A lot of you may know the background to this but I haven't written much about it yet so I'm going to review the details briefly for those who aren't familiar with the situation.
Last week I posted about Alex Hundert, an activist and community organizer who was arrested, along with others, in late June in advance of the G20 summit held in Toronto. Hundert was charged with conspiracy in relation to vandalism and assault that took place in the streets over that weekend and it ought to be an interesting case since, as I said, he was arrested before the crimes were committed. That would suggest the police knew in advance what was going to happen and yet by all the accounts I've read, when the violence actually broke out the cops stood around and watched as if they weren't sure what to do. They didn't really get excited until the next day when people started blowing bubbles and singing the national anthem. That got law enforcement motivated to start taking people into custody — hundreds of them. It's been described as the largest mass arrest in Canadian history.
When Hundert was subsequently released on bail, one of his bail conditions was that he refrain from participating in public demonstrations until his case came to trial. When he took part in a couple of panel discussions at Ryerson University, the Toronto police stretched the definition of "public demonstration" and took him back into custody. Shortly after that a Scarborough Justice of the Peace decided that the liberties taken with the English language by police were acceptable to him too, which is when I got involved (so to speak). Hundert remained in custody over the Thanksgiving weekend and was back in court yesterday.
And he'll remain in custody for the foreseeable future because the court decided to impose even stricter bail conditions and Hundert has refused to sign off on them.
According to a release by his allies, if he were to have accepted bail yesterday, Hundert would have been faced with "additional conditions of non association with Harsha Walia, Dan Kellar, AW@L, SOAR, NOII, no planning/participating/planning public meetings or marches, and no expressing political views including in the media, amongst others."
My emphasis. If you live in Ontario that should really scare the crap out of you. That's real censorship. That's the state, in this case the province of Ontario, forbidding someone from publicly expressing political opinion. It doesn't sound like it's any particular opinion that concerns them. It's obviously not hate speech that they're worried about because they wouldn't have to include that in bail conditions. This is the state telling a citizen who hasn't yet been found guilty of a crime that his views are already regarded as illegitimate before he's even expressed them.
After last week's events, I set up a Google News Alert on Hundert's name. Since the weekend the coverage in what I would consider to be the establishment media has been non-existent.