Eva Botten: Enduring State Oppression
We, a group of G20 defendant supporters, are writing in request of financial donations and support for Eva Botten, a British Columbian woman who was found guilty of 7 indictable offences: 6 for Mischief over $5,000 and 1 for Disguising with indictable intent.
On March 28th Eva Botten was sentenced to 10 months, followed by 2 years probation. She is currently serving this sentence at the Vanier Centre for Women. You can get in touch with Eva by writing to her at:
C/O Vanier Centre for Women
655 Martin Street
Milton, Ontario L9T 5E6
Though she is now eligible for parole, attempts to secure such have as yet not been successful.
Botten's case went to trial in January 2013 despite the decision by Judge Harriet Sachs to exclude considerable amounts of evidence collected against the activist during the time of the incident. Justice Sachs noted that her decision to proceed into the new year came in part out of her feeling that: "[t]he conduct of the [Toronto] police will not be ignored if the prosecution against Ms. Botten is not stayed."
Said improper conduct occurred at the June 2010 Novotel arrests during the G20 Summit in Toronto, Ontario. Widely reported on in the mainstream media this event has been recorded as the largest mass arrest in Canadian history. That weekend over 1,000 people were detained in temporary detention centres in the provincial capital, 317 of whom received initial charges of which more than half were withdrawn, stayed or dismissed. Activists who were subjected to this "kettling," have made widely known the mistreatment experienced during their confinement for which a class action lawsuit was subsequently filed.
Though Botten was among the Novotel arrestees she was released and then later arrested once more on 30 September 2010 at her home in Surrey, British Columbia from where she was flown immediately to Toronto. Botten's arrest came as a result of stilled video footage of a number of individuals which was released in a widespread public campaign following the events in the attempt to identify and weed out activists often on faulty charges. For the next two and a half years, Botten repeatedly returned to Toronto for her hearings. For the first two years of this process she, like other G20 defendants, was subject to non-publicity and strict no-contact orders owing to which she was forced to abandon her studies and volunteer work, while experiencing limited to no communication or contact with many of her friends and loved ones. Under these silencing conditions it has been considerably difficult to raise awareness, support or financial assistance to help Botten through this period.
Fundraising efforts in the Eastern provinces have provided considerable support to G20 defendants in that region. Botten has been granted a small sum from the G20 Defence Fund (based in Toronto), as well as from the Olympics Resistance Network. While currently serving a 10-month prison sentence, she continues to face steep and mounting legal fees and debt.
To keep up to date with Eva's case please see this page for regular updates.