On August 25th, independent journalist, blogger, and activist Dan Kellar was arrested for a blog post he made two days earlier in which he named and provided a photo of a man he claimed to be an undercover police officer involved in infiltrating G20 protest groups and encouraged readers to "spit in his footsteps and scoff at his existence".
The post on Kellar's blog peaceculture.org reported a sighting of the man in Toronto, and spoke about in a derogatory fashion. It also named a woman widely believed in activist circles as having been an undercover police infiltrator. In the blog post Kellar put both names in quotes and preceeed them with the term "so-called," implicating these were not their legal names. The post was removed from the site as a condition of Kellar's release. He is also to stay at least 500 metres away from the two people who were named in his post.
Kellar was pulled over and arrested by the OPP's Anti-Rackets Branch, while driving in, Kitchener, Ontario, where he lives. According to a press release put out by the Community Solidarity Network (CSN), the same branch of the OPP was involved in arresting several people on G20 related charges, six of whom were members of the group Anti-War at Laurier (AW@L), a group that Kellar is also a member of.
According to a press release put out by the CSN, Kellar "was charged with 2 counts of unlawfully publishing materials that are likely to injure the reputation of an undercover officer in a way that is designed to insult the officer (also known as criminal defamation), and one count of counselling his blog followers to commit the indictable offence of assault which offence was not committed (also known as counsel to assault)."
A document released by the RCMP through Access to Information legislation indicated that there were twelve officers who were involved with infiltrating activists' groups ahead of the G20. Many activists are convinced they know who many of these police officers are. However, due in part to legal concerns, the only two who have been named in public venues are the two in Kellar's post.
Over a year ago these two people were previously accused in of being police officers on the blog snitchwire. This site keeps a list of suspected police informants and undercover infiltrators. The authors of the site are anonymous and the site, which is hosted on Google's "Blogger," has not been taken down from the Internet. The posts on these two individuals are still on the site.
Emily Slofstra, a supporter of Kellar, told the Toronto Media Co-op that police infiltrators "ruin communities", adding there is "lots more stress, it is hard to know who you can trust and who you can not".
According to the CSN press release the lead officer in the arrest, OPP Detective-Sergeant John Vanden Heuvel, "threatened to track down and arrest anyone who reposted the message" that had been posted on the peaceculture.org blog.
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UPDATE: Aaron Lakoff has upload an interview he recorded with Dan Kellar it can be found at http://www.mediacoop.ca/audio/interview-dan-kellar-independent-journalist-arrested-blog-post/8068
Tim Groves is an investigative journalist based in Toronto. To follow his work and receive infrequent email announcments you can fill out this form: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?hl=en_US&formkey=dHNYN0VxcGhTY0ljMXVTT3N1X0xKakE6MQ#gid=0
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