First Published: People’s Canada Daily News, Vol 8, No. 133, June 16, 1978
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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On Thursday, June 15, 1978, the charge laid by the RCMP that Comrade Hardial Bains, Chairman of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) had “aided and abetted an illegal alien” to violate the Immigration Act was dismissed in Provincial Court in Kitchener, Ontario. The charge was dismissed because the reactionary state did not have a shred of evidence to proceed with the case and because to do so would have further exposed the entire affair as nothing but a big frame-up and a case of political persecution against the Party and its revolutionary leadership.
Comrade Bains was the last person with charges remaining against him on this trumped-up charge after seventeen members and supporters of CPC(M-L) were arrested and jailed in the RCMP raid of the Kitchener-Waterloo Branch of the Norman Bethune Institute on February 23, 1977, as well as in the raid of several apartments in that city on the same date. Charges of “aiding an illegal alien” which had been laid against the other comrades who had been arrested along with Comrade Bains were dropped over a period extending from February 23 to September 16, 1977. The only charges which remain outstanding are against comrades framed on phony “assault police” and “obstruct police” charges arising from the raid of February 23. The cowardly prosecutor never dared to bring one communist to trial or produce one shred of evidence to back up the fabricated “aiding” charges.
The state had singled out Comrade Bains for special attack, making a big show about how Comrade Bains was the one that they were after. On many occasions. when calling for a delay in the proceedings, the prosecutor had made a big show about how there was so much evidence that the trial had to be postponed so that he could sift through it all before proceeding. But from the very outset of the affair, the state had refused to specify what precisely Comrade Bains had supposedly done to violate the Immigration Act. The information originally laid by the RCMP on February 22, 1977, which was the basis for the arrest, was carefully worded to be so vague that it didn’t even specify which of the more than twenty provisions of the Immigration Act the “illegal alien” had allegedly violated, nor what Comrade Bains had supposedly done by way of “aiding” him.
Despite repeated demands by Comrade Bains that he be told what the charge was that the state had concocted against him, the prosecution had persisted in refusing to reveal any details of the charge because the whole thing was a fabrication and there could be no genuine “details” of the charge in the legal sense. When the court was finally confronted with the shabby formulation of the charge and the prosecution’s repeated refusal to reveal the nature of the alleged “offense”, the judge was compelled to agree with the defence motion that the charge be dismissed.
Right from the beginning more than fifteen months ago, this whole affair has been nothing but a big frame-up against the Party and especially its leadership. It was a blatant instance of political persecution of the Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries by a state which is deathly afraid of the proletariat and its political party, CPC(M-L). The political police of the reactionary state, unable to infilitrate the Party and obtain information through those means, resorted to the clumsy and blatant manoeuvre of raiding the Norman Bethune Institute Branch in Kitchener-Waterloo under the hoax of nabbing an “illegal alien” in order to arrest everybody there and conduct a “fishing expedition” for Party documents, some of which were stolen by the uniformed thugs – a clear case of political espionage and persecution. The reactionary Canadian state wanted to convict Comrade Bains of some petty crime and to discredit the Party because it could not deal directly with the Marxist-Leninist political line of the party.
The history of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) is a history of being attack by the reactionary Canadian state because of the Party’s political stand. It is because CPC(M-L) works tirelessly for the overthrow of the capitalist system and for the establishment of a genuinely independent, democratic and socialist Canada, and because the comrades of the Party take these politics to the broad masses of the Canadian people, that they constantly face political persecution.
From the day of the raid itself on February 23, 1977 right up until the charge was dismissed yesterday, the state had stubbornly persisted in upholding the charade that there was nothing “political” about the case, that it was just a “routine” immigration matter; but all the events of the case prove just the opposite – that from the beginning to the end, the whole affair has been an act of political persecution against Comrade Bains and the Party.
