By Frank Touby –
A G20 arrestee has finally been released from jail after three months for participating in a Ryerson University panel discussion, contrary to his bail conditions that he not participate in public protests.
That bail condition was requested by a Crown attorney, who presumably is a lawyer and presumably is familiar with our Constitution that ensures freedom of speech. And it was a judge, also presumably a lawyer familiar with our Constitution, who granted the outrageous limitation on Alex Hundert, a radical who was preventively arrested in his home days before the G20. He was jailed for three weeks.
It brings into question the nature of our judicial system, just as the G20 brought into question the nature of our governments and police authorities.
There’s no question Hundert exercised his free-speech rights to praise the Black Bloc’s intentions to engage in vandalism and criticized those who advocate nonviolence in political protests.
If he were to get on a soapbox and encourage a crowd to riot and destroy, he should rightly be charged.
But equating his presence on a university panel discussion with participating in a public protest contrary to the outrageous bail restriction is extrajudicial punishment that could be equated with torture.
Canadian Civil Liberties Assn. says: “It seems preposterous to think that public resources, policing and even corrections resources have been spent to prevent someone from attending and speaking at a university seminar.”
If he had a pair, Premier Dalton McGuinty would have told the feds to move their abusive show to a military base and not curse Toronto with the useless event that Pittsburgh earlier had proved is a civil disaster.
G20 still haunts our city.