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Community Organizer Jaggi Singh Detained and Charged with ‘Conspiracy’

July 23, 2010

A statement of support and solidarity by No One Is Illegal-Montreal & Solidarity Across Borders

Tuesday, July 6, 2010, 5am — This morning Montreal-based community organizer Jaggi Singh handed himself over to Toronto police custody due to an outstanding warrant for his arrest concerning the resistance to the G20 in Toronto. He will be charged with several serious counts of criminal conspiracy, including alleged conspiracies to commit mischief to property, assault police, and obstruct justice. He is currently in custody along with other G20 political prisoners who are awaiting bail hearings. Many people have had their bail refused. Jaggi’s situation is still unclear. We hope he’ll be released immediately. He could remain in custody for some time.

The 1-billion dollar ‘Fortress Toronto’ security operation that protected the G8/G20 leaders, multinational corporations and banking institutions from the peoples’ opposition during the week-long anti-G20 mobilization, brought unprecedented police violence and state repression to the streets of Toronto.

Over 1000 indiscriminate arrests, beatings, house raids, illegal searches and seizures, intimidation tactics, kidnappings and arbitrary detentions terrorized G20 protesters and everyday Toronto residents before and during the G20. After days in inhumane detention conditions, most G20 prisoners were released without charge, while many others are out on bail with stringent conditions and facing false charges, including members and allies of No One Is Illegal and Solidarity Across Borders.

However, at least sixteen people remain locked behind bars! The police evidence that is being used to hold them will be heard today, and at bail hearings to take place throughout the month of July. Jaggi Singh is now being held on serious charges, targeted for participating in the anti-G20 mobilizing efforts. Once again the state contrives to silence his voice and criminalize his uncompromising and steadfast commitment to social justice. He’s faced targeted arrests before, for which he’s become notorious, whether he likes it or not.

He beat charges after APEC in Vancouver in 1997, and after the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City in 2001. And, when the G20 was protested in Montreal ten years ago in 2000, resulting in arrests after police violence, Jaggi and his comrades were acquitted at a jury trial where he represented himself. We have no doubt he’ll relish the fight in court, but the recent charges against Jaggi represent a troubling escalation of the state criminalization of activists. They are still trying to break him with exaggerated charges, while scaring new activists with police intimidation and brutality.

Like so many of us who are part of networks and organizations like No One Is Illegal & Solidarity Across Borders, Jaggi has dedicated his life to organizing for fundamental social transformation and genuine justice for all. He is part of our community and an inspiration to many.

For more than a decade he has been based in Montreal, his home, organizing with local migrant justice and indigenous solidarity networks, among an array of other political projects and movements. He supports political prisoners, Palestine liberation, anti-racism & anti-police brutality efforts. He believes an anti-colonial, indigenous solidarity perspective is foundational to social justice organizing. He helped to found and re-found the Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC) and has been a tireless collective member of the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair since its inception.

Jaggi has been dedicated to No One Is Illegal-Montreal & Solidarity Across Borders since both organizations were formed in 2002 and 2003 respectively. Most recently, he has become a full-time employee with QPIRG-Concordia, working with both community and campus members to strengthen social justice networks, and promote community-based research beyond academia.

Jaggi is someone who dedicates an enormous amount of time to awareness-raising activities, popular education and support work that aims to break isolation and affirm collective empowerment. He is constantly involved in organizing workshops, public events, community dinners, legal and moral support networks, soccer games, as well as kids days for non-status families and activist parents. He also co-hosts the monthly No One Is Illegal radio show, researches and writes on a variety of political issues, and contributes actively to movement debates and discussions.

Jaggi is someone who perpetually offers his assistance, and always jumps into action to help someone in need, whether it be a newly befriended person who has survived an injustice, a colleague, a comrade, a friend or a family member. He works with new activists and older activists alike. He is a dreamer, a thinker, a doer, and a constant joker. He is our friend.

No One Is Illegal and Solidarity Across Borders denounce the political persecution and scapegoating of our comrades – the G20 political prisoners. We demand the immediate release of all the G20 prisoners, and that all charges be dropped. We will not be intimidated, we will not stop organizing until all the G20 political prisoners are free. We will not be dissuaded from the struggle to free our world from cages, fences, borders, and state controls.

no prisons! no borders!

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