[Hpn] Fwd: Media reports of OCAP arrests

Bonnie Briggs s248_1132@hotmail.com
Mon, 24 Jul 2000 09:58:52 -0700 (PDT)

Hi all,
  Here is a further update on the OCAP arrests. Corrections and words in 
parentheses are mine.
>  Hi..........
>  Here are reports from the Toronto Star and the
>  Canadian Press July 22 and 23 about the arrests
>  of OCAP members on July 21, 2000.
>  Added below are accounts of John Clarke's comments
>  when he was released from Toronto's Don Jail on
>  July 22, 8:15 pm, by two OCAP supporters.
>  The details in these media reports are not 100% accurate,
>  but they are close enough that I will not take the
>  time to make corrections.
>  OCAP Allies are holding a fundraiser for OCAP
>  at Club 360 at 328 Queen St. on the evening of
>  Saturday, Aug. 26.  Contact Professor David McNally
>  of York University at <dmcnally@yorku.ca>
>  Bob Olsen.........
>  Toronto Star
>  July 22, 2000
>  Clarke arrested over riot at Queen's Park
>  Police, protesters were hurt at last month's demo
>  By Elvira Cordileone and Harold Levy
>  Toronto Star Staff Reporters
>  Ontario Coalition Against Poverty head John Clarke and three
>  other activists have been charged in connection with a
>  homelessness demonstration that turned violent last month at
>  Queen's Park.
>  The activists, charged yesterday, are in custody pending
>  a bail hearing today at Old City Hall.
>  In a written statement, Toronto police Chief Julian
>  Fantino said the investigation into events at Queen's
>  Park June 15 has led to charges against 32 people.
>  Most of the arrests took place during the riot.
>  ``We are still paying the price for damage caused in the
>  riot,'' said Fantino, listing injuries to officers and
>  horses, and damage to police equipment and to the
>  legislative building.
>  News reports at the time said dozens of people -
>  demonstrators and police - were injured in the melee.
>``Although I fully support citizens' rights to participate
>  in lawful protest, I will not under any circumstance
>  tolerate or ignore unlawful activities, especially those
>  that jeopardize public safety or officer safety,'' wrote
>  Fantino.
>  ``So far (the police are) picking off activists for sure,
>''said Robert Kellerman, Clarke's lawyer.
>  ``But whether they have any evidence is something else.''
>  He questioned why Clarke, 46, was arrested riding his
>  bicycle when arrangements could have been made for his
>  surrender.
>  ``I think there is a tendency in this province to try to
>  criminalize anyone who organizes the poor and points the
>  finger at the homelessness and the suffering that's going
>  on,'' he added. ``So the trick is to sort of say these
>  people are criminals.''
>  At a hastily called news conference at police headquarters
>  on College St., Sergeant Jim Muscat conceded the charges
>  are geared toward the organizers of the protest. He said
>  there may be more arrests.
>  Clarke is the only one of the four also charged with
>  counselling to commit an indictable offence, a charge that
>  carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail.
>  He is also charged with participating in a riot, failing
>  to comply with recognizance and failing to comply with a
>  probation order.
>  In a sworn affidavit used to obtain a search warrant,
>  Detective Steve Irwin, (Irwin is an idiot) of the Toronto police 
>  unit, said he saw the demonstrators circle around Clarke,
>  who addressed the crowd through a loudspeaker.
>  Irwin said he then saw the demonstrators put masks, bandanas
>  and goggles on their faces before they approached the metal
>  barricades at the entrance to the Legislature, shouting.
>  ``I then observed numerous projectiles being hurled from the
>  crowd of demonstrators in the direction of the uniform police
>  officers inside the barricades and in front of the Legislature
>  building,'' he said.
>  Gaetan Heroux, 45, is charged with participating in a riot,
>  two counts of assaulting a police officer, obstructing a peace
>  officer and failure to comply with a recognizance.
>  Stefan Pilipa, 24, is charged with participating in a riot
>  and failing to comply with a recognizance.
>  Patricia Lilley, 27, is charged with participating in a riot
>  and possession of dangerous weapons.
>  Sarah Vance, an organizer and member of the coalition,
>  expressed no surprise at the arrests.
>  ``This is a typical situation. We had made our legal
>  arrangements beforehand.
