Toronto: Reclaim The Streets TRIAL resumes May 25 (please

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Sat, 22 May 1999 10:33:57 -0700 (PDT)


FWD  21 May 1999
     CC Replies To: "Brian Burch" <burch@tao.ca>

(please circulate widely)

TORONTO ACTION FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
P.O. Box 73620, 509 St. Clair Ave. West
Toronto, Ontario
M6C 1C0
PHONE:  416-651-5800  EMAIL:  tasc@web.net

RECLAIM THE STREET TRIAL CONTINUES
MAY 25, 26 AND 27TH

	A 10:00 a.m. on May 25th, starting in Courtroom 123 of Toronto Old
City Hall Courts, the trial of 5 activists arrested for events that occured
during the Reclaim The Streets celebration in Toronto in May 16th of last
year, resumes.   Darren Odonnell, Brian Burch, Gregory Herrington, Benjamin
Donoghue and Kevin Thomas have spent over a year waiting for the courts to
determine their fate.  6 more police officers will be called when the trial
resumes.  The defense will then have their turn.

	This trial is a serious one in many ways.  The possible sentences,
in addition to potential fines, probation and community service orders are
not trivial.  Unlawful Assembly carries a jail term of up to 6 months.
Assist Escape, a charge laid against three of the accused, carries a
possible prison term of 2 years.  Assault police (summary) carries a jail
term of up to 6 months.  As several of the accused have prior convictions
for participating in other demonstrations, a jail term is quite possible
for those found guilty of any of the offenses.

	As well, Clayton Ruby and Jill Copeland will be launching a
constitutional challenge to try and have the Unlawful Assembly law
struck down as unconstitutional (a summary of the arguments is available
upon request.   This charge makes the trial a very significant one for both
the crown and the defendants as there has not been a conviction for this
charge in Ontario since The Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into effect
over a decade ago.  It is likely that an appeal will be launched no matter
what side wins the argument.  Participants in an unlawful assembly are to
behave tumultuously or in such a way as to incite others to behave
tumultuously.  Many of the crown witnesses stated clearly that to them an
unlawful assembly is any demonstration without a police permit.   The crown
is trying to criminalize non-sanctioned dissent.

	If you are free on any of these days, come down to Old City Hall
Courts.  A courtroom full of supporters could make a difference.

	Money for legal expenses is really important.  This trial will not
only determine whether or not a small group of activists will be convicted
for actions that fall within the range found at many demonstrations and
picket lines.  If Clayton Ruby is successful with this charter challenge,
one of the most unjust laws in the criminal code will be struck down.

	Donations can be sent to Clayton Ruby in Trust, 11 Prince Arthur
Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5R 1B2 to cover the costs of the charter
challenge for the five defendants.  Donations can also be sent to Clayton
Ruby in Trust to cover other trial costs for Darren Odonnell, Brian Burch
and Kevin Thomas. Robert Kellerman, who is representing Gregory Herrington
and Benjamin Donoghue during the trial, would also welcome donations, which
can be sent to Robert Kellerman in Trust, 31 Prince Arthur Ave, Toronto,
Ontario M5R 1B3.

	For more information on these, and other upcoming trials of
activists arrested in Toronto, contact TASC at 416-651-5800 or <tasc@web.net>.

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