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Alex Hundert, one of 17 people accused of conspiracy to cause mayhem for last year's G20 summit, stands outside during a break in the preliminary hearings at the provincial courthouse in Etobicoke, Ont., on September 12, 2011. (Michelle Siu for The Globe and Mail/Michelle Siu for The Globe and Mail)
Alex Hundert, one of 17 people accused of conspiracy to cause mayhem for last year's G20 summit, stands outside during a break in the preliminary hearings at the provincial courthouse in Etobicoke, Ont., on September 12, 2011. (Michelle Siu for The Globe and Mail/Michelle Siu for The Globe and Mail)

Courts

Undercover officers knew of plans for downtown mayhem during G20 Add to ...

Vandalism is common during protests at global summits, and activists say they believe the window smashing was inevitable as soon as Canada decided to hold the G20 in downtown Toronto.

Mr. Hundert said police should have been able to figure out from the meetings they attended where the vandalism was most likely to occur. But he added plans for the breakaway march were also announced in a public call-out to other activists.

“They didn’t need to infiltrate anything, or spend any money to know that,” Mr. Hundert said. “All they had to do was read the call-out.”

Asked how much was spent on the undercover operation, RCMP spokesman Greg Cox said the force will not reveal the cost because doing so could “compromise future undercover operations.”

Julia Kerr, whose charges were dropped on Tuesday, said her resolve as a feminist and an anarchist was strengthened by the experience. “If their objective was to try and stop this, you cannot stop this,” Ms. Kerr said over a cellphone from an Occupy Toronto gathering at Nathan Phillips Square Tuesday night.

Mr. Hundert, meanwhile, who Constable Showan identified in court as a leader in SOAR, said the officers’ presence had a lasting and unintended impact on the groups they infiltrated.

“The things I think most parts of the broader public would agree are the more endearing things about anarchists, especially militant anarchists: loyalty, inclusivity, seeing the best in people, those are the things that took a hit,” he said.

“And the anti-police sentiment [of anarchists]that lots of people, I’m sure, would argue are some of the more abrasive parts of militant anarchism, is only hardened.”

Constables Showan and Carey could not be immediately reached for comment.



In all, six people pleaded guilty to counselling to commit mischief on Tuesday: Mr. Hundert, Mandy Hiscocks, Leah Henderson, Peter Hopperton, Adam Lewis and Erik Lankin. Mr. Hundert and Ms. Hiscocks also pleaded guilty to counselling to obstruct police.

Both the Crown and defence have agreed to jail sentences of 13 1/2 months for Mr. Hundert, 16 months for Ms. Hiscocks, 10 months for Ms. Henderson, 5 months and 12 days for Mr. Hopperton, 3 months for Mr. Lankin and 3 1/2 months for Mr. Lewis.

Ms. Kerr, Terrance Luscombe, Syed Hussan, Patrick Cadorette, Paul Sauder, Meghan Lankin, Willian Van Driel, Sterling Stutz, Monica Peters, David Prychitka and Joanna Adamiak had all charges against them dropped.

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An overview of the undercover investigation into activist organizations planning protests against the G20 summit contains minutes for 15 meetings attended by police infiltrators. The document, which was filed in court, describes sessions in Toronto, Guelph, Peterborough and Kingston, with activists from across Southern Ontario and Quebec. There were various groups involved, including Anti-War at Laurier, a Kitchener-Waterloo-based student organization, and the Southern Ontario Anarchist Resistance (SOAR). The minutes also describe spokes councils, which were larger meetings to co-ordinate between different groups. Here are four of the meetings:



February 7, 2010 -- Anti-G20 organizing meeting in Peterborough



According to the overview, fifteen people from different cities gathered to talk about whether they should plan G20 protests together. At one point, the document says, one activist suggested holding protests outside the Don Jail if there were mass arrests at the summit and the undercover officer advised him arrestees would actually make their first court appearances at Old City Hall.



May 9, 2010 -- Returning to Guelph after a SOAR meeting in Toronto



Activists Mandy Hiscocks and Monica Peters expressed concern about police infiltration, the overview says, and said Alex Hundert had investigated the background of one man they were suspicious about. Unbeknownst to them, the person they were confiding in was an undercover officer.



May 26 to 29, 2010 -- A cottage on Lower Lake Buckhorn



During a three-day retreat, members of Anti-War at Laurier discussed everything from how to free someone from police custody on the street – a technique called “de-arresting” – to dealing with interrogation, the overview says. They also split into “affinity groups,” small groups that would attend protests together at the G20.



June 26, 2010 – Spokes council at 519 Church Street, a community centre in Toronto’s gay village



Held on the eve of the main day of protests, this meeting would become central to the Crown’s case against the 17 people charged with conspiracy. One undercover officer recorded it, with authorization from provincial court Justice Joseph Kenkel. The document says there were discussions about targeting specific businesses, but participants in the meeting say it ended with no concrete plan for the following day.

- Adrian Morrow

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