Archive | January, 2016

Banner Drop and Info Picket for Christine Connor at Farmers market in Kitchener was a success

30 Jan

Today members of Anti Colonial Working Group was joined by some Mennonite comrades to hold an info picket outside of the Farmers market demanding an end to G4S and the British state harassment and torture of Christine Connor and her family. Connor is a Irish Republican political prisoner who is framed for a crime she did not commit and the reason for this is due to her politics.

Connor was recently granted bail and once this happened G4S a private company that specialises in torturing political prisoners in Ireland Palestine and South Africa have repeatedly invaded her house terrorising her family under bull shit reasons that their technology on the ankle bracelet is supposedly not working properly causing all sorts of hurt to her and her family.

This stopped when her bail was pulled and she went back to jail for no reason of her own and was recently granted bail again on the conditions that she not tape the harassment she receives at the hands of G4S.

The picket affair was very well received and many people came and talked to us about her as well as other Irish Republican Prisoners and the event ended with people holding hands and praying for the family of Christine as well all Irish POWS and their family’s.

A series of Unfortunate Events, the history and outcome of Court from the position of Greg Thornton

21 Jan

This was written by Greg Thornton about his charges, lawsuit and all the actions that lead up to it in his own words………….here it is

I was young and in love. It was my first real relationship. She wasn’t supposed to be able to get pregnant. When we found out, I couldn’t believe her asking me if I wanted out then. She wanted that child and would take on the responsibility with or without me. I told her I would never even consider leaving…
After finishing the Compass pre apprenticeship program, I was advised to pursue a career in HVAC. They had just switched to graduated licensing, and I needed to obtain gas, sheet metal, refrigeration, just to name a few, in order to work in the trade. My mom helped out with the $2600 G3 fitter license, which allowed me to work, under supervision, with a fully licensed gas fitter. A G2 was going to cost $5600. Continuously getting laid off, I wasn’t earning enough to support my family, let alone covering the rest of the licensing costs. I gave up on the career entirely, and got a security license. Now an HVAC program is offered at the college.
Not wanting to deal with a baby on public transit, I got my first vehicle with the help of my step dad. I became a community taxi, in order to earn what I could over and above the full time hours I was putting in at the guard shack. I managed the expenses while my wife attended a massage therapy program. I drove that sun-fire into the ground, and needed help to get another ride. I hadn’t been a security guard long enough to qualify for a loan. Wright auto was able to offer me “in house financing”, but due to my lack of establishing credit (or debt for that matter) over the 10 years I had been working, I was told my only option was to; sign for $19000 on an $8000 mazda mpv. The salesman said I could go to the bank after making $400 payments for 6mos, and get a loan based on payment history. I would then be able to buy it outright and save on the interest. We moved to a townhouse, and financial strain was beginning. I counted down the days before finally going to the bank. I was told that the lease I signed was not being paid to a financial institution, so it didn’t reflect on my credit. I didn’t qualify for a loan because my expenses were too much of my income.
The first time Family and Children’s services got involved, was when my wife was on the phone with her friend, who over heard me yelling. Her friend had been abused by her partner, and was concerned for my wife. My wife did not share the same concern. I realized that I was ranting about household expenses while she was on the phone, scrolling the internet on her laptop. I got in between my wife and her computer, and reached for her shoulders in an attempt to gain eye contact. She kicked me in the groin. I kicked a foot rest into the wall. She said her friend had just called the police, and suggested that I leave before they got there. I walked outside to a male and female officer, asking what was happening. The female officer went inside to speak with my wife. I told the male officer everything, omitting the kick in the groin. The female officer came back out, and said they were fine with me being on my way. The next week, I wasn’t allowed to pick my son up from daycare. The police called F&CS, with report of a domestic argument, that had occurred in front of our son. I posed a risk to our child. My wife disagreed, but asked me not to come home. I gave her my key, and kept paying the rent. She supervised my visitation, until we were hit with a no contact order. It had been noted that I grabbed my wife by the throat. She disputed the claim. The court file was changed to say that I grabbed her by the neck and arm. I had to complete the Partner Assault Response Program, Caring Dad’s, go through supervised access visitation, community access, until I finally got regular visitation with my son.
