Activist X: Enduring state Oppression
From the Lower mainland, she's been forced to go to Toronto by the courts. She is facing a slew of charges related to the G8/G20 meetings there, although she was arrested a few months later here in the lower mainland.
Though they seem to have little direct evidence to the indictable offences she is facing --and a lot of conjecture based on stupid stuff like "body shape"-- the state has been particularly vicious to her. They've used their massive surveillance operation over campuses and movement bookstores out here to ID, target and take out community activists, initially grabbing her here and flying her in custody to Toronto, only releasing her with $30,000 bond and a long list of restrictive bail conditions. Now continues their strategy for criminalizing dissent-- instead of referring to her as a "protester", they are now trying to label her as a "domestic terrorist" --and all of that related intimidation (towards her and her family)-- which, taken together with the mainstream media frenzy on these cases, plus the non-association conditions prohibiting her from contact with other Toronto defendants and groups like NOII!) -- well the whole shitstorm has come down pretty heavy on a relatively young organizer, and sadly, has further marginalized her.
She was a critical criminology student, and she's had to drop out of school because of the costs of this prosecution. She had been a driving force behind the her universities non-profit cafeteria serving the students and community through direct action free food provision (and as a result, she was targeted by university admin and security harassment even then, as it was at a time when mega-corporation was trying to secure a monopoly contract.) She'd also been making a real positive community contribution in a number of areas, besides volunteering at a non-profit bookstore. Even since the arrest, she has continued her work providing front line support for sex trade/survival workers that she's done for the past 3 years, co-ordinating programs aimed at promoting sex workers' health, safety and human rights. (Her contributions at this women's support centre have been significant and directly helpful: more than 18,000 hot meals prepped/served, + programs that daily break down barriers for women in the community by securing food, safety, health services, shelter, literacy, childcare and/or employment.)
But now, she is in real need of assistance herself, particularly financial help. She has so far not been known to the various Legal Defense and support committees and --since she'd misunderstood initially that legal aid certificates don't necessarily have to go to the first court-assigned duty counsel-- she went and secured a separate lawyer who has and will cost her more than $50,000, a large sum she has gone into massive debt to pay. It's been really tough and expensive for her and is putting a huge strain on herself and her family.
She's kind-hearted and charming (note: I am not saying that you should defend her because she's these-- I'm sure crispy, cold-hearted, even nasty folks nabbed for G20 opposition are worthy of a vigourous defence!) but the fact that she is such a good person (as are you) makes the ugly weight of the state's G20 repression and isolation campaign seem even heavier. I know this pressure is not just on individuals, but functioning to demobilize the larger movement-- (not just by threatening the 1000+ arrested that weekend, but through all the following surveillance, conditions, trials, and even jail sentences), and I hope that we can rise above this high cost, come through these times, like Mandy says, "bored, but not broken".