FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Another Community Organizer arrested on G20 related conspiracy charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 30th

Another Community Organizer arrested on G20 related conspiracy charges as Police continue to amp up repression

Toronto- The Toronto Police arrested Jaroslava Avila, a Political Science student at University of Toronto, at 10pm Wednesday night on G20 related “conspiracy” charges. Jaroslava was arrested outside Queen’s Park subway station as she was making her way back home after attending an event organized by Health for All - a health advocacy group - at the University of Toronto.
 
“We are outraged”, said Jessica Denyer of the Community Solidarity Network. “The Toronto Police in collaboration with the ‘G20 Special Investigative Unit’ have declared an all out war against community activists in Toronto. They are trying to make examples out of people to send a message to the broader public to not step out of the line, to not dare to voice a dissenting view. They are trying to set a precedent for what would happen to us if we dare speak out against their brutality and injustice”, she added.
 
This arrest follows on the heels of the arrest of Alex Hundert, a community organizer based in Toronto also charged with G20 related “conspiracy”, for attending a panel discussion at Ryerson University at the invitation of a faculty member there. Following the arrest of Alex, the police intimidated Leah Henderson, another community activist facing similar “conspiracy” charges by threatening to arrest her if she spoke at a panel discussion in Edmonton.

Rachel Avery, member of AW@L- a social justice group based in Kitchener- said, “The police don’t want people speaking out, because they don’t want the public to hear what more than 40,000 people in Toronto demonstrated for during the G20--Indigenous sovereignty, ecological justice, gender justice, and economic justice. They are using these continued attacks on our communities as means to justify the $1.2 billion the Conservative government splurged during the G20, much of it on ‘security’.”
 
At an earlier press conference on Monday, Nathalie Des Rosiers, General Counsel at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said “These acts of intimidation and politically motivated arrests by the Police that seek to silence critics of the government are a clear and illegal violation of the charter rights to freedom of free speech and to freedom of peaceful assembly”
 
Dr. Abeer Majeed a family physician and member of Health for All was present at the event last night. She says of the arrest, "Last night was a public educational forum at the University of Toronto on the impact of G20 policies and austerity measures on health. Police intimidation of those engaging in critical policy discussion is wholly unacceptable"
 
Jaroslava appeared in court today at 10am at the College Park Courthouse supported by friends, family and community activists. Bail conditions pending.
 
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For more Information:
 
Maryam Adrangi: 416-996-3478
Davin Charney: 1-226-747-2317

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