Once F&CS was out of the picture, my wife and I attempted to reconcile. I had been working as an energy contractor, and money was no longer an issue. I was making $1000 on a slow week, and banking everything I wasn’t spending on my son. I was starting to stay over quite often, as I had spent the last year living in a warehouse, working out of my van. I began noticing all of the problems with the basement apartment she was in, and when I found out there was an unlicensed nail salon operating on the main floor, I asked her to start looking for a new place. She had her heart set on a semi, that was $1395/mo + utilities. My vehicle payments came down to $200/mo when I qualified for a loan based on my income, but the insurance had climbed up to $400 because of the speeding tickets I got rushing between customers. When my wife told me she wouldn’t have extra money, it didn’t faze me, because I had 5 bank accounts. I wanted a rent to own, but we couldn’t find one in town, and she didn’t want a place in the country till she had her own vehicle. The plan was for her to write the provincial exam, and start a mobile massage business, while I took care of our son, the house, drove her to appointments and laundered sheets. I offered to pay $100 per massage to help pay for the $1000 provincial exam, and she maintained that treating her spouse was a violation of the code of conduct. A lack of intimacy was starting to impact our relationship.
I started having difficulty preforming at work, and wanted to spend more time at home with my son. I went to a psychiatrist to get a handle on what was going on with my mood, and was diagnosed with Bi-Polar, February 2012. My bank accounts dwindled down, as my stress levels rose. I started seeking an alternative treatment to the lithium that I had been prescribed. Mobile crisis came to visit our home, offering referrals to couples counseling, and Grand River Hospital for me to seek outpatient mental health supports. I applied for ODSP, and got one month of rent covered by emergency OW while I was on the wait list. I took the first contract position I could find, and struggled to stay afloat. I asked my wife for some pitch towards the utilities, since her $800 contribution towards our rent wasn’t required. She told me she didn’t have extra money. I told her it wasn’t extra money I was asking for, it was a contribution to our household expenses. The argument was on going, as she never provided an answer as to where the rent money she was supposed to have went. She continued to use my vehicle without contributing to costs, and I was losing patience with her. The van ended up getting written off when I was rear ended. The cost of replacing the bumper was valued higher than the value of the vehicle. The years of insurance I paid meant nothing, because each repair would have required a separate deductible. I couldn’t manage the cost to insure the vehicle on top of the cost of maintenance. I had nothing left in the bank, and couldn’t handle the stress.
One morning, she was late for work, and I was furious that she was missing hours considering our financial situation. She ignored me, took our son, and started walking down the street. I got in the van, pulled up beside them and yelled that she was already late. I got out, picked our son up, buckled him in his seat, and she got behind the wheel. She pulled into the left turn lane, and signaled to pull into the daycare. I told her to go to work, saying I would drop our son off after. She insisted that she would drop him off, and sat waiting for traffic. I reached over and straightened the wheel, she cranked the wheel back, and shot across the road when there was a break in traffic. The incident was described by F&CS as me endangering the safety of my family by swerving into oncoming traffic. There was also a report of a death threat, which she denied claiming. She even posted in a facebook group called “stop the children’s aid society from taking children from good parents” that she did not share their safety concerns, false evidence had been submitted into our court file, and that she was forced to chose between working to salvage our relationship or having our son picked up by child protection services. She wanted them to help me, and they told her help would be provided once she was in a “safe” location. I began demanding to see my son. She didn’t know what the society expected of me, and told me to speak to a worker. The worker said my access was up to my wife, and requested a copy of my medical records to confirm my mental health diagnosis. I handed them a copy of my medical records, but they required a release of information form be signed so a copy could be obtained directly from my doctor. I signed the form, and was not given any indication of when I would be allowed access.
Between April 24th and May 3rd 2012 I went to F&CS every day, asking what I had to do for them to allow my pregnant wife to return home, so my son could continue going to his Montessori daycare. I called Waterloo Regional Police and reported threats of kidnapping. They instructed me to to follow up with F&CS. I called, and they were unable to locate my worker. I asked if I burned the building to the ground, would it make it easier to find the staff. Waterloo Regional Police cautioned me about making threats of that nature, but had no grounds to arrest me under the mental health act. I was instructed to follow up with F&CS about what to do to allow my wife and child to return home. I gave the worker my keys, and begged that my son be allowed to sleep in his own bed. On May 3rd I was told I had attended without a scheduled appointment, and asked to return the following morning. I got up, removed a mission statement from the wall, and exited the building. I felt the society was not representing the values that it listed, and elected to remove the frame as a means of protest. I went to get a case of beer, returned home, put the mission statement in my front bay window, and started drinking, waiting to be arrested. The investigating officer for the theft report did a drive by, didn’t see my vehicle, and opted to wait for me at the society for my scheduled appointment the following morning.
