, locked the door and dialed 911.

This was a matter, he decided, for the police.

It was after 8 p.m., and moments earlier, the 24-year-old devout Muslim, who prays five times a day, had attempted to take an elevator from his family's 10th-floor Toronto apartment to the lobby, where a friend with a car was waiting outside to take him to a mosque.

Three men he had never seen before – all white and dressed in T-shirts and jeans, he says – were in the elevator when the doors opened and prevented him from entering. One, says Badin, gave him a push. He says he told them he was in a hurry and on his way to the mosque and one of the men blocked his way. Words were said and things quickly escalated.

Now they were pounding on the apartment door.

What Badin didn't know at the time was that the men outside the apartment Feb. 26, 2006, were three undercover Toronto police drug squad officers.

One had been slammed by a judge in a recent landmark racial profiling ruling and, years earlier, had been chastised for his conduct during an encounter with a black man.

While Badin was on the phone with the 911 operator, they burst through the door, guns drawn on his parents and other relatives, ranging from his 73-year-old father to a 6-month-old baby, gathered for a typical Indian dinner, the claim says.

Badin, who says he has never had problems with police before, ended up bloodied from a violent takedown and charged with threatening death, assault with a weapon, assault with intent to resist arrest, and disarming an officer.

Later that evening in hospital, eight staples were needed to close a gash on his top right scalp, four for a cut on the top right part of his head, and two more for another scalp wound. A cut on his cheek took three stitches to close and pieces of two front teeth were lost.

Eight months later, an assistant Crown attorney, having reviewed the case and the 911 call, and consulted colleagues including Toronto's Crown attorney Paul Culver, withdrew all charges against Badin.

In a statement of claim filed last week, Badin alleges police instigated a confrontation, initially failed to identify themselves, used excessive force, breached his right to be free from discrimination of race, ethnic origin, and religion, and negligently "by reason of racial stereotype" considered him to be a "lesser person."

Badin and family members are seeking $2.6 million in damages. Four police officers, the police chief, and the Toronto Police Services Board are named as defendants.

Police have not yet filed a statement of defence and the allegations have yet to be proved in court. A police spokesperson said the service intends to defend itself.

The claim that race and religion may have played a role in the incident comes at a trying time for a police service committed to improving relations with various communities – and for a drug squad trying to carry on business in the wake of a series of internal scandals, lawsuits, and criminal charges.

Glenn Asselin, one of the four named officers, was found by a judge in 2004 to have, along with a partner, "fabricated significant aspects" of their evidence and given "untrue" testimony in a case involving a 2001 traffic stop of Kevin Khan, a black motorist wrongly accused of possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

The judge determined Khan, then 26, a teacher and real estate agent, had been stopped by Asselin (and an officer no longer on the force) because of his black skin and the expensive car he was driving. Justice Anne Molloy, in acquitting Khan, also found that he did not know there was cocaine in the car.

One month after that ruling, charges against another black man charged by Asselin and the same former officer were stayed and withdrawn without explanation. The man's lawyer, John Struthers, pointed to the earlier ruling as the reason, and called on the Department of Justice to review cases involving Asselin. It's unclear what became of that request but there was an "extremely comprehensive" internal probe of Asselin's work on the Khan case, said a police spokesperson.

"The (judge's) comments were investigated by a member of the homicide squad, who looked into the entire matter," said Mark Pugash. "The officer's investigation was reviewed by a group of senior people in the organization and their recommendation was there was no evidence to support allegations of misconduct against Asselin."

Khan, too, is suing. Police are challenging his allegations. The case is before the courts, and therefore police won't say any more about the internal probe into the judge's comments.

Asselin had also been cited in another questionable traffic stop of a black man in 1993. A judge found that Asselin and then-partner Richard Shank had "no reasonable basis to stop and demand identification" from the man, who was stopped on a "hunch" in a "drug-infested" area while walking to his car.

Police found no drugs but charged Paul Reece with failing to give proper I.D., driving while under suspension, and assaulting police. Acquitted, he launched a lawsuit of his own – alleging he'd been beaten en route to the police station – that was settled out of court for "tens of thousands" of dollars, Reece's lawyer told the Toronto Star in 2004.

