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Jailed Anti-WTO Activist Needs Your Support!


"I don't think a person should be placed in a position where he [sic] will have committed an offence without knowing it and without intending it."
-Julius Grey, Canadian Human Rights Lawyer

On the morning of July 28, 2003, an overwhelming force of Montreal riot
police surrounded, detained then arrested over 150 people peaceably
assembled on private property (with permission) in a 'green zone'
publicized as a safe space for theatre, art and music. This arbitrary mass
arrest unfolded well over an hour after the morning protest had dispersed
and in an area located many blocks from where the WTO meetings were being
held. People identified as medics, journalists and legal observers - as
well as a doctor, a construction worker and several tourists - were among
those loaded into police vans. With very few exceptions, police held these
people in jail for 'unlawful assembly' until they signed release conditions
that surrendered a long list of constitutional rights and paid $200 in bail
(for those residing outside the city).

One arrestee remains in a Montreal jail as he challenges this unlawful mass
arrest and compromise to our constitutional rights. Vaughn Barnett of
Fredericton, New Brunswick, refuses to sign a conditional release that
would limit rights of free expression and assembly, arguing that all
charges and conditions for his release should be dropped. The disclosure
obtained prior to Mr. Barnett's July 30 bail hearing makes no reference to Mr. Barnett himself and
makes no suggestion that he participated in any illegal activity.

Mr. Barnett's trial is set for October 21, 2003. Back in Fredericton, Mr.
Barnett works as a legal researcher and advocate for people who cannot
afford a lawyer. He is representing himself in court.

The 'Free Vaughn' campaign is calling out for a major showing for support for our brother. He is currently being held in the general population of a
medium security detention unit in Montreal (Bordeaux Prison). He has been
under detention for a week now and if you have ever spent an hour under
arrest you know hard it can be. Please understand that we need to support
our political
prisoners at every step and show them that they are not alone!

"Any movement that fails to support its political internees is a sham movement!"- Political Prisoner of war (POW) Ojore Lutalo

There are a few ways you can help support Vaughn and his fight for freedom.

FIRST and most importantly please write him a letter! He is lacking contact
from the outside community and needs to know that the people are aware of
his struggle. You could send him your thoughts on anything, the July 28th
arrests, the World Trade Organization, the justice system or your local
sports team. Every letter from a supporting community member will raise his
spirits a mile high. (Trust us!)

Vaughn Barnett
800 Gouen St. West
H3L 1K7

SECOND, Vaughn could use some money in his canteen account. Prisoners are
able to buy tooth paste, shampoo, a pencil and paper, candy, etc. in jail
but only with the money that is put into their account. A donation to
Vaughn's account can be given to the campaign and then forwarded to our
Montreal contacts. If only takes a small amount to ease his time in jail.

THRID, volunteer to have Vaughn call you collect. He could use more people
to talk with. Again you could talk about anything; the sound of a friendly
voice on the other end will make him feel amazing. You can have us limited
the time/cost of the phone call. Please email the =93Free Vaughn campaign for more info. This is a big request, but what Vaughn is doing to
defending all of us! He is standing up for our rights when we can't!

Again, we can't stress enough the important of what Vaughn is doing. The
crown has not yet shown any evidence of his guilt. They mass arrested
anyone around the 'green zone' and are now trying to force
non-constitutional conditions down our throats. Vaughn is not letting this
happen and refuses to sign any conditions from this bogus charge. It is
extremely important that we should extend a massive amount of solidarity
to Vaughn while he is locked down. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO WRITE TO HIM

The Free Vaughn Campaign


"We're definitely sliding towards losing some of our fundamental rights if we let this happen. So, that's why it's very important right now that our npoliticians look into this operation and send a very strong message to the
police that this is not acceptable in Canada." - Yves Manseau, Mouvement Action Justice