I pulled into the parking lot, got out of the van, and started walking toward the lobby with the mission statement in hand. A female officer, Ashley Dietrich, drove past me, parked in the center of the lot, exited her vehicle, and cautiously approached me. She was yelling at me to drop the picture frame, and that I was in possession of stolen property. I asked what the hell was wrong with her, and said I was bringing it back. Dietrich grabbed my arm, and I pulled away, which was reported as assaulting a peace officer, while in possession of stolen property, obtained by theft under $5000, in addition to escaping lawful custody by walking into the lobby. I rehung the mission statement, and sat in a chair. The officer began to argue that she had attempted to arrest me outside for stolen property. I responded by indicating I was no longer in possession of the “stolen” property, as I had returned the mission statement unscathed. I got up, told reception I was there for my scheduled appointment, and sat back in the chair. Dietrich called for backup, and claims that she chose not to engage me until her back up arrived, because I resisted her in the parking lot. That is not supported by the actions depicted in the video, as a long drawn out conversation is obviously occurring between us. She claims that I never mentioned my mental or physical ailments during our conversation, but had no utterances noted. I kept asking how I could be under arrest for stolen property if I returned it. None of the witnesses recalled a reply. When Ryan Thomas arrived, I had my wallet out, indicating that I had a requisition to have an x ray of my knees. It was accepted by Deputy Justice Sebastian Winny in my small claims trail, that the officers had a brief discussion about my resistance, which clearly never happens. Thomas walked between Dietrich and I. Thomas approached on my left, with Dietrich on my right, and demanded that I get the fuck on the ground. Civilian witness #3 in the OIPRD’s investigative report recalled that I informed the officer that I couldn’t get on my knees, because of a condition. It was submitted into evidence, that I clenched my hands to the armrest of the chair in an attempt to resist arrest, when I refused to stand and put my hands behind my back. As the video shows, I reached my arms forward, while asking if they could put handcuffs on me. This was not accepted by the OIPRD or the judge, due to lack of audio. I was torn from the chair, heading face first into a support post. I planted my foot, and moved my head to the left, to avoid hitting the post. My shoulder hits the post, but Deputy Justice Sebastian Winny denies such a collision occurs. I walk around the post, with the officers in tow. They were attempting to ground me for their safety, claiming I immediately began swinging at them. This was recanted during cross examination. I went forward, caught myself, and pushed back up to a standing position. Thomas delivered an elbow strike to my right eye, which was seemed a soft strike. I pushed his arms down asking what the fuck he was doing. Both officers began delivering knee strikes and pushing me around the room. I point at the officers cell phone, and tell them they should pick up their personal effects before they get damaged. They attempt multiple leg sweeps, and struggle to gain control through an ineffective application of force. I ask what they’re doing, and they yell for me to stop resisting. I plant my hand on the wall, knocking off an elevator certificate, and point exclaiming they are causing more damage than I did. Dietrich starts booting me in the leg, and my leg gets tangled with Dietrich’s as I walk up a couple steps, trying to get the railing between myself and the officer. It was reported that I kicked at the officers. They tear me back down the stairs, I turn, and ask if they can just put handcuffs on already. GET DOWN ON THE GROUND NOW! Well this seems to be going in circles, lets go for another walk. I circle the lobby, and stop in the center, as the officers bend my arms. I asked them to stop bending my arms, and continued to circle. Thomas slips and falls on Dietrich’s sunglasses, gets up, and punches me in the head. He claims that he was concerned for the safety of the female officer, as he lost control of my arm. He describes his calculated strike as a glancing blow which allows my hands to go behind my back. The problem with that story is; the video shows I placed my arm behind my back, again offering my wrists to be shackled, as he jumped in the air and punched me in the back of the head. The officers strike caused his stunned partner to cringe, then withdrawal her handcuffs, once Thomas had a full nelson applied. Dietrich testified, and Deputy Justice Sebastian Winny accepted, she would only have withdrawn her cuffs from their pouch if a suspect is cooperative, or ultimate control is gained by forcing a suspect to the ground. She claimed she did not withdrawal her handcuffs from her pouch until after 3 more officers responded to the panic button and assisted in forcing me to the ground. She can be seen withdrawing her handcuffs from her pouch, at 11:10, and struggling to apply them while the other officers enter. The 5 officers force me to the ground, and I again ask why I needed to be on the ground to have handcuffs applied. Dietrich was out of breath from all those leg strikes she delivered, but had enough hot air left to yell YOU GET DOWN ON THE GROUND WHEN I TELL YOU TO GET DOWN ON THE GROUND!
