Activist charged, re­leased af­ter court ap­pear­ance

Montreal Gazette - - CITY -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.