[Hpn] Ottawa: HOMES NOT BOMBS 37 found Not Guilty FWD

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Mon, 13 Nov 2000 10:41:17 -0800 (PST)


Below find 2 articles about HOMES NOT BOMBS,
a nonviolent direct action group in Canada:

FWD #1 - Sat, 11 Nov 2000  From: Brian Burch <burch@tao.ca>

OTTAWA HOMES NOT BOMBS 37 FOUND NOT GUILTY

	On November 6th and 7th  of this year 37 of the original 54 people
who were arrested last November 12th were found not guilty.  4 had been
released without charges.  13 had chosen to plead guilty.
	There was an effort to continue the spirit of protest into the
courtroom.  From the very beginning, when pleas such as "I please for peace
and for justice' and "I please for the 49 people who froze to death on the
streets of Ottawa' were given instead of pleas of guilty or not guilty, an
effort was made by the defendants and their witnesses to keep the attention
focused on the issues of war and homelessness that lead to the protest.
	Keeping with the spirit of open non-violence a statement
of facts was agreed to by both the crown and the defendants.
This statement stressed that the protest was non-violent, did not
contest any of the identities of the 37 accused and included an
admission that the arrested either sat on the sidewalk and were charged
with 'obstruct police' or sat on the roadway and were charged with
'mischief'.
	The crown's focus was on whether or not the accused had been
told to leave the area, with a lesser focus on the length of time of the
protest---over an hour and a half during a Friday rush hour.
	The defense focus was on the motivations for the actions.
	The actions during the lead up to the protest was a key part of the
defense.  From informing the Ottawa Transit of the protest weeks in advance
to efforts to arrange for a meeting with Defense Minister Art Eggleton, the
weeks of preparation were stressed in an effort to indicate that there was
ample opportunity for Ottawa officials to arrange to deal with a protest.
The police admitted that they were very much aware of the protest, indeed
that two undercover officers had attended a non-violence training session
prior to the action.
	Defense witnesses also stressed their background---from working
with the homeless to working on human rights campaigns to personal
experiences with poverty.
	The defense also relied on three cases---Regina vrs Behrens,
Regina vrs Burch and Regina vrs Hiscocks.  These three cases involved
criminal charges arising from non-violent protests---the Queen's Park
Plant-in, May Day on Bay and the Guelph protest that included sitting in
front of Mike Harris' campaign bus during the last provincial election.  In
all of these cases the accused were acquitted and limitations suggested on
the use of the criminal code to deal with non-violent dissent.
	Judge Fontana took a great deal of time in reaching his decision.
He claimed that "it was a particularly unique demonstration, very well
organized and thoroughly prepared for the use of non-violent means of
protest.  The methods used by the protesters were ones employed to
communicate a message.  They were imaginative in that they communicated
concerns without resorting to violence, without resorting to force."
  	The judge made positive reference to the three cases, but most
directly to Regina vrs Hiscocks and to a lesser extent Regina vrs Behrens.
The judge felt that the principles outlined in these cases by the judges in
coming to their decisions were ones that should be followed, especially
examining the idea of limits of
tolerance for political actions before they are perceived as criminal wrong
doing.  The judge declared that he was not bound by these cases but was
persuaded by them.
	On the basis of the cases presented and due to the peaceful nature
of the protest, the charges were dismissed.

  vegetarian, nonviolence, consensus
-Food Not Bombs List     fnb-l@lists.tao.ca
-distributing food in opposition to violence
-archive: http://archive.foodnotbombs.ca
-active cities: http://webcom.com/peace
-send '(un)subscribe fnb-l'  to lists@tao.ca

END FORWARD

FWD #2 - Mon, 23 Oct 2000
REPLY TO "Toronto Action for Social Change" <tasc@web.ca>

HOMES NOT BOMBS PICKETS EGGLETON

Amount Canada will spend on war (including attack helicopters, grenade
launcher systems, machine guns, submarines) in fiscal year 2000-2001: $11.2
billion

Amount Canada will spend on a new affordable housing construction program
to address the national crisis of homelessness in fiscal year 2000-2001: $0.

Canada Needs Homes, not Bombs!

Nonviolent Pickets of
War Minister Art Eggleton's Toronto Election Office
Saturdays, Noon-1:30 pm, from October 28-November 25
520 Wilson Heights (at Sheppard-just east of Downsview subway station). If
you cannot make it, call Eggleton's office to express your outrage: (416)
638-1700

Say no to Star Wars and Massive War Spending,
Say Yes to Affordable Housing

Two major issues ignored by the Liberals and most political parties are
those of poverty and militarism, both of which are rapidly increasing in
this country. When Ottawa says there are no monies for affordable housing,
they turn around and buy attack helicopters or contract for grenade
launcher systems. And while Eggleton parades his "respect" for the average
Canadian soldiers, hundreds of Canadians veterans are suffering and dying
from exposure to depleted uranium during the Gulf War: their pleas for
assistance and treatment are treated as "psychological" problems.

On October 6, Eggleton, the former mayor of Toronto, again ignored the
plight of the city's homeless when he announced a new $36 million military
contract to construct consolidated facilities at the Downsview war base.
This could have provided over 1,000 units of affordable housing. New
contracts are announced daily for attack simulator systems, grenade
launchers, upgrades to CF-18 fighters which already fire 6,000 rounds a
minute, and more. And Eggleton is a loud cheerleader for the U.S.-revived
Star Wars nuclear war fighting program. Meanwhile, 2-3 homeless people die
every week on the streets of Toronto.

For info: call Toronto Action for Social Change at (416) 651-5800; tasc@web.ca

END FORWARD


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