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No One Is Illegal Solidarity with the anti-G20 Resistance / Legal Defence Fund

Joint Statement of No One Is Illegal Toronto, No One Is Illegal Vancouver, No One Is Illegal Halifax, No One Is Illegal Montreal and No One Is Illegal Ottawa, July 3, 2010

From June 22 to June 27, No One is Illegal dared to dream of a world without fences. As we marched with thousands, we dared to confront the walls erected daily to separate the rich from the poor, the powerful from the powerless. We reclaimed power, we shook the fence, and we broke through the police lines. We challenged the G20’s system of global apartheid as it manifested on the streets of Toronto. We now stand alongside all of those currently caught in the walls of the(in)justice system for daring to envision a world without fences, borders and cages. The people harassed, detained, arrested and charged over this past weekend were migrants, indigenous peoples, people of colour, queer and trans people, feminists, disabled people, anarchists, anti-poverty activists, rank and file labour activists, anti-capitalists, ecological justice activists, and community organizers. They are our allies and our friends; they are the fabric of our communities.

In particular, we stand in solidarity with those who have faced and are currently facing the worst excesses of the repressive police state, including several members of No One is Illegal Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Many of these organizers were targeted not only for their involvement in opposing the G20, but for their ongoing work struggling for communities that are rooted in love, justice and self-determination. They are dedicated, courageous and passionate organizers who continue to be an inspiration within our communities. The state’s attempt to criminalize these individuals is a targeted attempt to silence our movements.

But we will not be silenced. We raged on the streets this week in Toronto. We will rage in the courts and in the prisons. We will continue to rage as we work daily in our local communities. And we will tear the fences down.

The G8 and G20 leaders and their corporate villains erect borders, manufacture weaponry, pillage the earth with industrial projects and profit from war. They push people from their homes and force people to migrate across borders and into situations of precarity. Daily, we stand in solidarity with those who are deemed “illegal” by the colonial state and are forced to live under the threat of detention and deportation. And daily, we organize against the racism and xenophobia that defines the history of colonization and displacement in Canada.

The type of repression seen during the weekend is not only a testament of Canada being a police state, but a glimpse into the daily reality of indigenous and racialized communities. When the police state indiscriminately turns its batons against ‘innocent’ bystanders, members of the media, and a diverse range of protesters, we see responses of widespread public shock and anger. Yet we refuse to exceptionalize this moment, the largest mass-arrest in Canadian history, at the expense of normalizing the daily violence of police and prisons and the criminal (in)justice system for Indigenous communities, people of colour, low income neighborhoods, street-involved youth, and trans people.

We further reject all differentiation between so-called ‘peaceful’ and ‘violent’ protesters, while the violence that compels us to resist, assert our dignity and struggle for justice – enabled by policies and deals such as those brokered by the G8 and G20 – is callously ignored. Instead, our outrage is directed at the policing apparatuses that are a central part of the militarization of Canada, the criminalization of our communities, and the brutality that defines the prison-industrial complex and the global realities of detention and imprisonment.

Those brutalized, harassed, and violated in the fallout of the Toronto G20 protests now join the three community organizers arrested last week in Ottawa in facing the consequences of a system more interested in protecting property than people. We must be steadfast in our support for those who are being targeted, by mobilizing around the upcoming trials and court battles. We will not allow the courts, the police, or the media to divide our solidarity. We demand the immediate release of ALL our friends and allies who are still being held in detention. We call on everyone to join us in taking back our city from the hands of the security state that has turned it into an armed fortress.

No One is Illegal stands with all of those who were on the streets resisting the G20 and the Toronto police state. They cannot jail our hearts. No borders, no fences! No one is illegal, Canada is illegal!

www.nooneisillegal.org

* June 22 Statement “No One Is Illegal at the G8/G20 Mobilizations in Toronto”: http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/newsrelease/3703

* Video of No One Is Illegal and Defenders of the Land at “No Fences, No Borders” press conference at the G20 fence in Toronto: http://bchannelnews.tv/?p=5690

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The G20 Legal Defense Fund Needs Your Help!

We need donations to support those arrested at the G20. You can support the detainees’ legal costs and help alleviate some of the other costs of navigating the court system, and help us keep organizing. We will be distributing the funds to those with the most need, prioritizing those still in custody on serious charges.

From June 25-27, elites from the world’s most powerful economies met in Huntsville and Toronto to draft policies to further exploit the environment and people, bolstering the systems that sustain colonialism, wars and displacement. Tens of thousands of people mobilized in a historic weeklong convergence in opposition to these policies. Daily demonstrations highlighted struggles for Indigenous sovereignty; environmental justice; migrant justice; an end to war and occupation; community control over resources; gender justice; and queer and disability rights.

Over $1.2 billion was spent on security, the most in G20 summit history, which paid for a dizzying array of weaponry and nearly 20,000 police—plus a security fence that turned Toronto into a fortress to host a select few and a police state to terrorize the rest of us.

Nearly 1,000 people, protesters and bystanders alike, were detained—the largest mass arrests in Canadian history. They were held for long periods in makeshift cages in deplorable conditions, most without timely access to legal counsel. Many had been simply caught up in massive police sweeps of public areas. Others were woken at gunpoint while sleeping. Others were picked up at their homes. Some of those arrested are still in custody. Fifteen face serious charges. Many of these are long-time community organizers.

We need to support all of those arrested during the G20 summit. We must continue to mobilize and build greater solidarity among our communities. An important part of this will be supporting our courageous allies still in detention.

To transfer funds or write a cheque (with G20 Legal defense on the subject line) send donations to: OPIRG York, transit number 00646, institution number 842, account number 3542240

Mail the cheques (written to OPIRG York, with G20 legal defense on the subject line) to:
Toronto Community Mobilization Network
360A Bloor Street W
PO Box 68557
Toronto, ON
M5S 1X0

To use PayPal go to *g20.torontomobilize.org*

Thank you for your help. Together we will create a just world that places people and the environment before the profits of corporations and the political elite.

In solidarity,
Toronto Community Mobilization Network