I was assisted to a standing position, loaded in the cruiser, and read my rights. I asked for water, and was told none was available. I started questioning the officer how she could justify use of force as a response as to why I was under arrest. She cranked her country music to drown me out. I sang THE KKK TOOK MY BABY AWAY, until holding was in sight. I shut right up, thinking the beating would continue once inside. I told intake that I defecated myself when the officers folded me in half, and they provided a dust suit for me to change into, and a couple wet naps. I asked to be taken to the hospital, and they said I could appear before a judge and be released first. I waited, and found out I needed a surety to be released. The judge didn’t feel like waiting around for myself and another accused to contact sureties, so we were to be sent to Milton penitentiary for the weekend. I asked again to be taken to the hospital, and was ignored. I peeled paint off the bottom of my cell, and began trying to cut my arm. I was told to drop the paint, shackled, and was the first one in line to be transported by the OPP. I asked again to see a doctor, and was told I’d be able to at the penitentiary.
In Milton, I was put in solitary. I wasn’t allowed a mattress or medication. I requested a lactose free diet. They brought me a bag of milk, a bagel with creamed cheese. I asked to see the doctor, and was told none are available on weekends. The nurse they sent asked me what my problem was, and told me to lose the sense of entitlement. I told her the only thing I felt entitled to was access to my son.
On Monday, I was released under my mothers surety. I appeared in mental health court, and my legal aid appointed lawyer offered a plea of obstruction. I completed a year of probation and got a conditional discharge. I submitted a complaint to the OIPRD, which was unsubstantiated due to insufficient evidence. They mention I don’t clench my hands to the armrest of the chair as the officers claim, but don’t include the violation of the police services act, for submitting false evidence. The use of force was deemed reasonable based on the perception of my resistance.
I missed the 30 day window to submit an appeal for civilian review, and later submitted the unsubstantiated complaint for judicial review in Hamilton Divisional Court. The application expired, with me being unable to complete the required documentation or acquire representation.
Once my probation was complete, I submitted a small claims matter, naming Ryan Thomas for assault. I found a criminal lawyer to represent me before trial, and though he did a good job getting the officers to recant their version of events. Unfortunately, the closing arguments didn’t outline the remaining inconsistencies. I was ordered to pay the police union lawyer $1200 for trying to sue the cop who punched me in the head when my hands were behind my back.
I tried to commence a proceeding with privately sworn information, to have the female officer charged with submitting false evidence, and committing perjury by denying prior knowledge of my mental health. The dispositions from Not Just Another Call, Police Response to People with Mental Illness in Ontario should have been followed, as I was clearly in crisis. The crown decided that it’s not in the public interest to pursue the charges.
I self represented in the small claims appeal, and though I outlined the inconsistencies between evidence Deputy Justice Sebastian Winny accepted vs physical actions depicted in the video, the superior court judge submitted it was the small claims judge’s discretion, and his findings would remain.
I was threatened with legal action for posting civil disclosure material online. I asked Mike Baker to help edit the surveillance video from the F&CS lobby, after it was pulled from YouTube. I went to Niagara Falls on a class trip, and when I came back, I learned that his brother Beau had been shot and killed by an unidentified member of the Waterloo Regional Police Service. I read chief of police, Brian Larkin’s public statement, indicating that his officers are trained in deescalation. I circled the word deescalation, went to the lion and lamb statue in front of W.R.P.S North Division, placed the paper between the legs of the lamb, and poured a simple syrup on the statue to resemble the blood of the innocent. HE IS THE PERFECT AND ULTIMATE SACRIFICE FOR SIN. I left a behind a Guy Fawkes mask, and a shirt with RIP BEAU in red letters. The media omitted the symbol of anonymous, and the police claimed the act of civil disobedience was an act of mischief. Joseph Bornino, a classmate from my culinary management program at Conestoga College, identified me as the jammer, to W.R.P.S. I went north division to accept the charges, and told the arresting officer exactly why I did it. From the circumstances surrounding my fathers death while in police custody in 1988, to my personal experience. The officer who shot Beau went back on active duty the following day, and was cleared by Special Investigations of any charges. I offered a plea, and was given a summary conviction with 2 years probation, in addition to 40hrs community service.
I was granted an uncontested divorce, joint custody, and after 5 1/2 years on the wait list, finally got into housing. A little silver lining to a pile of shit

