Political Prisoners and the Criminalization of Dissent

Posted: January 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

SAT FEB 9 (7-10 pm) at Old East Studios (755 Dundas St.)

Short films include Conspire to Resist: A Message from the So-Called “G20 Main Conspiracy Group” & Leah-Lynn Plante: Statement from a Resistor.

In Canada as well as the rest of the world there is an increasing pattern of surveillance and criminalization of political organizers, notably anarchists.  In many situations anarchists are being persecuted purely based on their ideology, as is the case with the recent Pacific Northwest grand jury resistors.  In the lead up to the G20 in Toronto, the Canadian state preemptively rounded up a number of prominent organizers, charging them with wide ranging conspiracy charges before the protests had even started.  These individuals were portrayed as being the “ringleaders” or masterminds of the G20 resistance, as if any small group of people could have facilitated the massive outpouring of resistance of tens of thousands of other individuals and groups that weekend.  During this segment, formerly accused “ringleaders” of the G20 will join us to discuss the ongoing state crackdown on dissent, as well as the necessity for prison abolition.

Speakers:
Ashanti Alston Omowali is an anarchist activist, speaker, and writer, and former member of the Black Panther Party. Even though the party no longer exists, Alston sometimes refers to himself as a Black Panther, and sometimes as “the @narchist Panther”, a term he coined in his @narchist Panther Zine series. He was also member of the Black Liberation Army, and spent more than a decade in prison after police captured him and he was convicted of armed robbery. Alston, like most anarchists, disputes the moral issues of property and terms his activity in the BLA “bank expropriation”. Alston is the former northeast coordinator for Critical Resistance, a current co-chair of the National Jericho Movement (to free U.S. political prisoners), a member of pro-Zapatista people-of-color U.S.-based Estación Libre, and is on the board of the Institute for Anarchist Studies.
Mandy Hiscocks is one of the accused G20 “ringleaders” and recently spent time in Vanier. She also kept a journal during her time inside, http://boredbutnotbroken.tao.ca/
Peter Hopperton lives on the once-marshy shores of the western end of Lake Ontario along the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment, in the traditional territory of the Chonnonton people. This area is unfortunately better known as Hamilton. He was among the people charged as part of the G20 Main Conspiracy Group and spent four months in jail for his role in organizing protests against the summit.
Leah Henderson is an organizer based in Toronto, that has spent the last 15 years involved in struggles for justice within apartheid canada. Leah’s involvement in the environmental movement lead her to
supporting Indigenous communities in the struggle for Sovereignty and Self-Determination. Leah has also been part of building communities that fight for justice for queer and trans people, women, low- income, disabled and racialized people. As a facilitator and trainer, she has worked with groups across Turtle Island working on issues ranging from fighting femmephobia to saving sacred headwaters. In June of 2010 she was arrested and charged with 4 counts of conspiracy. She recently completed a 10 month sentence stemming from these charges.
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  1. […] Political Prisoners and the Criminalization of Dissent (7-10 pm) […]

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