Free John Clarke

Rating: NNNNN The fiery Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) leader was denied bail last week. So he sits in a Whitby.


Rating: NNNNN


The fiery Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) leader was denied bail last week. So he sits in a Whitby jail waiting for a trial that could be weeks or months away.

Crown attorney Cindy Johnston likens OCAP’s “eviction” at Tory finance minister Jim Flaherty’s office to an act of “terrorism,” but as Clarke’s lawyer, Peter Rosenthal, says, “Oshawa must be a very placid place.” Last time we looked, terrorism meant threatening human life and limb. Clarke is only charged with mischief, causing a disturbance, unlawful assembly and breaching a bail condition “to keep the peace and be of good behaviour”

related to a previous charge of “participating in a

riot” at Queen’s Park last June — and he hasn’t been convicted of that charge.

We thought people were to be considered innocent until proven guilty. As Rosenthal says, “To keep somebody in custody until trial should only be done if there are no conditions that can be imposed that would adequately protect the public. Even people charged with murder are sometimes let out on bail pending trial.” It’ll probably be at least another week until a review of Clarke’s bail denial can be heard in Superior Court.

Do us all a favour and tell Attorney General David Young we still enjoy the rule of law in this province. Call 416-326-4000 fax 416-326-4016.

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