>  ``Cops will use whatever means they have to obstruct our
>  ability to do our work. I think the police's job is to target
>  organizations like OCAP, to make it as difficult as possible
>  for public dissent to continue,'' said Vance.
>  Megaly San Martin, a worker with Parkdale Community Legal
>  Services and one of the activists jailed during the riot,
>  said police are using the latest arrests to intimidate
>  people who have been supporters of the coalition and others
>  who have been critical of police conduct during the
>  demonstration.
>  ``It's a scary thing,'' said San Martin.
>  Jul 22, 21:18 EDT
>  Anti-poverty activists released on bail
>  From Canadian Press
>  The head of an anti-poverty group and two other activists
>  charged in last month's violent protest at the Ontario
>  legislature were released on bail Saturday under strict
>  conditions.
>  John Clarke, chief organizer for the Ontario Coalition
>  Against Poverty, was charged Friday with leading the June
>  demonstration.
>  Clarke, who was arrested Friday while riding his bicycle,
>  faces four charges, including participating in a riot and
>  counselling to commit an indictable offence. He was ordered
>  released on $2,000 bail.
>  Gaetan Heroux, 45, and Stefan Pilipa 24, who were also
>  charged Friday, were released after the hearing.
>  Strict conditions ban the three men from having contact
>  with anyone in the anti-poverty group.
>  The court also ruled the activists can't take part in any
>  demonstrations and must stay away from the legislature.
>  A fourth person arrested, Patricia Lilley, 27, was released
>  prior to the bail hearing.
>  Jeff House, the group's lawyer, said he will fight to
>  overturn the bail conditions.
>  ''The conditions are unconstitutional,'' said House.
>  ''The idea that they can't go to Queen's Park . . . seem to
>  me to be overboard to say the least.'
>  About 100(200) of Clarke's supporters gathered at the courthouse
>  for Saturday's hearing, including union leaders from the York
>  University Faculty Association, the Canadian Union of Postal
>  Workers and the Canadian Auto Workers.
>  After the hearing, Heroux said he would abide by the
>  conditions placed on his release but told reporters the
>  restrictions would not stop anti-poverty activists from
>  fighting homelessness.
>  ''If you turn your cameras away from me right now you will
>  find thousands of people living and dying on these streets,''
>  he said.
>  ''And you will not stop us from speaking about that.''
>  While Heroux and Pilipa were freed once the necessary
>  paperwork was completed, Clarke was kept in jail until
>  Saturday evening.
>  Const. Steve Irwin said Clarke was transported to a provincial
>  jail when it became apparent that his wife was not available
>  to sign his surety.
>  ''He was available to be released, but he needs to have
>  someone sign his surety, and also a justice of the peace has
>  to be present,'' Irwin said earlier in the day.
>  When Clarke was finally released, he told reporters the
>  arrests would not deter activists from continuing their work.
>  ''I don't think anybody who is involved in the fight against
>  poverty intends to stop fighting against poverty,'' he said.
>  ''The three individuals that have been arrested certainly are
>  not the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, and that
>  organziation is going to continue even in the short term.''
>  Investigators have now charged 32 people with various crimes
>  connected to the bloody demonstration against homelessness.
>  The June 15 clash left dozens of demonstrators injured, while
>  police said 42 officers were harmed, as well as six police
>  horses, one of which was stabbed.
>  House said his clients will all plead ''absolutely not
>  guilty,'' to the charges.
>  ''They were at a protest, the protest became violent, they
>  had nothing to do with the violence,'' he said.
>  ''My clients did nothing wrong whatsoever.''
>  Clarke is to be back in court on Wednesday.
>  The fierce hour-long protest erupted when a delegation from
>  the crowd of anti-poverty demonstrators, union supporters and
>  homeless people demanded to address the legislature, a
>  privilege only occasionally granted to foreign heads of state.
>  Police have been conducting an investigation into the melee
>  and have seized photographs and videotapes collected by media
>  organizations that reported on it.
>  Several media groups are planning to challenge the police
>  warrants in court.
>  The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty represents the homeless
>  in Toronto and has battled police and politicians almost
>  constantly throughout its 11-year history.
