1. My name is Jessica Cassell and I am an organizer with Fightback, a non-profit social justice group.
2. I'm from Toronto, Canada where Fightback's national office is located
3. My relationship to Max is that we are both members of Fightback, he is a friend and a comrade.
4. The money raised will be put in a legal defense fund set up by Fightback to help Max and other unjustly charged activists with their legal defense fees
On the morning of Tuesday, October 22nd, our comrade Max was arrested by plainclothes police officers in front of his home in Hamilton. His family was forced to watch as Max was placed in handcuffs and forced into the police cruiser.
Max is being charged with intimidation and assault in relation to his participation at an anti-Bernier protest held in late September. At the time he was arrested and released with no charges, only to be formally charged a month later. Fightback Hamilton released a statement and video at the time, which clearly shows that Max is not guilty of these charges. You can read that statement here: https://www.facebook.com/fightbackhamilton/posts/916429702045688
We believe this is a politically motivated attack. While several left-wing activists have been charged, no charges were laid against members of the far-right, despite video evidence of them attacking activists at the protest.
The Hamilton police are attempting to set an example and intimidate the left and the broader labour movement to discourage us from organizing. As such, these charges must be opposed by the labour movement, left organizations, and the broader community.
We are appealing for solidarity and support from the left and the labour movement. Max's legal fees will be significant and we must raise the funds to help him and his family cover the costs. Please donate anything you can.
If we raise more than enough to cover Max's legal expenses, Fightback will use the surplus to set up a legal defense fund for the movement and help other activists who have been persecuted by the Hamilton police. Please note that we cannot guarantee this and it is entirely dependent on our ability to raise above and beyond what is needed to cover Max's expenses, but we strongly believe that our greatest strength against these attacks is unity and hope we can raise enough to help another activist in need.
An injury to one is an injury to all!