From the G20, to Occupy Toronto to Indigenous struggles, we have seen the way that the State uses the court system and criminal charges to divide our movements and drive our communities apart. The Movement Defence Committee is seeking to develop new resources to support community members and activists as they go through legal and court processes. We are soliciting feedback from individuals and groups about what kinds of supports, information and resources would assist with navigating the legal process and court system. If you have been targeted by the State or if you have provided support to others navigating criminal charges and court processes, we would like to hear from you about what kinds of resources, materials and other supports will assist you in this work.
Reminder: if you have a potential claim or legal action against the police arising out of the G20, there is a two
year statute of limitations period which is quickly approaching. Generally speaking, any legal claims must be initiated within two years of the date upon which the acts complained of took place, otherwise the claim may be out of time.
We also write to let you know that we may have documentation and/or witnesses to assist you with your claim. If you are bringing a claim against police or other state agents arising out of the G20 events, please contact us to let us know. We had many legal observers on the streets documenting incidents, including arrests and police abuses, and with their permission, we may be able to put you in touch.
Finally, if you witnessed any police misconduct and abuses, please feel free to contact us to let us know so that we may put you in touch with potential claimants.
We write to express our ongoing support and solidarity for the G20 defendants. We support the decision of the G20 defendants to enter into a plea agreement with the Crown. We also wish to express our deep sadness and dismay that key community organizers will be serving potentially lengthy jail sentences.
As lawyers, law students and legal workers who work with and support social movements, we recognize that there may be limited opportunities for victories before the courts. Both historically and in the present, the legal system, including criminal charges against activists, have often been used as a tool to suppress social movements for progressive social change. The MDC opposes the use of conspiracy charges to this end. We believe that it is an important victory that no convictions or guilty pleas were obtained on the conspiracy charges laid against the G20 Defendants.
A Clarification from the Movement Defence Committee Respecting Claims in the Article “G20 Conspiracy Case: The Inside Story”November 28, 2011 - 12:11pm | by movementdefence
An article entitled “G20 Conspiracy Case: The Inside Story,” published on CrimethInc.com at http://www.crimethinc.com/blog/2011/11/24/g20-conspiracy-case-the-inside..., and also published on infoshop.org at http://infoshop.org/page/toronto-g20-conspiracy, has claimed that "cops in the MDC us(ed) information meant to help protestors with their legal defense against them." The article also states that information from the Movement Defence Committee (MDC), a working group of the Law Union of Ontario, was used against a specific G20 defendant.
These claims appear to be based on a misunderstanding of events and the MDC’s organizational structure. We would like to take this opportunity to clarify the distinction between the MDC itself, which has a closed membership, and the Legal Observer programs we run, which are open to the public.
The MDC is providing legal support on an ongiong basis for Occupy Toronto.
If you've been ARRESTED at Occupy Toronto or have witnessed an ARREST, please call 416-833-6137 or TTY: 416-619-0422.
If you receive a TICKET during Occupy Toronto, folow the instructions on the back of the tickets and choose the TRIAL OPTION. Feel free to send us an e-mail using the Contact Us page to report your ticket. If there is sufficient interest we will conduct a workshop on how to fight your ticket.
Stay tuned for for updates on continuing Legal Support.