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Juan Pablo Lepore, 28, was arrested on the morning of September 2 in Montreal, for participating in the G20 Summit in Toronto this June. Juan Pablo was transferred to Toronto the same night and appeared in court Friday morning. The crown has refused his release.
"It's stunning to refuse Juan a release on bail, because every day the Canadian legal system allows defendants their release before trial even though they are accused of more serious crimes than Juan. It's clear that if you're poor, and you can't offer cash or assets as a guarantee, you don't have the same rights," said Marie-Ève Blais, one of the members of the "Friends of Juan Pablo Lepore" committee that has formed since his arrest.
The police is trying to convert this arrest into another trophy to justify the unprecedented inter-provincial police deployment before, during, and after the G20 meetings. Recall that during the appearance of many Quebecois arrestees in Toronto on August 23, the Crown produced a remarkable lack of evidence.
Juan Pablo is an Argentinian documentary film-maker and independent journalist, visiting Canada for several months. He grew curious about this country while collaborating in Argentina on a documentary with Canadian resident Nicolas Van Caloen, and came to visit Nicolas here, while returning occasionally to Argentina for professional work.
He has spent most of his time visting Montreal, but travelled, like many Canadian residents, to Toronto last June to document the movement opposing the G20, publishing on online alternative media outlets including 'cmaq.net' and '2010.mediacoop.ca'.
Juan dedicated his work as a videographer and journalist to the documentation of resistance movement converging, like in Toronto in June, to demonstrate against the criminal policies implemented by institutions like the G20, the IMF or the World Bank. He also documents the daily resistance of Argentinian communities facing the consequences of the same policies, notably in his documentary project Semillas (Seeds): "We try to spread these seeds at the right moment to aid resistance groups that are constructing a new society based on social and environmental justice, horizontality, solidarity between peoples and the defence of the Earth."
"The criminalization of Juan Pablo Lepore is proof that the waves of arrests following the G20 aim to discourage political engagement by people angered by our system's injustices," concludes Nicolas Van Caloen, Juan's friend and media partner.
-- Friends of Juan Pablo Lepore