Since the string of revolutionary street art began to appear around town on Monday of last week and the March Against School Closures on Tuesday January 24th, the police have intensified their attacks on the Sudbury chapter of the Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM-Sudbury).
A small group of RSM supporters were chased by unidentified men in the downtown core that Monday afternoon. The men pursued the supporters for several blocks, yelling that they believed our supporters were responsible for spray painting a building.
We saw a dramatically increased police presence at our demonstration against public school closures on January 24th. Surveillance was heavy, with cops taking pictures of attendees’ faces and recording conversations. At the end of the demonstration, police approached and then pursued a group of RSM supporters and organizers for a short distance as they were leaving together.
Later on Thursday evening, January 26th, during what was supposed to be our public Winter Semester Orientation at Laurentian University, police occupied the meeting room before we arrived preventing the Orientation from taking place. One RSM supporter who was on the scene was questioned and threatened by police. The cops pressed them for information even after they said they were not willing to share any. They threatened to charge the supporter with obstruction of justice for not giving their name and other information, and implied that ‘liking’ the RSM-Sudbury Facebook page was grounds for laying charges. After asking a number of times if the supporter had been at the demonstration on January 24th and receiving no answer, they attempted and failed to arrest them for trespassing at the Rainbow District School Board office under the assumption they had been at the demo.
And a few days ago, police invaded the home of a supporter and searched their residence without a warrant. They used intimidation and fear tactics to enter the premises, threatening to surround the house on all sides until a warrant to search could be obtained. The cops then searched the house under the pretense they were looking for somebody, but turned over every corner of the place where no person could hide, even inside dresser drawers, under mattresses, and through the contents of their desk. This is despite not laying any charges! They’ve continued to harass this person, showing up at their home three times now, and have shown up at the homes of other supporters as well. No RSM supporters have offered any information despite police intimidation and we continue to urge others to not to talk to the police either.
This heavy-handed police repression may look like a totally unprecedented attack on RSM-Sudbury, but the RSM has faced police surveillance and repression to a lesser degree since its inception. This is in the context of a general strengthening of the repressive state apparatus which targets any radical elements in society that call capitalism and its markers into question. We are facing a blatant attempt to stifle any further political activity of RSM-Sudbury because they see us as a threat.
We won’t allow them to intimidate us! RSM-Sudbury will continue to struggle against this rotten settler-colonial capitalist system, the state which protects it, and its many manifestations including the closures of eight public schools in our city!
We will continue to hold weekly public meetings on the Laurentian University campus. The meeting scheduled for this Thursday February 2nd will be cancelled, but regular weekly meetings will resume on Thursday February 9th at 6pm. All those interested in joining the fight are welcome to attend.
Solidarity with all targets of capitalist political repression!
Resist the campaign of police intimidation and terror!
Dare to struggle, dare to win!