Man who poured jam on lion and lamb in protest of Beau Baker shooting in Court

20 Jan

Man who poured jam on lion and lamb in protest of Beau Baker shooting in Court

Greg Thornton will be appearing in both civil and criminal matters at the Kitchener Courthouse tomorrow, January 20 2016. First, he will self represent an appeal of a small claims court matter, maintaining that he was assaulted by Waterloo Regional Police constable Ryan Thomas, in addition to his partner, Ashley Dietrich, submitting false evidence. The constables were attempting to arrest Thornton, after he removed a mission statement from the lobby of Family and Children`s Services in protest of their involvement with his family, which Thornton believed violated the Child and Family Services Act. The criminal charges he now faces, stem from another protest incident, where Thornton poured jam on the lion and lamb statue at Waterloo Regional Police Services North Division, after an unidentified member of the Waterloo Regional Police Services shot and killed Beau Baker, 21, of Kitchener, April 2, 2015 . The protest was a reaction to a newspaper quoting chief of police Brian Larkin, indicating that his officers are trained in de-escalation. Thornton circled the word de-escalation, placed the newspaper between the legs of the lamb, and poured jam on the statue, leaving a guy fawkes mask, as well as a shirt with RIP BEAU printed in bold red letters. Thornton feels that both these incidents show the growth of police abuses. for more information please call Mr. Thornton at (519)502-8993

Anti Colonial Working group responds to incarceration of Christine Connor with mass placarding and banner drop

19 Jan

Today members of Anti Colonial Working group responded to the news of Christine Connor being denied bail by flooding Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge with placards demanding her release as well as dropping a banner over the 401 the major highway in Ontario.
This Friday, there will be a phone jam to the British consulate demanding her release.