>  Clarke, who turned to professional activism in 1982 when he
>  was laid off from a factory job in London, Ont., has been
>  known to all but justify the violence of his group's protests.
>  Clarke has also advocated 'squatting,' when homeless people
>  break into abandoned buildings and essentially take up residence.
>  Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman has called the protest organizer a
>  ''thug'' and his followers ''professional bums.''
>  Toronto Star        July 23, 2000
>  Three accused in riot freed on bail
>  But angry lawyer calls strict curbs unconstitutional
>  By Heather Greenwood, Toronto Star Staff Reporter
>  Three men arrested in connection with a riot at Queen's Park were
>  ordered released on bail yesterday morning at Old City Hall court.
>  But strict conditions imposed on the three members of the Ontario
>  Coalition Against Poverty by the court are unconstitutional, their
>  lawyer Jeff House says.
>  ``I was glad to see that they were all released, but I have some
>  deep concerns about the conditions,'' House said. ``They're
>  particularly related to police perceptions that OCAP is a
>  conspiracy.''
>  Almost a dozen conditions imposed by justice of the peace Don
>  Begley include that the three men not go within 500 metres of
>  Queen's Park, not go within 50 metres of Allan Gardens, not
>  participate in protests, demonstrations or marches, and stay away
>  from members of OCAP and each other.
>  House told the court he intends to take the issue to a higher
>  court within the next two weeks.
>  OCAP head John Clarke, 46, was arrested Friday as he rode his
>  bicycle in Toronto. He was charged with counselling to commit an
>  indictable offence, participating in a riot, failing to comply
>  with a recognizance and failing to comply with a probation order.
>  Also arrested were three OCAP activists.
>  Gaetan Héroux, 45, is charged with participating in a riot, two
>  counts of assaulting a police officer, obstructing a peace officer
>  and failure to comply with a recognizance.
>  Stefan Pilipa, 24, is charged with participating in a riot and
>  failing to comply with a recognizance.
>  Patricia Lilley, 27, is charged with participating in a riot and
>  possession of dangerous weapons. Lilley was released Friday, but
>  Clarke, Pilipa and Héroux were held in jail overnight.
>  Before noon yesterday, both Pilipa and Héroux were released on
>  $5,000 bail each, to a small applauding crowd outside the courthouse.
>  The two spoke separately to reporters - to avoid breaching their
>  conditions - pledging their commitment to the fight against poverty.
>  They then headed off in different directions.
>  But in a ``dirty trick,'' Clarke was sent back to jail despite his
>  wife, Deborah Phelps, arriving alongside sureties for his
>  co-accused yesterday morning to pay his $2,000 bail, House said.
>  More than eight hours later, a weary-looking Clarke was released.
>  ``An obstacle has been placed in our way, but we'll be challenging
>  that,'' he said, referring to the bail conditions. ``I was in jail
>  for less than two days; if my spirit is broken on that basis then
>  I might as well give up.
>  ``We have to pay some attention in the next short period of time
>  to addressing these conditions and getting them removed,'' he
>  continued, ``and then we'll move on with what we need to do.''
>  Crown Attorney Vincent Paris told the court that nine police horses
>  were attacked, six were stabbed or injured and two officers were
>  physically assaulted by Héroux as protesters acted under the
>  guidance of the three men.
>  Paint found at Pilipa's house and on a shirt owned by Héroux after
>  their arrests are ``consistent with that thrown at the riot,''
>  Paris added.
>  But House said the three men will plead not guilty to the charges.
>  ``They were at a protest and the protest became violent,'' House
>  said. ``The fact that someone has paint on his shirt and the fact
>  that the colour is the same as that at a demonstration, what does
>  that prove? Nothing,'' House said.
>  About 150(200) people gathered at the courthouse yesterday, chanting
>  solidarity songs, condemning police action during the riot and
>  holding signs and banners that read ``Hands off OCAP organizers''
>  and ``Homelessness is a national disaster.''
>  Scores of police officers on bicycles, motorcycles, horses, in
>  cruisers and on foot were also on hand in anticipation of a repeat
>  of the June 15 riot.
>  But Toronto police Sergeant Jim Muscat said that yesterday's
>  protest was peaceful and only one arrest was made.