Asselin is not facing – nor has he ever faced – any criminal charges.

Asselin and two other officers named in the suit, Daryl Bell and Douglas Barnard, did not respond to requests for comment. Another officer, Robert Ouellette, declined to comment.

The suit alleges in part that Police Chief Bill Blair was negligent in failing to instruct officers in the need to maintain an "even hand in policing a culturally and ethnically diverse population," and for allowing the named officers to remain members when they "lacked suitable temperaments for such employment."

The officers were in the building conducting an unrelated investigation.

Badin's civil lawyer, Barry Swadron, said in an interview "certain portions of the Crown disclosure cause me a great deal of concern from a profiling point of view. Unfortunately, I am not at liberty to provide details at this time."

Swadron said this case is an example of a civilian being confronted by "old clothes" – or undercover – officers and the confusion over identification and tragedy that can result.

"After reviewing the disclosure and the 911 tape in this matter," the assistant Crown attorney told court last Sept. 12 in the matter of Regina v. Afzal Badin, "and seeing that there is no reasonable prospect of conviction, we are going to ask that all charges ... be marked withdrawn at this time."

Badin came to Canada from India at age 12. He chose several years ago to grow his beard, he wears a traditional Muslim hat and spends hours each day in prayer at the Masjid Darus Salaam mosque on Thorncliffe Park Dr.

The news from court brought great relief. "That was so good," Badin said in a recent interview.

Far better than the night he had the elevator encounter with the three undercovers – identified in the statement of claim as Asselin, Ouellette and fellow drug squad officer Daryl Bell.

When the elevator doors opened around 8:20 p.m., one officer inside, according to Badin's statement of claim, told him to take the stairs. It was the 10th floor, Badin replied, and he tried to board. One officer, according to the claim, grabbed his hand in an attempt to push him from the elevator. All the while, the men "kept uttering profanities." The officers, Badin told the Star, also mistook his religious hat for a "do-rag" – a head covering favoured by some hip-hop artists.

His claim states the three men tried to escalate the situation, so he offered to take the next elevator. He alleges the men "pushed him" away from the button. He then ran to the apartment and announced to about eight family members inside that some men were giving him trouble.

"In a panic," the claim states, he grabbed a kitchen knife and rushed back out hoping to "frighten" the men. His pregnant sister and her husband, went out as well, unarmed. Once outside, they saw that two of the men had guns drawn, turned to get back inside and, in the confusion, Badin's brother-in-law was locked outside with the armed men, who in short order he discovered were police.

Inside, there were "thunderous sounds of attempts to kick in," the door, accompanied by demands that the door be opened or "we will shoot." Inside, Badin at some point dropped the knife and made the 911 call.

The lock gave and the three men rushed inside. A fourth man, identified in the claim as officer Douglas Barnard, also entered.

Family members attempted to shield Badin from the men, and according to the claim, his father was twice shoved and his pregnant sister "pushed ... out of the way." His brother was "grabbed ... by the throat" and shoved. One of the men, according to the claim, pointed a gun at Badin's half-brother, who was holding an infant. Police, according to the claim, eventually got to Badin, who had run "terrified" toward the balcony. "Two of the men pointed their guns at him and threatened to shoot him," states the claim. One officer struck Badin "with the butt of his gun and Afzal fell down," where he was kicked and punched in the face, head and body, the claim says.

Around 8:30 p.m., he was driven to 53 Division station and then to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre to be stapled and stitched up. Nearly five hours later, he was returned to the station, where, according to the claim, he was strip-searched. He was released on bail later that day.

Badin says he now fears police, and when he has contact with them, he looks away. He also says his parents were left shocked. "Every time I step out of the house," he said in an interview, "they tell me to be careful."

Quebec highway blocked by aboriginal group seeking a say in forest sector

Canadian Press
Monday, March 12, 2007
[original article here]

GRAND-REMOUS, Que. (CP) - An aboriginal group blocked off a Quebec highway on Monday to protest logging activity.