Christine Connor is back in custody due to the nefarious actions of G4S a security company that has been acting as a proxy for the British state in terms of carrying out a campaign of intimidation and harassment of her and her family due to her ankle bracelet.

Anti Colonial Working Group demands that Christine be free and will continue to organize and highlight her case as this is just another example of criminalization of political ideology and thought crime carried out by the occupational forces in the North of Ireland

RIP Josh Richard a good comrade

18 Jan

Two Thursdays ago community member and co-founder of Stratford Action For Equality Josh Richard passed away. I knew Josh when I lived in Stratford and with him and many others we created an organization to solve the social problems that people in Stratford were facing. Josh, myself and others worked hard to create alternatives to the Crystal Meth problem plaguing the city and in collaboration with various members of the city dedicated his time to working with those affected by this problem to create alternatives such as drug free community events, peer counselling and other much-needed programs.

As many know Perth County of which Stratford is a part of , had the highest level of meth production in North America and like many people living in the city of Stratford Josh was affected directly by this as quite a few of the people who he grew up with fell victim to this epidemic. Yet despite this and the seemingly hopelessness that plagues community’s affected by drugs Josh did not sit quietly by and do nothing but rather dedicated his time and energy to discuss the problems that stem from this and find real solutions that help people.

As a member of SAFE Josh was also involved in the campaign to safe shenanigans, a community space, as well as the low-income housing above said place and was involved in quite a few other campaigns that fought the negative impacts of poverty.

As well as being an amazing activist Josh was a good person and many nights we would all go out to woodys, the local bar in Stratford and let loose and have fun. I remember quite a few nights of us dancing, singing and generally having a great time. Josh was the type of guy that no matter how sad you were he would always bring a smile to your face. With his death this past thursday we not only lost a very amazing community activist but also a good friend and his death, like so many deaths of young people in our community is a tragedy. Josh wherever you are know that you are missed and loved and your loss has left a gaping dark hole in our community

32CSM Statement in Support of the Bolivarian Revolution

18 Jan

The 32CSM Send Revolutionary Greetings to the PSUV, Maduro and all engaging in the patriotic struggle for national liberation, socialism and political Sovereignty free from American intervention.
In this dark time when the national assembly is full of traitors, opportunists and US lackeys, we of the 32CSM reaffirm our solidarity to the Bolivarian process, Maduro and the Venezuelan Constitution.
We stand with the working class who have endured economic warfare at the hands of the US puppets and are now preparing for an attack from the right to take away what they have fought for and to turn back the gains of the Bolivarian process.
At this time when the superpowers are intensifying war, plunder and imperialism – we stand with you and say Venezuela is not for sale. In this time of consolidation and rectification we wish you success in your struggle and stand in solidarity with you.
Beir Bua

Phonejam for Christine Connor G4S and British State End The Harrasment

17 Jan

Friday Jan.22nd 9 am until 5pm
G4S number 1-888-717-4447

British Consulate (416) 593-1290

This Friday take a stand in defence of Irish Republican Christine Connor and her family and demand that G4S end the campaign of intimidation that they and the British state are carrying on. Connor a Irish Republican political prisoner on bail has been facing a campaign of harassment at the hands of G4S a private security company in regards to her ankle bracelet. Since Dec. 30th her and her family have had 10 visit due to so-called problems with this bracelet and despite the fact that she has never left her boundaries she was still threatened to have her bail pulled. G4S is doing this on behalf of the British state which aims to weaken her resolve and break her. This clearly will not happen and all those who believe in basic human rights should be appalled st what the British state is doing intimidating a poor family not letting them have any peace simply because Christine believes that Irish people should have the right to determine their own destiny. Join us in taking a stand and saying enough is enough end the persecution now!!!!!!