From LABOR-L@YORKU.CA Mon Oct 23 07:15:16 2000
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Arrest of Ontario Party Leader Denounced
21 October 2000
Hassan Husseini, Ontario leader of the Communist Party, was arrested earlier today in downtown Toronto and charged with "participating in a riot" and with "assault with a weapon" during the June 15 demonstration at Queen's Park.
Mr. Husseini joins scores of others who have been arrested and charged with similar offences over the past several months following the OCAP action and the melee that ensued when Toronto police attempted to forcefully break up the anti-poverty protest.
"This is another sad day for democracy in this province," the Ontario Provincial Executive of the C.P.C. said in an emergency statement. "These arbitrary arrests, based on trumped up accusations, are completely unjustified," the Provincial Executive added. "We demand Hassan's immediate release, and the dropping of these groundless charges."
"This vindictive binge confirms our view that the Toronto police are totally out of control. We renew our call for a full civilian public inquiry into the June 15th events, including the indiscriminate and brutal attacks by the police."
Miguel Figueroa, national leader of the Communist Party also expressed his indignation. "Mr. Husseini's arrest is symptomatic of a growing assault on democratic rights in Toronto and across Canada," Mr. Figueroa said.
"In recent years, an increasing number of militant but peaceful demonstrations by workers, women, aboriginal peoples, youth and students, and social activists have fallen victim to police repression," Mr. Figueroa said. "This is a crude attempt to intimidate Canadians from speaking out against the reactionary, pro-corporate policies of the Harris Tories and other governments."
"These arrests have nothing to do with the reasonable enforcement of law. Rather, they are part of an emerging dangerous drive to 'criminalize' all forms of protest and dissent in this country."
Mr. Husseini is scheduled to appear in court on Sunday, October 22 at 9:00 a.m. at the Court in the Old City Hall, at Bay and Queen Streets.
Hassan Husseini is a 33 years old resident of Toronto, married with one child. He has been the leader of the Ontario section of the Communist Party since 1998, and will contest the York-South Weston riding for the CPC in the coming federal election.
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Jim W. Jaszewski