Quebec provincial police said about 50 people set up the blockade around 5:30 a.m. on Highway 117, north of Ottawa. The protesters say the Quebec government reneged on a verbal agreement that ended earlier protests. Spokesman Guillaume Carle said the province has not allowed local off-reserve aboriginals to log in the region, as agreed.

"The protest is about the government of Quebec, the Liberals, lying to us," Carle said in an interview as he drove to the protest site.

Two vans, a piece of heavy equipment, barrels and logs have been set up on the highway, the only route between the Laurentian and Abitibi-Temiscamingue regions of Quebec.

Carle said the province allowed rampant clear-cut logging in the region for four years but local aboriginals were not included in either the planning or the economic benefit.

"We're being robbed," he said.

He said protesters are also upset about living conditions for local aboriginals who live off reserves.

"No electricity, no heat, no water," he said. "The conditions are unacceptable." Last month, the protesters picketed the office of the Quebec minister of natural resources.

Carle said the group wants rights to logging in the region as well as a say in overall forestry planing.

The barrier will remain until Quebec sends someone to negotiate a proper agreement, he added.

Provincial police said they were trying to negotiate an end to the protest and that there were no immediate plans to dismantle the blockade.

"Above all, it has to be determined whether intervention would actually complicate things," said police spokeswoman Melanie Larouche.

Larouche said police want to speak to all parties before taking action.

"Police are on site and ready to speak to these groups," she said.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

[Montreal] March 15th: International Day Against Police Brutality

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...


Thursday March 15th,
Snowdon metro

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:

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”?

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.”

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.

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 – –

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
  • DIRA
  • Haïti Action Montréal
  • Ici La Otra
  • Kabataang
  • Libertad
  • 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
  • RAJ-Sherbrooke
  • Solidarity Across Borders
  • Les Sorcières

A Brief Summary of the Official Crimes of the Montreal Police in 2006

The following text from COBP was translated by yours truly - the French original is available on the CMAQ site.

A Brief Summary of the Official Crimes of the Montreal Police in 2006

This text is primarily based on press releases issued by the Service de Police de la Ville de Montreal (SPVM), in which SPVM chief Yvan Delorme has attempted to reassure the public that any police officer suspected of committing a crime is immediately arrested and charged, while simultaneously celebrating the impunity enjoyed by killer cops... So the following does not deal with all of that abuse committed by the police which was never officially discussed by the SPVM. COBP will examine such cases in a subsequent text, but in the meantime here is a preliminary summary of the “official” abuse committed by the Montreal police in 2006.

On January 25th, officer Benoît Guay, a 13-year veteran of the SPVM, was arrested and charged with 22 counts of aggravated sexual assault, kidnapping, forcible confinement, assault and uttering death threats in 2004 and 2005, on seven young women between 15 and 20 years of age. The SPVM suspended him without pay but also tried to protect him by concealing his identity and minimizing the affair, stating that he was only accused “of committing ONE sexual assault”! [emphasis added]

On February 17th, SPVM chief Yvan Delorme declared that he was “satisfied” with the Crown’s decision that no charges would be laid against the two officers implicated in the shooting death of a man – whose identity we still do not know – on July 4th 2005 in Montreal.

Also on February 17th, the SPVM announced that charges of assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm and simple assault were laid against the two officers implicated in the brutal arrest of Anne-Marie Péladeau on October 12th 2005, which had been filmed by a TVA news helicopter. One officer is suspended with half-pay and the other is reassigned to administrative duties.

On March 23rd, an officer the SPVM stated that an officer had been arrested and suspended without pay, although neither the identity of the officer nor the details of the charges were revealed to the public. What’s more, “the SPVM will not release any further details until this case is closed.”

On June 26th, the SPVM announced that “this morning investigators from the Internal Affairs Department arrested one of its police officers [...] on charges of drug trafficking, conspiracy to import a controlled substance [i.e. drugs, -trans.], laundering the proceeds of a criminal act and possession of stolen goods.” The police officer was suspended without pay “until the conclusion of legal proceedings.” The officer’s name was not released.

