i was in court today facing charges of mischief under $5000, wednesday, oct. 22. my trial was pushed back a day due to the shootings that happened at the war memorial, parliament hill and the rideau centre.
the courtroom was briefly locked down with police at all the exits, and some, maybe all, of the trials disrupted. there was a feeling of fear and tension from the people in the buidling. i know that i felt nervous, although i didn’t think it was likely that we were actually in danger.
after an hour or two sitting and waiting with my lawyer and a companero my lawyer finally informed us that the trials had been cancelled for the day.
i just read that one soldier was killed, a security guard was shot in the foot and two other people were injured. the shooter was also shot and killed.
at the time, all we were told is that a soldier had been shot and the shooter was still free. i still don’t know if only military, police and security personnel were targetted or if civilians were also injured. i hope that no civilians were shot or hurt.
all of this is considerably more serious than my mischief trial, although, since the results of my trial will impact on my freedom they remain important to me. before i was told about the shootings, i had already started to take a few notes in order to write down some thoughts about the whole process of being charged and sent through the criminal injustice system, and i have decided to continue with this project.
in the last few days as my lawyer and i have been preparing for trial i have been struggling with trying to understand what the crown’s case is against me. this is my first trial, athough i have plead guilty to several different offences, mostly pretty minor summary convictions.
i am not a lawyer, and i’m not particularly interested in canadian law and how it works. put briefly, the criminal injustice system is designed to perpetuate the political and economic status quo through the use of various forms of punishment. it is a violent system that harms and dehumanizes everyone that particpates in it, including so-called “criminals”, prison guards, police and eveyone else engaged in it, and that, additionally, is not effective in preventing crime.
i have difficulty grasping legal concepts as my mind and heart go quickly to political, emotional and philosophical arguments rather than legal ones. however, as they have snatched me up and are now forcing me through their system, i am choosing to grapple with the law’s understanding of events.
as i understand it, the crown is charging me for aiding and abetting mischief, although they have not actually charged anyone with commiting the mischief. in the real world, this down’t make any sense, but in the legal world, it does, at least enough to try and charge me with.
despite the fact that there was a crowd of 50 – 100 people demonstrating, i was the only person singled out for arrest. the reasons are, to me, clearly political and have to do with the community organizing that i have been doing for the last 10 years, my arrest for the firebombing of an rbc bank in 2010, the subsequent dropping of the charges due to a lack of evidence and, finally, because of my perceived role as the leader of the demonstration.
my lawyer has been drilling into me what the law is on this particular matter, and i am trying to grasp it so that i can defend myself effectively, and i’m going to do my best to write it down. this will have to wait until tomorrow, though, after the crown presents it’s case.