Byron Sonne: Still Not Free

I should be blogging about Bill C-11, the latest incarnation of a Canadian DMCA that our majority government will most likely pass to appease our American neighbours, in spite of near universal Canadian opposition.  But tomorrow will see the resumption of Byron Sonne‘s trial.

Entrance sign
Denial of bail resulted in Byron Sonne's incarceration, as a remand inmate at Maplehurst for nearly a year.

I am buoyed by knowing that anything I’ve done was in the cause of freedom and justice. Never did I plan or have any intent to hurt people or damage property, nor coax or counsel others to perform likewise. In a very real way I am a political prisoner, which is an amusing thought. Too many people are content to just go to work, come home and eat, watch TV and then go to sleep. Someone has to make a stand — I chose to and so I am paying the price. But I will never be made to feel guilt or regret.”

— Byron Sonne, letter (in pencil) from Maplehurst, 11-Jan-2011

Although I’ve never met Byron, I’ve corresponded with him a little and attended some of his preliminary hearing.  Although I’m only a citizen and not a lawyer, I believe Byron has been ill served by our legal system.

It isn’t overstating the situation to suggest that is unheard of for a thirty something with his own home, business and family — and no criminal record — to be held without bail for nearly a year. We all know that accused rapists and murderers are routinely freed on bail, yet this young man was not.

Even if Byron had posed an actual threat (something which I do not believe), any such threat would have been finished the moment the G20 was over. This is why I think the deprivation of Byron’s liberty was purely punitive.

Still, I don’t know all the details, as well, it is hard to know what I can and can’t say as some of Byron’s story remains under a publication ban.

Although the onerous terms of Byron’s bail prevents him from using computers in any by narrowly prescribed ways, he is not allowed to post anything online. Even so, anyone can freely visit both his Flickr page and Twitter feed, which remain frozen exactly as they were when he was arrested on June 22nd, 2010.

Byron goes back to court tomorrow. Proceedings begin Monday, March 19th in the courthouse at 361 University Avenue. I expect that @digimer‘s Twitter feed will continue to provide information on the proceedings. For more information visit the FreeByron wiki page that Byron’s friends and community have set up in support.

I’d like to see as many people as possible stay aware of what’s going on on our country and to become more active in making Canada a better, freer place. This isn’t just about my case and what’s happened to me, this is about all the crap going on out there. The internet surveillance bills the government wants to pass now and in the future …

“Near as I can tell we have only one life to live and tomorrow is too late to start doing it.”

— Byron Sonne, letter, 7 March, 2012

I think that it is past time to free Byron.



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