The state mobilized a force of more than twenty RCMP goons, assisted by local Kitchener-Waterloo police on February 23, allegedly for the purpose of rounding up one “illegal alien”. At the NBI, all the comrades present at the time of the raid, plus others who arrived hours afterwards, were arrested for “aiding” an immigrant to be in Canada illegally. A total of thirteen comrades were arrested at NBI and hauled off to jail for the rest of the day. Through this manoeuvre, the RCMP cleared everyone from the place and proceeded to ransack the NBI offices, stealing political and personal documents having nothing at all to do with immigration matters. At the same time, several apartments in K-W were raided by other RCMP goons. At one apartment three more comrades were arrested and charged with “aiding” and also on tramped-up charges of “assault police”.
The “routine” immigration matter immediately became the subject of sensational and distorted national and international news coverage. Not only local newspapers and television stations, but the New York Times and other American newspapers ran articles about the raid, attempting to link it to the case of a Soviet social-imperialist spy who was being expelled from Canada at the same time. The raid was also raised in the House of Commons, where the Solicitor-General congratulated the RCMP security forces for a good job on the alleged “immigration matter”. Later it was revealed that the immigration authorities in K-W didn’t even know about the raid beforehand; that it had been planned and executed by the political police from the beginning. Fred Mason, the comrade charged with being an “illegal alien” was scheduled to appear in court on February 28 to face this charge. A Special Inquiry Officer was brought into the case on February 25 and ordered his deportation before he could even appear in court to face the charge. Fred Mason was deported a few hours after the “inquiry”, without the knowledge of the K-W immigration department.
In the weeks and months that followed the raid, the comrades were hauled into court on scores of occasions where they faced a series of postponements and delays until eventually the charges of “aiding” an “illegal alien” were dropped against all the comrades except against Comrade Bains. There has only been one actual trial that of one of the comrades for “obstructing police” and that resulted in a $75 fine after a conviction based on the uncorroborated evidence of two RCMP hooligans who had been trained to tell lies in order to frame anyone who opposes the state of the rich. (A chronology of the February 23, 1977 RCMP raid and its aftermath appears in this issue of PCDN on page 2.)
Comrade Bains was singled out for the most pernicious and protracted persecution and harassment by the state. He was compelled to appear in court on numerous occasions. On his first appearance on May 5, Comrade Bains demanded to know the nature of the charge against him” but the court refused to provide this information and remanded Comrade Bains for one month to set a trial date for June. On June 10, Comrade Bains, appeared in court and had a trial date set for October. On October 7, the trial of Comrade Bains for “aiding” was postponed again until January 13. The state still persisted in the charade that it was “sifting through the evidence” and again refused to provide any information as to the details of the charge. On January 13, the trial of Comrade Bains was postponed once again, this time until May 12. On May 12, the trial of Comrade Bains was postponed still one more time by the judge and prosecutor. The next date was set for June 9. The court refused to recognize the agent appointed by Comrade Bains to act on his behalf and ordered Comrade Bains to appear in court the next time.
On June 9, a motion was presented to the court on behalf of Comrade Bains calling for a dismissal of the information for lack of sufficient details. The motion to quash the information against Comrade Bains traced the history of the case from the time of the raid itself, and citing large numbers of legal precedents, argued conclusively that the information had been deliberately left vague, leaving out vital statements of fact, making it impossible to identify the alleged “violation” of the Immigration Act, and thus making it impossible for Comrade Bains to conduct any sort of defence. The motion pointed out that “the omission of sufficient details was not just some oversight on the part of the Crown prosecutor. It was a manoeuvre to catch the accused by surprise at the trial itself”. (The full text of the motion to quash the information against Comrade Bains is printed on page 2.) The Crown prosecutor opposed the motion to quash the information for lack of sufficient details with a series of clumsy arguments, in the course of which he tripped over his own feet one time after another. All of his bogus arguments were decisively refuted by the agent acting on behalf of Comrade Bains. After the motion was presented, the judge called for an adjournment of the court for one week to study the matter. Comrade Bains was ordered to appear in court again on June 15.