>  ``The Toronto Police Service respect the right of any particular
>  group to demonstrate, but at the same time there is an onus and
>  responsibility on the part of the demonstrators,'' he said. ``We
>  ask that demonstrations be conducted in a peaceful manner.''
>  To date, more than 30 people have been arrested in connection
>  with the riot.
>  OCAP organizers say a fundraising benefit for members injured in
>  the riot is planned at Club 360 at 328 Queen St. on Aug. 26.
>Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2000 22:49:27 -0400
>To: bobolsen@interlog.com
>From: sworker@idirect.com (Paul Kellogg)
>Subject: John Clarke's release
>You asked me to e-mail you what I heard when John Clarke was
>released (July 22, 8:15 pm). Here's a short account.
>The situation, as you know, was absurd. One of the conditions
>of his release was that he not associate with members of OCAP.
>So the OCAP people at the Don Jail could not actually go up and
>greet him when he was eleased.
>As someone who is not an OCAP member, I was able to be present
>when he talked to the press. I did not have a tape recorder.
>The following is as I remember it.
>He was asked how his time in jail had affected his commitment
>to fight against poverty.
>He replied that a short period in jail was nothing compared to
>the battles faced by the poor in Ontario. He also said that in
>jail, he discovered many people who supported OCAP. Terrible
>overcrowding and bad conditions made many of the inmates very
>sympathetic to OCAP. There were, he said, even a few sympathetic
>A reporter asked him about the conditions of his arrest, and
>whether that angered him. (He was not given the opportunity to
>turn himself in, but was stopped and arrested while cycling over
>the Bloor Viaduct).
>He replied that his personal situation was not the point. The
>point was, the ongoing attempt by the police to criminalize the
>fight against poverty, to intimidate and harass activists, to
>send out a message to those who wanted to stand up and fight.
>Many reporters tried to press him on what affect his bail
>conditions would have on the work of OCAP. Clarke said that OCAP
>lawyers were be pursuing the matter in the court, but regardless
>of the legal intimidation, the fight against poverty would
>continue, and that OCAP would continue to be a part of that fight.
>There were a few other small points raised, but the paragraphs
>above, I think capture, the key parts of what Clarke said.
>Paul Kellogg
>Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2000 22:53:00 -0400
>From:	Bill Fitzpatrick <b.fitzpatrick@utoronto.ca>
>To:	bobolsen@interlog.com
>CC:	CLC_LO@listbot.com, ondp-list@egroups.com, LABOR-L@YorkU.CA,
>san-d@lists.tao.ca, sfb-l@lists.tao.ca, YORKPIRG@YORKU.CA
>Subject: john clarke released - a brief account of his imprisonment
>i spoke with john as we drove back to his home. he spoke of his
>treatment in the don jail and the support that he received from
>some of the guards. he spoke of the horrendous conditions in the
>don in which 3 people were confined to a cell, 2 on bunks and one
>on a floor board. the prisoners were locked down for 12 hours
>when first detained at the don jail he was held with a group of
>52 prisoners. they held, what sounded like, a large group
>discussion with john explaining why he was incarcerated and other
>prisoners conveying why they were incarcerated and the conditions
>they are forced to endure within the don jail. the prisoners were
>supportive of the efforts of ocap and cheered john when he parted.
>they asked him not to forget them and the accounts that they
>conveyed to him about the conditions within the jail.
>it is important to note that john's extended incarceration was very
>uncommon and speaks to the pettiness of the police and the judicial
>system in their belief that this would somehow deter or intimidate
>him. john should have been granted bail and released yesterday.
>after today's bail hearing a judge, apparently 'forgot' to sign his
>release papers and as a result john was transferred back to the don
>to be held until they could be signed. ocap's legal advisors
>indicated that usually people are released (with bail as small as
>$2000)shortly after their bail hearing and the papers are then
>signed on monday. generally people are not held in custody. the
>fact that john was held appears to be purely political.
>ocap will be meeting monday at 6pm in the basement of the parkdale
>library. unfortunately, at this point, john, gaetan, stefan and pj
>will not be able to attend due to the conditions of their bail but
>i encourage the rest of us to attend.
>in solidarity,
>bill fitzpatrick.
>    .............................................
>    Bob Olsen, Toronto      bobolsen@interlog.com
>         Freedom is participation in power
>    .............................................

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