Court support begins for Ian Stumpf (June 17, 2013)

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Ian Stumpf, summer 2012

Poverty Makes Us Sick organizer Ian Stumpf is due in court on Monday June 17th to fight a trespassing charge stemming from a November 15 occupation of the constituency office of MPP John Milloy (then Minister of Community and Social Services).  The successful disruption was part of the province-wide mobilization to save the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit.

The June 17th hearing is simply to pass a motion by the prosecution to join Ian’s trial with another who also received a trespassing ticket for the same action.  The hearing will also set a date for a pre-judiciary hearing and following that, on yet another date, the trial itself.  The delay in receiving the ticket and the complicated process to fight a $65 fine is the work of the prosecution.

There seems to be something larger than a trespassing ticket motivating the powers.While Ian can’t divulge the contents of his disclosure file, we can highlight events and statements that have already happened publicly.

Public Event

Ian was approached publicly by two Detectives during a disruption demo at Waterloo Regional Police Division One.  The Detectives told Ian that they wanted to talk to him about “an ongoing investigation regarding events at Milloy’s office.”  Ian refused.  One of the Detectives became aggressive with Ian.  As the demo was part of the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women, a group of female-identified folks formed a protective barrier to protect Ian and, quite strikingly, turned the Detectives away.  Ian has experienced a range of police intimidation since then.

Public Statement

The following is an excerpt from an article published in The Record newspaper on December 8, 2012:

In an earlier interview, Kelly Milne, Milloy’s communications assistant, said about 10 protesters took over the office Nov. 15 and held Milloy’s staff hostage for about 90 minutes. Police were called and two of the protesters were charged with trespassing.

See full article here.

We did not take Milloy’s staff hostage.  Through out the successful shut down of the office the workers were repeatedly reminded that they could take the rest of the day off.  We are pleased to note that on the following day, November 16th, they did just that.  See our report back of the November 15 Milloy office disruption here.

We are calling for court support as the proceedings unfold.  As Monday is a small motion we suggest that folks use that time in other ways, but we will be inviting folks to a save the CSUMB mobilization during Ian’s upcoming hearings.  We will announce these plans when the court dates are arranged. Please check for updates or follow @kwpmus on Twitter.

Ian’s statement on beginning the trial process:

The cancellation of the CSUMB is a strong point of reference which highlights the governments ongoing escalation in it’s assault on the poor.  As thousands more now face a greater risk of homelessness, violence, institutionalization and death it has been imperative for a large and united front to oppose this grave threat.  I feel the gravity of this work increases as the days go by.  I stand as a person who has experienced deep poverty, who is experiencing extended illness and who is bound by an unjust welfare system.  I am encouraged that our joint work across the Province has caused the powers such serious concerns, as displayed in the investigation of my role in PMUS actions. This apparent fear is not unwarranted. There are so many people working hard, day to day, on the many fronts of this struggle. Whether we are researching and shaping policy or providing direct action case support, whether we are meeting with the powers or decommissioning their offices: our work is succeeding in the struggle to save the CSUMB. I enter these potentially surreal proceedings feeling energized.  In love and solidarity, Ian Stumpf of Poverty Makes Us Sick.

 

 

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