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No One Is Illegal Solidarity with the anti-G20 Resistance

by No One Is Illegal

Joint Statement of No One Is Illegal Toronto, No One Is Illegal Vancouver, No One Is Illegal Halifax, No One Is Illegal Montreal and No One Is Illegal Ottawa, July 3, 2010

From June 22 to June 27, No One is Illegal dared to dream of a world without fences. As we marched with thousands, we dared to confront the walls erected daily to separate the rich from the poor, the powerful from the powerless. We reclaimed power, we shook the fence, and we broke through the police lines. We challenged the G20's system of global apartheid as it manifested on the streets of Toronto.

We now stand alongside all of those currently caught in the walls of the(in)justice system for daring to envision a world without fences, borders and cages. The people harassed, detained, arrested and charged over this past weekend were migrants, indigenous peoples, people of colour, queer and trans people, feminists, disabled people, anarchists, anti-poverty  activists, rank and file labour activists, anti-capitalists, ecological justice activists, and community organizers. They are our allies and our friends; they are the fabric of our communities.

In particular, we stand in solidarity with those who have faced and are currently facing the worst excesses of the repressive police state, including several members of No One is Illegal Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Many of these organizers were targeted not only for their involvement in opposing the G20, but for their ongoing work struggling for communities that are rooted in love, justice and self-determination. They are dedicated, courageous and passionate organizers who continue to be an inspiration within our communities. The state's attempt to criminalize these individuals is a targeted attempt to silence our movements.

But we will not be silenced. We raged on the streets this week in Toronto. We will rage in the courts and in the prisons. We will continue to rage as we work daily in our local communities. And we will tear the fences down.

The G8 and G20 leaders and their corporate villains erect borders, manufacture weaponry, pillage the earth with industrial projects and profit from war. They push people from their homes and force people to migrate across borders and into situations of precarity. Daily, we stand in solidarity with those who are deemed “illegal” by the colonial state and are forced to live under the threat of detention and deportation. And daily, we organize against the racism and xenophobia that defines the history of colonization and displacement in Canada.

The type of repression seen during the weekend is not only a testament of Canada being a police state, but a glimpse into the daily reality of indigenous and racialized communities. When the police state indiscriminately turns its batons against ‘innocent’ bystanders, members of the media, and a diverse range of protesters, we see responses of widespread public shock and anger. Yet we refuse to exceptionalize this moment, the largest mass-arrest in Canadian history, at the expense of normalizing the daily violence of police and prisons and the criminal (in)justice system for Indigenous communities, people of colour, low income neighborhoods, street-involved youth, and trans people.

We further reject all differentiation between so-called ‘peaceful’ and ‘violent’ protesters, while the violence that compels us to resist, assert our dignity and struggle for justice – enabled by policies and deals such as those brokered by the G8 and G20 – is callously ignored. Instead, our outrage is directed at the policing apparatuses that are a central part of the militarization of Canada, the criminalization of our communities, and the brutality that defines the prison-industrial complex and the global realities of detention and imprisonment.

Those brutalized, harassed, and violated in the fallout of the Toronto G20 protests now join the three community organizers arrested last week in Ottawa in facing the consequences of a system more interested in protecting property than people. We must be steadfast in our support for those who are being targeted, by mobilizing around the upcoming trials and court battles. We will not allow the courts, the police, or the media to divide our  solidarity. We demand the immediate release of ALL our friends and allies who are still being held in detention. We call on everyone to join us in taking back our city from the hands of the security state that has turned it into an armed fortress.

No One is Illegal stands with all of those who were on the streets resisting the G20 and the Toronto police state. They cannot jail our hearts. No borders, no fences! No one is illegal, Canada is illegal!


* June 22 Statement "No One Is Illegal at the G8/G20 Mobilizations inToronto":http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/newsrelease/3703 * Video of No One Is Illegal and Defenders of the Land at "No Fences, NoBorders" press conference at the G20 fence in Toronto: http://bchannelnews.tv/?p=5690 * If you would like to contribute to the legal defense fund in Toronto,please transfer funds to: OPIRG Yorktransit number 00646institution number 842account number 3542240 You can also continue to donate via the PayPal link at http://g20.torontomobilize.org/

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