SUDBURY, ONTARIO, October 21, 2009 – On Thursday, October 22, 2009, Justice and Freedom for John Moore will host a media conference to unveil a new campaign seeking a review of John Moore's unjust conviction for second degree murder. The event will be at the office of the Aboriginal Peoples Alliance of Northern Ontario (APANO), 66 Elm Street, Sudbury, at 11 am
The media conference will feature speakers who have signed on to a new statement in support of Moore's demand for a federal review of his unjust conviction. These speakers come out of the local Native, trade union, and education sectors. They will include Susan Cole of APANO; John Closs, President of the Sudbury and District Labour Council; Will Morin, local indigenous activist and educator; Rene Fortin, retired activist from the Canadian Union of Public Employees; and Gary Kinsman, Professor of Sociology at Laurentian University. Moore himself will also speak abou the new campaign, and about his recent participation in the Organizing for Justice Conference in Ottawa.
Moore has been actively involved in struggles for social justice in Sudbury for many years. Convicted under a law that was ruled unconstitutional in another case in the late '80s, John continues to have his life and his opportunities limited by a conviction by an all-white jury for a crime that even the courts admit he was not present for. Yet the federal government has steadfastly refused to review this injustice, and a new support committee, Justice and Freedom for John Moore, has begun to build a broader campaign in support of Moore. Already organizations and prominent individuals from Sudbury and from across North America have begun to sign onto the statement calling on the federal government to end its stonewalling and to conduct a review of Moore's conviction. The statement reads:
John C. Moore, an Ojibway man from Serpent River First Nation, was convicted of second degree murder in 1978. This happened despite the fact that he was not present when the crime was committed and had no role whatsoever in perpetrating it, and was based solely on him having spent time earlier that day with the individuals who committed the crime. His trials were tainted with systemic racism. The law under which he was convicted was ruled unconstitutional in 1987, and noone would be convicted under similar circumstances today. Yet Moore continues to bear the burden of the stigma of this conviction. He must regularly report to a parole officer and must ask permission if he wishes to leave the city of Sudbury, Ontario, which is impeding his freedom of movement and his capacity to find meaningful work. For all of these reasons, and in recognition of the long history of indigenous people being targeted unfairly by the Canadian justice system, we, the individuals and groups listed below, call upon the Government of Canada to conduct a review of Moore's conviction.
Initial signers include the Sudbury and District Labour Council, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), the Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement (Ottawa), Sudbury Against War and Occupation, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, and the Laurentian Association of Mature and Part-time Students. Along with the speakers listed above, local individual signers include many ordinary Sudburians as well as Glenn Thibeault, MP. Individual signers from beyond Sudbury include Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, an author and long-time indigenous activist based in San Francisco; Charles C. Roach, a lawyer and long-time activist based in Toronto's African-Canadian communities; Dave Bleakney, a National Union Representative with CUPW; Doreen Spence, an activist and Cree elder based in Calgary; and Joan Kuyek, a community organizer and author based in Ottawa.
Justice and Freedom for John Moore is a committee composed of Moore himself and some of his core supporters from the Sudbury area. For more information, please call ________ at ___-___-____ or or email ______@_____________. For ongoing information about the campaign, please see http://justiceandfreedomforjohnmoore.blogspot.com/.