Alex Hundert Sentenced to More Than a Year in Prison
G20 activist Alex Hundert sentenced to more than a year in prison
By Jayme Poisson; Tuesday, June 26 2012 - The Star
[Note: See also Alex Hundert’s open letter to all who have supported him.]
Alex Hundert, a pre-eminent member of the so-called “G20 ringleaders,” was sentenced to 13 ½ months in prison Tuesday.
Hundert is the last to be sentenced out of a group of six who struck a deal with the Crown last November. The half-dozen pleaded guilty to counselling to commit mischief. In exchange for their pleas, 11 co-accused had their charges dropped.
Hundert pleaded guilty to a further charge of counselling to obstruct police.
Addressing the court during an impassioned speech on the two year anniversary of the G20 summit, the 31-year-old activist accepted he did break the law but offered no apologies. He said that although he made the decision, he felt he was “bullied” into making his guilty plea because one member of the initial group of co-accused was facing deportation, and others were much younger.
Hundert said it was “ridiculous” to think his prosecution wasn’t politically motivated.
“I think every time someone behind the bench or Crown suggests it’s not, it puts the whole system in disrepute,” he said.
Raucous cheers and stomping could be heard from an overflow room packed with about 100 supporters. They were not allowed in the courtroom because of disruptions during previous hearings.
Prosecutor Jason Miller addressed the court briefly. The sentence, he said, was necessary to denounce the organization of violence during the G20 weekend and deter it from happening in the future.
Hundert, as well as other accused, met to plan protests against the G20 and encouraged property damage during the summit, according to an agreed statement of facts.
Hundert’s lawyer, John Norris, said the accusations against his client are but a “narrow band” of the work he does building communities. Norris said he believed, in the future, Hundert would be involved in more causes making those communities better.
Justice Lloyd Budzinsky said that even though Hundert was in custody when black-clad protesters took to the streets, smashing windows and lighting police cars on fire, he promoted the use of violence.
Budzinsky admonished the activist, an alleged member of the Southern Ontario Anarchist Resistance, for putting his own political views ahead of the well-being of citizens — those who wanted to take to the streets peacefully or those who had their property damaged.
“Even if your view of the state is that it is coercive, it still operates under the rule of law,” said Budzinsky.
While the judge said the sentence for such a crime should be two or three years, it was reduced to just over a year because of time served and restrictive bail conditions.