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Thank you very much for your letter and the three issues of MRR. I enjoyed reading them very much. As usual, I found them very informative, and containing a bold, well developed social direction. I know you must take a fair amount of flack from some of your readers for that because alot of people would rather ignore all the injustice that's going on in the world around them, but personally I think your approach is fucking great. Please keep up the good work.
I'd also like to thank you for the coverage you gave our case in MRR 6, which brought us many letters of support, and helped us to establish contact with interested punks throughout Canada and the U.S. It's good to know that there are many people out there that genuinely care about our current situation, and support us as political people engaged in resistance against the state. We're truly grateful for the chance to be able to reach people through your magazine. Basically, our situation, as far as imprisonment goes, has not changed much over the 8 months we've been here. We are still holding up as well as can be expected under the conditions of confinement and isolation from the people and things we love, and we continue to try to be as optimistic as possible about what the future may hold in store for us.
I must admit though that sometimes we do get somewhat depressed. However, when we compare our plight with the plights of other oppressed people and creatures throughout the world, like captured El Salvadoran freedom fighters, battered wimin confined to psychiatric centers, or laboratory animals awaiting certain slow death or insanity, we realize that actually we don't have it all that bad. We also realize that we owe it to these people, these creatures, and to the earth itself, to remain strong in the face of the enemy that makes all this pain and hardship possible, and this realization helps us to remain determined to survive this ordeal, whatever happens.
So anyway, the farce (our trial) is now well underway, and we are currently at the stage of picking a jury. It's rather difficult to find people whose minds have not already been made up by the media as to us being guilty. But it really doesn't matter that much anyway, I suppose, because the state is not likely to let us off regardless. They will find a way to convict us, I'm sure. The last couple of weeks prior to the picking of the jury were spent by our lawyers making several pretrial motions, all of which were turned down by his loudshit (the Judge) without much ado. Due to the intense negative local publicity, we asked for a stay of proceedings, but he wouldn't go for that, and instead agreed to let us question potential jurors as to their biases. The most impressive thing about the whole "show" to me is the incredibly oppressive atmosphere of the courtroom itself. Everything is designed to inspire awe for the judge and the authority of the law, and everything is done in a cold and robot-like manner, without any humanness or sensitivity whatsoever. In some ways, it's worse than prison, and I wish we didn't even have to attend. For all the say we have in what happens to us, we might as well not even be there anyway. It's very strange to sit there and watch a couple of men (the judge and the prosecutor) you don't even know decide what is to become of your life. It's another good reason for rejecting authority and exposing their whole so-called democratic process as the blatant fraud that it is. Who knows, we may yet do that before this trial is over.
Anyway, I guess I better sign off for now. I hope to hear from you again. If any of you are ever in the area, feel free to drop in for a visit. Contact the defense group first though, as they are responsible for organizing our visits. I will continue to read MRR diligently, and I hope all goes well for you and the mag in the future. Keep strong, keep fighting, and keep those punk presses rolling. See you later.
In solidarity and struggle,
PS, Julie and I really liked the article on "Women In Punk".
The first of four trials in BC begins Sept. 6. For that first weak to 10 days, defense council will be making a number of pretrial submissions dealing primarily with the defendant's right to a fair trial and the likelihood of getting that considering the general media hysteria so far. The impropriety of the RCMP giving a press conference on Jan 21 after the ban on publication of evidence will be discussed. The entire series of prejudicial press coverage will be documented.
In a courtroom, the only hope for any impartiality toward the accused always rests with the jury. The 12 jurors will be the only ones with the power and openness to judge from an overall human perspective. The jury selection process will likely begin during the second week, Sept. 12th, and it is difficult to say how many days it may last.
Then begins the "voir dire", most likely a lengthy 6 week process in which the judge alone will determine whether or not the evidence is admissible. The trial proper (with witnesses, evidence etc.) looks to be starting sometime in October 6 continuing into January.
This trial is extremely important because it sets the tone for the following trials, in both atmosphere and sentencing. The prosecution has lumped all the more "criminal" charges into this first barrage in an unsuccessful attempt to depoliticize the trial and the defendants.
This trial is due to start sometime around January of '84. A new jury will be selected for each of the trials. Any decision on the pretrial motion will likely hold from the first trial.
Because of the nature of these charges, the ground opens up for a strong presentation against pornography and Red Hot Video. A large portion of the trial operate with a political defense...to "put Red Hot Video on trial". Feminist researchers and sociologists will be called in to testify on the relationship between pornography and violence against women and children. Women from the local anti-pornography movement will testify on the struggle to educate people and shut down those sellers of hatred and enslavement. Many precedents will be set by this trial.
A very tentative date for this trial is March-April '84. Again, this will be a very political trial, with BC Hydro, industrialization, and the nuclear arms race on trial for the crimes conspired and committed against the land and the people. There will be evidence brought to light about the details of how an energy corporation with international associations operates and affects all it touches. Testimony from environmental activists will show the history of the opposition, particularly to Cheekye-Dunsmuir project, which would ultimately see a nuclear power facility on Vancouver island.
The $50,000 robbery of a Vancouver IGA in Feb 82 has been laid on 3 of the 5 defendants. The trial should be brief.
After all four trials in BC are complete, the 5 will be taken to Toronto and tried for the Litton bombing. Perhaps it will be late spring, early summer by that time and the preliminary hearing and trial could last several months. The prosecution is stonewalling requests to have evidence-to-date disclosed to the defense lawyers. As each of the previous trials unfolds, light will be shed on how to proceed with the Toronto charges.
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