On June 15, the judge,confronted with the shabby formulation of the charge and the prosecution’s repeated stubborn refusal to reveal the nature of the alleged “offense” was compelled to agree with the defence motion that the charge be dismissed. It was too obvious that it would have been impossible to prepare a defence to answer such a vague information. After the judge handed down his decision, the prosecutor said that the Crown is considering to lay a new charge against Comrade Bains with altered wording.
The decision of the state not to proceed, for the time being at least, with the trumped-up charge against Comrade Bains was made because to proceed would have only led to a still more glaring exposure of the criminal nature of the state and of the fact that its entire case was a phoney one, and that the real “crime” committed by Comrade Bains is that he is a staunch Marxist-Leninist communist fighter for the cause of the proletariat and people and against imperialism and all reaction. While the aim of the reactionary state in carrying out this protracted campaign of political persecution was to undermine and cow down the Party and sabotage its work of organizing social revolution, in doing so, the state only lifted a rock to drop on its own feet. Its entire campaign has backfired. The blatant frame-up. against Comrade Bains has given rise to a massive upsurge in the struggle of the Canadian proletariat and people against the reactionary state.
Within five days of the raid itself, the Organizing Committee to found the Canadian People’s (Citizens and Residents) Defence Committee was formed. On March 13, 1977, the Closing Rally of the Third Congress of CPC(M-L) was held in a revolutionary atmosphere of the victory of Marxism over revisionism and opportunism of all hues. Large rallies and demonstrations were organized across the country against the political persecution of the Party and Comrade Bains. The Political Resolution of the Third Congress of CPC(M-L) vigorously denounced the persecution of Comrade Bains, and the Special Congress of the Party, held April 29 to May 9, 1978, also took a determined stand against the attacks of the state on the leadership of the Party. The political persecution of Comrade Bains by the state has only served to arouse the proletariat, heighten the vigilance of the people against the reactionary state of the rich, and to give rise to ever greater resistance amongst the people to the political repression of the reactionary state. The angry denunciation by the masses of the cowardly state attack reflects the great love and respect the people bear towards CPC (M-L) and the uncompromising stand and fighting revolutionary spirit of Comrade Bains.
Earlier attempts by the state to concoct a framed-up case against Comrade Bains also ended in failure. In March 1975, the state organized four reactionary MP’s from British Columbia to launch a campaign for the deportation of Comrade Bains. On that occasion, Comrade Bains was accused of advocating the formation of “vigilante groups” amongst the East Indian community to combat racist attacks. Hundreds of people from the East Indian community and democratic and progressive Canadians from all walks of life rose up in support of Comrade Bains and to denounce the reactionary state, forcing the reactionaries to back down on that issue as well.
While for the time being the state has backed down on this latest attack against Comrade Bains, its hatred and fear of the proletariat and its revolutionary Party and the Party leadership remain unabated. The state will not give up its reactionary mission to crush the revolutionary movement in Canada. As Mao Tsetung has pointed out: “Make trouble, fail, make trouble again, fail again ... till their doom; that is the logic of the imperialists and reactionaries the world over in dealing with the peoples cause, and they will never go against this logic.” Either the state will persist in carrying through with the concocted charge arising from the February 23 raid (as the prosecutor has threatened), or it will plan new and more vicious attacks. In any event, our Party stands absolutely behind the leadership of Comrade Bains and will respond with courage and determination against any and all attacks of the reactionary state against Comrade Bains now and in the future. PCDN hails the fighting revolutionary spirit of Comrade Bains and calls upon the proletariat and revolutionary masses to heighten their vigilance against the nefarious activities of the reactionary state and under the leadership of the Party to persist with renewed vigour and determination in the revolutionary struggle for the overthrow of the reactionary bourgeoisie and its state and for the establishment of a genuinely independent, democratic and socialist Canada.