Is Canada a free country?
Or is Canada a banana republic?
Today was Byron Sonne’s 331st day in custody. On Monday bail was finally granted, yet Byron had to remain locked up until today, when there was to be a final Bail Hearing where the Crown Attorney would get an opportunity to contest the grounds of Byron’s release.
What has happened to Byron Sonne has exposed injustice in our so called justice system. The reason democratic nations enact laws to protect the rights of citizens is to counter balance the government’s power to crush citizens.
For a nation to be a free country, citizens must be free to both question and criticize.
Without guaranteed civil rights, any citizen can be deprived of liberty. You can wind up in a Gulag. You don’t even have to be protesting anything.
on the 2010 Toronto G20:
“The result was a massive breach of human rights on a scale never before seen in modern Canadian society. “
Among those rounded up in the G20 mass arrests were a many people who were shopping, working, going somewhere else, but uninvolved in the protests. Yet they were rounded up and deprived of the civil rights Canadians expect just the same. Simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Byron has today been released under extremely stringent bail restrictions. The conditions are draconian, and somewhat bizarre. According to the Toronto Star:
“He must also have no contact with anyone accused with G20 conspiracy crimes or anyone associated with a number of anarchist groups or the Toronto Community Mobilization Network. There are no allegations that Sonne has ever associated with those people or groups.”
That last bit sounds like a smear… the very terms of the release are deliberately inflammatory. By prohibiting Byron Sonne contact with people and organizations there is no evidence he has ever any contact with, an association is implied. This is rather like prohibiting Byron Sonne from contact with Adolph Hitler. Except, if you read the Globe and Mail’s heavily biased account it says there is some evidence of Byron “downloading literature of both the far right (Mein Kampf) and the far left (Das Kapital).” Which seems to forge a stronger evidentiary link to Adolph Hitler, or Karl Marx. Who scares you the most?
The group named by the Star that Byron must not associate with is the Toronto Community Mobilization Network which appears to be a collection of activists advocating for the civil rights for groups ranging from the disabled to indigenous peoples. This seems at minimum to run contrary to Section Two of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Something that has disturbed me from the outset is that the denial of bail appears to be punitive. Is this a case of Canada’s Crown prosecution ensuring that an innocent man will pay the price of incarceration before trial since the trial is likely to exonerate him? In fact, our federal government has published statistics indicating an increase of the use if the remand process which could well indicate that the process is being deployed as punishment rather than waiting for a judicial finding of guilt, particularly when it is unlikely to happen at all.
You can read the rest of the extremely severe bail conditions in the Toronto Star.
I’m fairly new to social media, but something I have noticed is that some tweets about Byron use the #g20report hashtag. I initially assumed that some organization or group might be keeping track of the facts for the hoped for G20 inquiry.
Then I discovered Byron’s own Twitter feed and discovered that Byron himself seems to have invented that hashtag, using it to indicate the tweets he made documenting the G20 security.
This adds a huge amount of credence to the idea Byron Sonne was working as a citizen journalist.
It is also quite interesting that the @torontogoat is still online. We can read through it and see what Byron tweeted in his own words. Read it through and see what you think.
The Best Source
For information about Byron Sonne case is the FreeByron website, created and maintained by his friends and supporters.
I got my title for this post from a tweet I found under the #freeByron hashtag