On September 20th, the SPVM stated that it “has suspended without pay sergeant Alfredo Munoz for as long as he remains before an internal disciplinary committee. The officer was suspended in accord with the disciplinary code of the Montreal City police. The investigation had shown that work he carried out for his company was incompatible with his work as a police officer.” The nature this work is not disclosed.

On October 7th the SPVM announced that an investigation had been opened by the Quebec Provincial Police. According to a press release, “Yesterday, around 11:30pm, police officers from Station 20 were investigating a case of fraud, following up on an earlier call from a business. When the officers intercepted the suspect at the corner of Bridge and Mill, the latter experienced chest pains. The 53 year old man was declared dead at the hospital.”

On October 16th, the SPVM announced that an investigation had been opened by the Quebec Provincial Police, “following events this morning in the Côte-des-Neiges/Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood.” Officers from Station 11 had responded to a report of conjugal violence. The suspect is said to have threatened them “with a blade. The officers opened fire and hit the man [...] the suspect is in stable condition.”

On October 27th, the SPVM announced that “in the course of an investigation, an officer from the SPVM was suspended without pay for the duration of legal proceedings [...] he faces two charges of unauthorized use of a computer [...] the name of the officer cannot be released before his hearing.”

On November 6th, the SPVM announced that the Quebec Provincial Police had opened an investigation following the death of a man in Lachine. Officers with the SPVM had intervened following an armed robbery in a corner store; they located the suspect on the staircase of a triplex at which point, according to the police, he “stabbed himself several times with a knife before the officers could intervene [...] the suspect died as a result of his wounds.”

On December 7th, the SPVM announced that one of its officers with a support unit was suspended without pay, “following the arrest this morning, by the Quebec Provincial Police, of an officer with the SPVM accused of committing several sexual assaults [...] outside of his workplace, while off-duty.” To protect the police officer, the SPVM refused to release his name, all the while claiming that this was in order to “protect the victims,” minors that the police officer knew.

The Montreal Police Brotherhood Goes Oink Oink:
A Brief Summary of Statements Released in 2006

For the most part the following text is based on press releases issued by the Montreal Police Brotherhood, the Montreal police officers’ union. Here one can find various statements from Yves Francoeur, president of the Brotherhood, in defense of brutal and murderous police, as well as political pressure to eliminate any obstacle to police abuse, such as deontology and elements of the police legislation.

On January 13th, the newspaper La Presse published an open letter from Brotherhood president Yves Francoeur under the title “Restons clames!” [ “Stay Calm!”, - trans.]. Francoeur claimed to be writing “on behalf of the 4,400 members of the Brotherhood [...] who feel deeply uncomfortable following the demonstration last Saturday, in the tragic case of the death of Mohamed Anas Bennis.” He complained that “police officers feel betrayed and hurt by certain things that were reported in the media [...] We don’t understand why they are trying to make Montreal [...] out to be a banana republic where police shoot citizens on sight simply because of how they are dressed or their race.” Francoeur concluded by inviting “the Muslim community to be patient, even though this may be difficult, and to wait until all the facts are known before drawing conclusions. Nobody has anything to hide here and the police, both those officers who were directly involved in this case and those who feel attacked by the accusations which were made Sunday, are eager to put this behind them.”

On February 7th the Brotherhood released a press release stating that “Montreal police officers have never been tax collectors and this will not change just because thirty three officers have been assigned to traffic control. The police have only one goal: to guarantee the safety of Montrealers.” This is a reaction to “several recent articles and letters in the newspaper that describe the police officers assigned to traffic control as being plain old tax collectors.”

On February 17th Francoeur “protests” and “wishes to express the union’s great dismay at the suspension of officer Roberto Sforza” (in the Péladeau affair). The Brotherhood “feels that the police administration has committed a serious error by suspending the police officer (with half-pay) before he has even had his hearing [...], as nothing in the collective agreement forces it to do so [...] the Department is carrying out a public lynching of this police officer before he even has a chance to go to trial.” Francoeur claims that “the circumstances certainly justify giving police officers a chance to defend themselves before declaring them guilty in the eyes of the citizens.” He says that Delorme is infringing on the rights of violent police “to a full and complete defense” and “the presumption of innocence,” and that he is “simply giving in to political pressure, caring more about his image and spineless public relations than about justice.” He concludes that “Montreal police officers now know what to expect from the new police administration!”

