In Toronto

Harassment Continues


Fifth Estate # 318, Fall, 1984

TORONTO—Although the Vancouver 5 trials are over except for that of Brent Taylor on charges of bombing Litton Industries (see accompanying article), the support group here is still dealing with the aftermath of extensive police harassment.

Ken Deyarmond, one of the more active supporters, was to go on trial Nov. 13 for “attempted assault against an internationally protected person” who, in this case, was British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Deyarmond was participating in a demonstration against Thatcher’s visit to Toronto organized by IRA supporters and anti-Cruise groups when he was pushed from behind towards the prime minister and then grabbed and punched by three cops. (See FE #317, Summer 1984.)

It is ironic as well as revealing that Deyarmond was also charged with possession of marijuana in the incident, a charge for which he has already been convicted, since Ken is well known to be one of the very few non-dope smoking anarchos in Toronto. It is unclear whether this set up was planned in advance or if some cop decided spontaneously to victimize Ken.

The assault charge is potentially serious though no one else has ever been charged under the law before. The lawyer in the case is quite good and should give the prosecution a run for their money, but there is little reason to have any faith in the judicial process even if the defendant is completely innocent.

Colleen Crosbie’s charge of procuring an abortion (a charge which arose out of the June 13, 1983 police raid on Bulldozer, a magazine for political prisoners), is still delayed pending certain legal decisions. At issue is whether the victims of the raid have the right to see the “information” which the police must give to the judge in order to obtain the search warrant authorizing the raid. The next hearing was scheduled for Nov. 7.

This case will potentially have long lasting repercussions on the right of politically active people to be free of fishing expeditions by the state, so, though it is expensive to fight, there is no intention to abandon the issue.

Good News—Bad News

Just as we were about to finish this issue, word arrived from Toronto that Colleen Crosbie has had all charges dropped against her by the Crown and that Ken Deyarmond had won a partial victory at his trial as he was acquitted on the charge of attacking Margaret Thatcher.

The bad news is that the jury was willing to believe another charge that he attacked two police officers, including one who is 6′ 3″ and weighing 280 pounds. Ken has not been sentenced as of this writing, but funds are still needed for his defense. Contributions may be sent to: Box 6326, Stn. A, Toronto, Ont., M5W CANADA.