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Monday, December 10, 2012

Canada No to Political Repression! Free Our Comrades!

From Maoist_Revolution;

No to Political
Repression! Free Our Comrades!

The four comrades who were arrested
after the anti-capitalist May 1st demonstration in 2011 will undergo
their preliminary inquiry on December 10th at the Montréal courthouse.
The judge will determine which legal steps will be taken after this,
once it is determined whether there is sufficient evidence for holding a

Recall that on June 29th, 2011, the Anti-Gang unit of the
Montréal Police's Organized Crime Division raided the homes of and
arrested four political activists they suspected of being part of the
Revolutionary Communist Party (PCR-RCP Canada), in connection with an
incident that occurred at the May 1st demonstration organized by the
Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC Montréal). Police officers were
allegedly injured when protesters opposed a provocative attempt to
arrest one of the _Partisan_'s photographers, who was apparently
shouting anti-police slogans too loudly.

The four comrades are facing
serious criminal charges, including "assault with a weapon," "assaulting
a police officer," "obstruction of justice" and "possession of a weapon
with intent to cause harm." Two of them were arrested again during
subsequent demonstrations for alleged "breach of condition."

operation that led to the arrest of the four comrades was supervised by
an investigator from the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal
(SPVM, Montréal's municipal police force), who is also part of the
Integrated National Security Enforcement Team, along with
representatives from the Québec Provincial Police (SQ), the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Security Intelligence
Service (CSIS).

For nearly two months, the Maison Norman Bethune --a
bookstore supported by the PCR-RCP Canada-- had been under constant
surveillance by the police. Harassment also continued after the arrests,
with a dozen activists suspected --rightly or wrongly-- of being
revolutionary communists were visited by the SPVM, the RCMP and CSIS,
both at home and at their workplaces.

The arrest of the four comrades
forced the SPVM to disclose the existence of its now-infamous GAMMA
squad (GAMMA stands for "Guet des activités et des mouvements marginaux
et anarchistes", or "Surveillance of the activities of marginal and
anarchist movements"). The objective of this political squad is to
harass and monitor revolutionary and anti-capitalist networks. The
establishment of this squad generated a wave of condemnations across the
country. Several groups and individuals have signed a public statement
against political profiling. On December 16, 2011, more than 175 people
took part in a solidarity event in Montréal to raise funds to helping
the May 1st defendants prepare for their trial.

The December 12
preliminary inquiry and the trial that will eventually follow will
provide an excellent opportunity to sheding light on the political
activities of the Montréal police, including the harassment in which
they engage against communist and revolutionary activists. SPVM
representatives will especially have to explain their provocation at the
May 1st, 2011 demonstration. It appears from the written testimony of
some cops involved in the altercation that they were sent unprepared to
arrest our photographer and even that they seemed to have absolutely no
idea of the reasons for his arrest.

In an interview he gave to La
Presse newspaper, the head of SPVM specialized investigations team
Jacques Robinette explained why they set up the GAMMA squad: "We are no
longer able to control the demonstrations. There is popular uprising and
provocation, including assault and harm against police officers, in all
demstrations." We can expect these outbursts and uprisings to expand and
multiply, as the crisis brings more and more people to resist and

In fact, despite the unprecedented repression with which
it was confronted, the glorious red spring from Québec students has
shown that nothing can stop the march of the oppressed when they
mobilize to win their liberation. On the judicial front, this is also
what the trial of the May 1st, 2011 defendants will show!

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