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Support Ottawa’s June 18th Defendants

July 23, 2010


During the night of May 18, a Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) branch was torched in an upper middle class neighborhood of Ottawa, Ontario. Following the attack on the bank, a group using the name FFFC-Ottawa posted a video of the attack on the bank online. The video showed the dramatic explosion followed by a short text explaining some of the reasons behind the bombing. They included RBC’s sponsorship of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games and its support of Alberta tar sands projects. As well, the communiqué indicated that further actions would be taken to coincide with the gathering of world leaders at the G20 Summit in Toronto in June.

Exactly one month later, on the morning of June 18, just one week before the G20 summit was to begin, 3 Ottawa activists were arrested.

Immediately condemned by the Chief of Police and media as “domestic terrorists,” the June 18th defendants currently only face property related offences, including arson and mischief. In fact, despite being repeatedly described in the media as a party to the May 18 bombing, one of the defendants is not currently charged with anything related to the RBC fire. This individual has been released on very strict bail conditions, while the two other defendants remain behind bars.

Friends, relatives and Ottawa activists were all shocked by the June 18 arrests and quickly came together to form the Ottawa Movement Defense committee, which has begun organizing courtroom support, coordinating jail visits, and fundraising for legal costs.

It is very important for those of us on the outside to make it very clear that the June 18th defendants have the support of a large community of dedicated activists and friends who love them and miss them and want them liberated immediately.

With all the frenzy around security for the G20 summit it is hard not to see these three arrests as politically motivated. Just like the Germinal Cell arrests before the Québec City protests of 2001, the June 18th defendants have been put on parade as dangerous villains bent on causing havoc and chaos in order to justify massive expenditures on policing and security.

It is still very early in this case, and in the coming months we will start to get a look at what kind of evidence the Crown has to back up its claims against the defendants. In the meantime our main task is to support the three June 18th defendants, help them with their legal costs, visit them and write to them and carry forth the projects they had been working on.

In solidarity with our friends who are not free.
You can get updates from Ottawa Movement Defense at the
Toronto ABC website:

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