[Hpn] Fwd: Vilifying John Clarke
Mon, 19 Jun 2000 17:49:52 -0700 (PDT)
Here is what John Clarke says about the riot at Queen's Park.
> Toronto Star, June 19, 2000
> Poverty activist denies inciting riot
> Clarke worries he'll wait in jail if charges laid
> By Theresa Boyle, Toronto Star Queen's Park Bureau
> HAMILTON (Staff) - John Clarke has denied he incited last
> week's riot at Queen's Park, but says he's prepared for a
> legal challenge should police charge him.
> Appearing at the NDP convention here yesterday, the Ontario
> Coalition Against Poverty activist said he's confident he
> could beat charges but is worried about the time he might
> have to spend in jail waiting for the case to come up in court.
> ``I'm looking at the situation of sitting in the Don Jail or
> Metro West Detention Centre for the next large part of the year,
> waiting for a trial. If that happens, I don't want to sound
> self-serving, but I hope there's going to be a few people saying
> something about that,'' he said to about 50 members of the NDP
> socialist caucus, the extreme left faction of the party.
> Clarke blamed police for sparking the violence.
> ``They made a decision, rather than to hold a line and as much
> as possible prevent or de-escalate (the) confrontation, they
> chose to clear the grounds. They came forward
> swinging and they used horses at top speed,'' he said.
> ``Clearly they went at it with an enthusiasm that could have
> well left several bodies lying on the ground.''
> Clarke denied having anything to do with the violent activities
> of protesters who were seen throwing bricks, Molotov cocktails
> and paint bombs at police.Nevertheless, he said he's prepared
> for police to pin the entire melee on him.
> ``An attack on me is being perhaps prepared by the police,''
> he said.
> ``They are talking about coming and arresting me.''
> He emphasized that he's not the leader of the Ontario
> Coalition of Poverty, which organized the protest.
> ``We try in OCAP to stress that we're an organization that has
> very much a collective leadership and a collective
> decision-making system and we try to sometimes combat this
> rather ridiculous cult-of-personality stuff they use to
> present . . . my whims as OCAP's life.''
> Clarke said `a campaign of vilification' of the protesters
> has already begun.
> Bob Olsen, Toronto email@example.com
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