On August 16th Francoeur released the results of two opinion polls which had been carried out by the Ipsos Decarie research firm on the Brotherhood’s behalf. The first conclusion, “despite what many people, including many police officers, may think, Montrealers appreciate their police officers and the work that they do,” and this despite the fact that “police are often called upon to carry out repressive and coercive measures.” The second conclusion was that the “organizational model promoted by the Police Department makes it difficult for officers to do their work well and to feel satisfied with this [...] The Brotherhood feels that, without throwing out the baby with the bathwater, it would be possible to revisit the Department’s organizational structure to set up a greater number of work groups.” Finally, the Brotherhood denounced the “secondary effects” of the June 2000 police legislation: “when they intervene, officers now feel less confident, less supported and more vulnerable. Because they do not feel supported and feel that the police legislation can be used against them to ill effect by criminals and their lawyers, without the police authorities rising to their defense. In certain circumstances, police officers may be tempted to turn a blind eye instead of intervening [...] The Brotherhood, along with the Quebec Federation of Municipal Police and the Quebec Provincial Police Association, would like to use this opinion poll to convince the Minister of Public Security to undertake a transparent and efficient revision of the police legislation” and to do so “in order to ensure that the measures of deontology established not be counter-productive.”

On September 29th the Brotherhood proudly announced that it had set “an absolute record” during the 40th day of bacon and beans, its annual fundraiser, delivering “20,600 complete deals, the main course of which was beans and bacon”... after which, why are they so surprised that we call them pigs?

Le Collectif Opposé à la Brutalité Policière (COBP)
tel : (514) 859-9065

Saturday, March 10, 2007

US Government Affirms Risk to 9-Year-old Kevin Yourdkhani’s Family if deported to Iran From Texas Jail

Just received this from verbena-19:

Family’s Canadian Supporters Urge Immigration Minister to Immediately grant Temporary Residence Permit to End 5-Week Jail Ordeal

TORONTO, MARCH 9, 2007 — The Canadian lawyer for 9-Year-old Kevin Yourdkhani — a Canadian citizen currently detained over a month in a Texas immigration jail along with his Iranian-born parents — revealed today that the U.S. Government agrees with the assessment of Amnesty International that the family faces a credible risk of persecution or torture if deported to Iran.

“The Canadian government now has TWO separate assessments, both showing that the history of past torture and persecution in Iran told by the Yourdkhani/Alibegi family is credible, and that return to Iran is not a viable option. One comes from the US government, the other from Amnesty International,” says lawyer Andrew Brouwer, who is retained by the family.

However, given the record of US immigration authorities in such cases, and the track record of officials at the Hutto detention facility where Kevin and his family are held with hundreds of other immigrants (including some 200 children), the prospect of release in the imminent future is dim unless there is immediate action from Canada’s Immigration Minister Diane Finley.

“Since March 5, Minister Finley has had on her desk an urgent request to grant a temporary residence permit to the Yourdkhani/Alibegi, and all she needs to do is sign that permit to allow the family out of the miserable conditions they are experiencing in jail and speed their return to Canada, where hopefully they can start piecing their life back together.”

Brouwer points out that the situation in Hutto is poor, and the conditions of detention are the subject of a lawsuit launched this week by the American Civil Liberties Union. 9-year-old Kevin Yourdkhani is suffering from a painful eye infection, eczema and what appears to be either a very bad a cold or flu. He also suffers severe asthma which is complicated by the poor conditions at Hutto.

Meanwhile, the minister’s office has been receiving phone calls and letters from people across Canada urging an immediate resolution of this situation.

For further information, contact Andrew Brouwer at 416-653-2912 or 416-230-2614 or Barbara Hines, the family’s US lawyer, at 1-512-232-1310.

