Box 332 Adelaide St. Station
28 May 2003
Norm Sterling, Attorney General of Ontario
We are writing to demand that charges against OCAP supporters Stefan Pilipa, Gaetan Heroux and John Clarke of "participation in a riot," "counselling to participate in a riot" and "counselling to assault police" on 15 June 2000 at Queens Park be immediately dropped along with any plans for a re-trial.
On 11 May 2003, Superior Court Judge Lee Ferrier declared a mistrial, citing a jury deadlock and inability to continue with deliberations. The Crown was manifestly unable to demonstrate that any riot (apart from a police riot) had in fact occurred that day and was therefore unable to show that the defendants had either participated in such an event or counselled others to do so. It became very clear in the course of the trial that the real "crime" of the defendants was daring to defend those without adequate access to food, shelter, clothing or employment.
These charges were obviously laid in an attempt to isolate militant and outspoken anti-poverty organizers and are part of a larger pattern of seeking to curtail civil liberties and criminalize dissent. The police actions on 15 June 2000, the bogus nature of the charges laid and now the Crown’s outrageous contemplation of a re-trial highlight the class-biased nature of the police and capitalist justice system. We consider Pilipa, Heroux and Clarke to be courageous fighters for the rights of the downtrodden in this society and demand that the Crown immediately cease its vindictive persecution of them.
No retrial! Drop the charges!
Posted: 31 May 2003