Charges to be withdrawn against Blogger who criticized undercover G20 officers

Police repressed dissent

November 7, 2012 - What do you do when you find out that a person you thought was your friend is actually an undercover cop? Dan Kellar wrote a blog. Police responded by arresting him and forcing him under threat of continued detention to remove his comments from the internet. For the past year and 3 months Kellar has been on bail, and now, less than a month before a scheduled trial, Assistant Crown Attorney Jason Miller has indicated in writing that the Crown intends to withdraw all charges.

The charges will be withdrawn in court #111, Old City Hall Court, 60 Queen St. W. at 9 a.m. on November 8, 2012. Afterwards, at 10:30 a.m., Kellar and his lawyer Davin Charney will hold a press conference on the steps of the Old City Hall court house.

At the press conference Kellar will provide media with a copy of the blog post.

Kellar, an independent journalist and activist, was arrested and charged on August 25, 2011 after he posted comments about two undercover police officers on his blog at peaceculture.org. His terms of release required that he remove the post and not publish anything on the internet that referred to the two agents.

Leading up to the G20 Summit, the two officers, Bindo Showan and Brenda Carey, infiltrated activist groups in southern Ontario. For more than a year they deceived people in order to gain the trust of community organizers and gather intelligence. Showan, known as “Khalid Mohamed”, befriended Kellar. Together they attended protests, meetings, shared drinks, and Showan visited Kellar’s home and work. In that time, Showan made extensive notes about Kellar and many of his friends, although Kellar was never charged with any offence resulting from the undercover operation.

After the G20, Kellar observed the damage that undercover police had done to community groups. He wrote criticisms of police on his blog. Police, who were surveilling the blog, then arrested and charged him with two counts of criminal defamation and counselling to commit assault. Later the defamation charges were withdrawn but additional charges of criminal harassment and intimidation were laid.

“My prosecution, and the ongoing criminalisation of those who criticise the police and our political and economic systems, reveal the lengths to which the government and authorities will conspire to intimidate activists and stifle dissent”, said Kellar.

His lawyer, Davin Charney said, “It is fundamental that people be free to criticize police. The police didn’t want these charges to go before a judge because they are totally and utterly baseless. The charges were laid to muzzle an activist. This is a case of police abuse of power and criminalisation of dissent.”

For more information contact
Davin Charney: Phone: 1-226-747-2317; Email: davin@charneylaw.ca OR
Dan Kellar 1-519-616-4462; Email: dan@beingthechange.ca

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