Barristers and Solicitors
596 St. Clair Ave. W, #3
Toronto ON M6C 1A6
tel 416-653-9964 ext. 229
fax 416-653-1036

People are asked to pressure Diane Finley:

Diane Finley
Hill Office
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Telephone: (613) 996-4974
Fax: (613) 996-9749
Web Site:*
Preferred Language: English

Constituency Offices
70 Queensway West
Simcoe, Ontario
N3Y 2M6

Telephone: (519) 426-3400
Fax: (519) 426-0003

Friday, March 09, 2007

Police brutality mars Women's Day Celebration in Montreal

This just in regarding yesterday's police attack on Montreal's IWD march:

Montreal 9 March 2007

Police brutality mars Women's Day Celebration in Montreal
Police Assault women at International Women's Day March

Yesterday, as Montrealers, along with many around the world celebrated International Women's Day - the event was marred by police brutality in which three young women were assaulted, injured and traumatized. Among the issues that were brought up during the speeches at Montreal's women's day march was that in Iran women were prevented from celebrating international women's day. And women in Pakistan were also attacked yesterday in a women's day event. Yesterday's events make ensure Montreal shares this distinction!

Marchers celebrating International Women's Day had walked from Place Emilie Gamelin (Berri Square) to Phillips Square, along Ste-Catherine Street. After speeches they made their way back to Berri Square. The police made an announcement asking people to walk on the sidewalk. Jaggi Singh, who had been one of many male supporters among the 200 strong celebrating international women's day moved onto the sidewalk. The others continued marching in the street. Police officers began to rush towards Singh, still walking on the sidewalk. They grabbed him and threw him against a nearby police car.

Other marchers gathered around the car out of concern for the violent way in which police were intervening. Police began hitting and pushing people indiscriminately. Several people were knocked to the ground with batons and night sticks. Emma Strople, a 17 year old marcher, was hit in the chest with the end of a night stick and thrown to the ground, by an officer later identified as Doyon. Her ribs were bruised, she was winded, trembling from shock and her knee was cut open enough that the blood seeped through her jeans. Two other women were also injured - one woman's lips and mouth were swollen and bleeding, from being punched in the face by a police officer; another left with cuts on her knee and stomach. The police showed a total disregard for the injuries mounting around them. They placed Jaggi Singh in the police car and began to leave. The marchers that remained left by Berri Metro.

The 8th March Committee of Women of Diverse Origins, one of the key groups involved in the march strongly denounces last night's police brutality yesterday and the arrest of Singh. Are we to go back to the time when women in Canada were not considered 'persons'? When women were to be seen and not heard? In Quebec today on the eve of an election we have seen how violence against women is still something that is trivialized, including by those that seek to represent us in the democratic system. Yesterday's police attack on women and their allies proves that even those who are supposed to be the guardians of the law and ensure gender equality, see women as people to be controlled with the threat and the use of violence. Women, as we struggle for equality are facing a backlash. How can we feel safe when the police themselves exhibit the violence that is endemic to patriarchy?

More than ever the police brutality of yesterday demonstrates that we have a long way to go; that women's struggles for equality that have always linked to improving the lives of our families and communities, ensuring democratic processes of equality and participation of ALL in the political process are constantly BLOCKADED by the state and its representatives. How can women seek assistance against the violence in their lives when those entrusted with their safekeeping are perpetrators of brutality and violence?

Last night's police violence is shameful and fearful. We demand that the City of Montreal and the government of Quebec immediately investigate the assaults and arrest of yesterday and that women, our allies and supporters feel safe and free to work in support of equality and justice.

Info: Dolores Chew 514-885-5976

Native Warrior Society Confiscates Olympic Flag: Things Are Heating Up

The following communiqué has been issued by the Native Warrior Society:

March 7th, 2007
Coast Salish Territory [Vancouver, Canada]

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, March 6th, 2007, we removed the Olympic Flag from its flag-pole at Vancouver City Hall. We pried open the access panel on the pole with a crowbar, using a bolt-cutter, cut the metal cable/halyard inside, cause the flag to fall to the ground.

We claim this action in honor of Harriet Nahanee, our elder-warrior, who was given a death sentence by the BC courters for her courageous stand in defending Mother Earth.

