Activist charged, released after court appearance
Anti-globalization activist Jaggi Singh was granted a conditional release after a long day of hearings in Quebec City municipal court Wednesday in connection with an anti-fascist demonstration on Aug. 20.
He was formally charged with obstructing police work and providing a false name to police.
Singh posted on Facebook after the protest that, when asked to identify himself, he said he was Michel Goulet, former left-winger for the Quebec Nordiques, and his address was the hockey arena Le Colisée.
He pleaded not guilty, but the Crown opposed his release.
The 46-year-old man asked that Judge Jacques Ouellet, who was handling the case when Singh appeared, recuse himself because he believed the magistrate had an anti-demonstrator bias.
Judge Nathalie Duchesne took over the file. About 15 people showed up to support the activist in the morning.
Singh was arrested and released at a demonstration on Aug. 20 in Quebec City. He was arrested again on Tuesday in Montreal after the SPVQ, the Quebec City police force, issued a warrant following an investigation.
The SPVQ pointed out that “two separate groups” participated in demonstrations in Quebec, and “a third group took part in another demonstration, which was subsequently declared illegal” and dispersed by the riot squad.
The SPVQ stated that “criminal acts were committed at this demonstration” and added that the investigation is continuing and “other arrests are expected.”
The events were triggered by an announcement by a group called La Meute — which defines itself as a “populist movement” advocating “identity nationalism” whose ideology is similar to that of the extreme right — that it was going to protest against the immigration policies of the federal and provincial governments.
The announcement led to the mobilization of anti-racist groups to affirm the openness of Quebec society to immigrants.
More radical protesters, calling themselves anti-fascists, also mobilized and succeeded in blocking the members of La Meute from exiting a parking lot for several hours. Members of La Meute finally managed to hold a silent demonstration in the streets of the provincial capital.