Tag Archives: Police repression

WDFSAWU: Banning protesters an attack on democracy

By Stephen D’Arcy, We demand free speech at Western University, Sunday, April 14, 2012

The City of London Ontario certainly benefits in innumerable ways from the presence of a major research university in this city. But the benefits flow in both directions. Western University needs Londoners as much as London needs Western.

In particular, the city and the university enjoy the benefits of a vigorous public sphere that stretches across the boundaries of Western’s campus to encompass the whole city.

At its best, this public sphere draws students, staff and faculty from the university, as well as citizens, activists, elected officials and advocacy groups from across London, into discussion about public policy, social justice and the common good. The voices of researchers, advocates, journalists, social critics and concerned citizens mingle in reasoned discussion that form the basis for democratic civic life.

We ought to be alarmed, therefore, when we see the university taking steps to target Londoners who visit the campus to contribute to public dialogue. Recently, Western issued an order prohibiting two London community activists from setting foot on any part of the university campus (Occupy architect battles campus ban, April 9).

Why would the university, through its campus community police service, choose to target activists from the wider city in this way? One might imagine these activists had engaged in some sort of violent or disruptive protest, hindering the capacity of the university to carry out its mission. In fact, they participated in a protest that was neither violent nor disruptive. Instead, it was a silent vigil, in which advocates for Palestinian human rights covered their mouths with tape, in a peaceful and non-confrontational protest during an Israel Day event taking place at Western.  Continue reading

Stop FBI Repression: U.S. Attorney’s Office Confirms Investigation Is Ongoing into Palestinian Activists

February 4, Committee to Stop FBI Repression

The Northern Illinois Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas stated that the “investigation is continuing” into the case of the Palestine, anti-war and international solidarity activists hit with FBI raids and grand jury repression. Barry Jonas is known for his leading role in prosecuting the leaders of the Holy Land Foundation while he was trial attorney for the Department of Justice Counter-terrorism Section.

This confirms what the U.S. Attorney’s office related some months ago – they are preparing multiple indictments of multiple activists. The FBI raided seven homes and the government subpoenaed 23 international solidarity activists to a Chicago grand jury over a year ago. The anti-war activists refused to appear at the secretive grand jury and launched a campaign against political repression. The U.S. government is threatening to imprison anti-war activists on the grounds of “material support for terrorism.”

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Electronic Intifada: Australia’s repression of BDS movement coordinated with Israel

Australian police confirmed during a bail variation hearing at the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria (local District Court) for some of the BDS activists arrested on 1 July that a decision had been made to arrest the protesters before the demonstration. This decision was made after discussions with Zionist organizations, the Victorian government, shopping center managements and state and national management of Max Brenner.
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