Jaggi Singh (born March 4, 1971 in Toronto, Canada) is one of Canada's most high-profile anti-globalization and social justice activists. He is an anarchist. Singh lives inMontreal where he works with groups such as Solidarity Across Borders (a local migrant-rights organization) and the No One Is Illegal collective, among others. Singh graduated from St. Michael's College School of Toronto and attended the University of Toronto. He also attended the University of British Columbia
Singh first came into the public spotlight during the protests outside the 1997 APEC conference held in Vancouver. According to Canadian Member of Parliament, Svend Robinson, the day before the summit started: "Jaggi Singh, one of the organizers of the APEC alert ... [was] arrested, wrestled to the ground on the UBC campus by three plainclothes police officers, handcuffed, thrown in the back of an unmarked car with tinted glass, driven off and locked up during the APEC summit." Singh was charged with assault after allegedly yelling into the ear of a campus security guard with a megaphone and spent the duration of the conference in jail. In February 1999, the assault charge was dropped by Crown prosecutors before going to trial.
Singh was one of 51 people to file a complaint against the conduct of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) at the APEC summit that sparked a formal investigation by the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP. In March 2000, he was one of three people to formally withdraw from the inquiry, alleging that Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's rejection of an invitation to testify before the Commission was proof that the process was flawed.
In one of the findings condemning RCMP behavior issued in the final report by the Commission, it was noted that: "Mr. Jaggi Singh was arrested on a warrant based on a spurious charge; the manner of his arrest was inappropriate in the circumstances; the timing of the arrest was calculated to prevent him from attending protests on November 25; the bail conditions sought were overly restrictive."
Singh provided an "activist arrest and trial calendar" to the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in support of a complaint filed by La Ligue des droits et libertés, outlining heavy-handed Montreal police tactics that had resulted in 2,000 arrests between 1999 and 2004. In November 2005, the UN body's report singled out Montreal police for the disproportionate use of mass arrests, stating: "The State party should ensure that the right of persons to peacefully participate in social protests is respected, and ensure that only those committing criminal offences during demonstrations are arrested ... The Committee also invites the State party to conduct an inquiry into the practices of the Montreal police forces during demonstrations, and wishes to receive more detail about the practical implementation of article 63 of the Criminal Code relating to unlawful assembly." Singh cited the results of the report as a vindication for Montreal activists: "The report validates what protesters have been saying about these protests, that these mass arrests are essentially a tactic by Montreal police to prevent by fear the involvement of young people who take to the streets in protest."
In talks at Concordia University and McGill University of Montreal, Singh has outlined the links between global apartheid and the work of groups like No One Is Illegal towards protecting the rights of refugee claimants in Canada and migrants around the world. He has said that, "You can't define human beings as illegal, as exploitable [or] as non-status." He has also criticized the high bar for refugee status in Canada saying that, "You have to prove that there is a gun to your head or there will be a gun to your head," in order to be allowed to stay.
Singh also took part in a protest of Immigration Minister Monte Solberg's speech at the annual meeting of Citizens for Public Justice in 2006, demanding a moratorium on all deportations of refugees. He was one of about a dozen protestors whose presence was cited as a disruption of the event, and which resulted in Solberg cancelling his speech and leaving the hall.
On November 24, 2006, Singh was arrested yet again and charged with violating earlier bail conditions for taking part in a 15-person protest against Canadian involvement in the war on Afghanistan at a press conference convened by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the Montreal General Hospital.
The arresting officer’s report stated that the RCMP asked Singh to leave based on his reputation as a political dissident and that he was arrested for refusing to leave after being asked to by hospital security.
At the bail hearing, the prosecution argued for denial of bail on the basis that Singh’s history of arrests made it likely that he would re-offend. In his defense, Singh stated that, "I was targeted not for what I did, but for my reputation," and further pointed out that he had won five of the six cases previously brought against him.
Singh submitted that, "Standing up and asking a question is not illegal. Standing up and challenging the Prime Minister’s policies is not illegal."
Municipal Court Judge Pascal Pillarella ruled that Singh had not actually violated the conditions of his earlier bail and should not have to spend months in jail awaiting trial. Singh was released on $2000 bail, and his trial for charges including obstruction and assault was scheduled for May 2007.
A 3-day trial was held, during which testimony was heard from RCMP and Montreal police officers, as well as hospital security. Representing himself, Singh did not testify. On December 4, 2007, he was convicted of obstructing a police officer in the execution of his duties, as well as breaching court-imposed conditions. Municipal Court Judge Morton Minc later sentenced him to a total of $1000 in fines, plus costs.In his judgment, the judge mentioned among other things Singh's prior convictions, the fact that Singh had shown a total lack of respect for the security forces, and the fact that the offence was committed in a hospital during a conference about cancer, a subject that deserves respect
On March 8, 2007, Singh attended a demonstration for International Women’s Day in Montreal where he was again arrested by police. He was held in jail for five days. At the bail hearing, police contended that Singh violated a bail condition prohibiting him from attending illegal or non-peaceful demonstrations. Several witnesses, including a Cégep professor and a medical resident at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, testified that the women’s day march had been peaceful. He was released on $1000 bail. The judge commented that the "hefty bond" might work to deter Singh’s activism.
A media alert sent out on the day of the march by a fellow demonstrator describes the particulars of Singh’s arrest as follows:
The police made an announcement asking people to walk on the sidewalk. Jaggi Singh, who had been one of many male supporters among the 200 strong celebrating international women's day moved onto the sidewalk. The others continued marching in the street. Police officers began to rush towards Singh, still walking on the sidewalk. They grabbed him and threw him against a nearby police car. Other marchers gathered around the car out of concern for the violent way in which police were intervening. Police began hitting and pushing people indiscriminately. Several people were knocked to the ground with batons and night sticks ... The police showed a total disregard for the injuries mounting around them. They placed Jaggi Singh in the police car and began to leave.
In June 2010, Singh participated in the protests during the G-20 Summit in Toronto. According to immigrant rights group No One is Illegal, Singh turned himself into Toronto police following the issuance of an arrest warrant. He was granted bail on July 12, after $10,000 was paid by two sureties, one of which was the Québec provincial deputy Amir Khadir, from the Québec Solidaire Party. In addition to this bail, $75,000 more, guaranteed this time by Amir Khadir and two other people whose identities were not revealed, will be charged if Singh breaks his release conditions, which are the following: house arrest at the home of one of the garantors; handing in his passport to the authorities; he must not use a cellular phone; he must not have any contact with the 16 other activists charged with conspiracy in connection with the G20 protests.
Opps. Its empty!!
|Date of Birth||Mar 04, 1971|
|Is this Person Alive?||Yes|