We stand in solidarity with those fighting against th destruction caused by the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

No Olympics on Stolen Land!

Native Warrior Society

Thanks to the excellent Liberated Yet? blog for posting the above.

Harriet Nahanee, for those who don't know, was a Pacheedaht grandmother, Elder, and an Indigenous Warrior who had married into the Skwxwu7mesh (Squamish) Nation - one of the only Indigenous protesters protecting the Eagle Ridge Bluff site on Coast Salish Territory where people stayed to protect the site that was slated to be destroyed to expand the Sea to Sky Highway for the 2010 Olympics. For asserting her Indigenous rights as an Indian under the Canadian Constitution and for refusing to apologize for her blockade action, on January 24th, 2007, despite her frail health, Harriet was sentenced to fourteen days in the Surrey Pretrial Centre, a men's prison and a notorious hell-hole for women: she developed pneumonia while inside and was dead within a couple of weeks of her release.

The 2010 olympics are shaping up to be a flash-point for working class and anti-colonial struggle on the West Coast. Already the Native Youth Movement, Vancouver's Anti-Poverty Committee and others have begun mobilizing, as wherever an event like the Olympics lands, it has the effect of boosting the dynamics of exclusion and oppression (also known as "economic development").

On the other side of the ethical divide, settler-racist groups such as the Guardian Angels have vowed to "stand by the police" against the anti-olympics opposition.

Interesting days ahead....

For those of you who actually live in the Vancouver area, you may want to check out this event next Monday:

Shutdown Countdown 2010!

Monday, March 12, 2007
5:15 PM at Vancouver City Hall
(West 12th Avenue & Cambie Street)

This is an official VANOC 'flag lighting' event which we intend to disrupt or shutdown.

Bring noise-makers.

Honour the spirit of Harriet Nahanee!

No Olympics on Stolen Native Land!!!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Christian Klar Videos on Youtube

RAF veteran Christian Klar

For those of you who understand German, you may want to check out these video interviews with Christian Klar on Youtube:
Klar is one of the last remaining Red Army Faction political prisoners being held by the German State (the others being Eva Haule, Birgit Hogefeld and Brigitte Mohnhaupt, who is soon to be released).

Klar has been in the news recently as there has been talk of his being pardoned, just as his with fellow RAF member Mohhaupt was recently paroled. Bourgeois commentators have been shitting themselves in anger, as - from what i know - this veteran of the revolutionary struggle has maintained his politics, and remains an outspoken opponent of capitalism (see for instance this article from Deutsche Welle), even though he has expressed the very humane emotion of regret about the suffering of the RAF's targets.

The Red Army Faction was one of the most audacious and advanced of the metropolitan armed struggle organizations, carrying out numerous attacks in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. A complete collection of Red Army Faction documents, translated into english, are available online here.

Monday, March 05, 2007

[Montreal] Discussion and screening with First Nations filmmakers Alanis Obomsawin and Tracey Deer

Just pasingon this press release i thought might interest some of you:

Les Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM)
present Docu-Mondays

Native women, committed filmmakers

Discussion and screening with First Nations filmmakers Alanis Obomsawin and Tracey Deer

Monday, March 12th 2007, 8pm at INIS
301 de Maisonneuve blvd. east, Montreal (Berri-UQAM metro)
Suggested contribution : $7, students $4, (2$ for INIS students)

Moderator : Claire Buffet

Docu-Mondays are back with a promising evening on Native identity. For internationally renowned pioneer Alanis Obomsawin, who has been filming in First Nations communities for 40 years, as well as for Tracey Deer, a young Mohawk filmmaker, documentrary has proven to be a tool to observe, question and denounce. Their committed films offer an inside view of Native heritage and of the conflicts that frequently colour their communities’ relationships with their dominating neighbors.

Docu-Mondays offer a platform for discussion on the role of documentary film and social commitment. Docu-Mondays, an initiative of filmmaker Magnus Isacsson, are presented by the RIDM, in partnership with INIS and the NFB.

For more information : Sophie Godin, RIDM,, phone : (514) 499-3676