Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

February 23, 1977 RCMP raid on CPC (M-L) and its aftermath – a partial chronology of events

First Published: People’s Canada Daily News, Vol 8, No. 133, June 16, 1978
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

February 6, 1977: The historic Third Congress of CPC(M-L) opens.

February 22: Constable Binnie of the Kitchener RCMP lays information against Comrade Bains and one other comrade under the Immigration Act. s. 46(j) for “aiding” Fred Mason to violate the Act. Arrest warrants are issued by Betty Futher, Justice of the “Peace”.

February 23: 7:00 a.m. – Binnie goes to Futher to get search warrants for the Norman Bethune Institute offices and apartments in Waterloo. He claims there are several Americans working here illegally. Over twenty RCMP are poised for the raid.

8:30 a.m. – Eight RCMP goons raid the NBI, arrest Mason for being in Canada illegally, and then arrest everyone else in the room for aiding him. One comrade is arrested when he arrives at 9:15 a.m. Another comrade is arrested when he arrives at 10:30 a.m. Another is arrested for “aiding“ when he arrives at 4:00 p.m., long after Mason and the others had been taken to jail. Altogether, thirteen comrades were arrested at the NBI, only two on an arrest warrant, and taken to jail for the day for supposedly “aiding” one American to violate the Act.

1:45 a.m. – Several apartments are raided by other RCMP goons. At one apartment, three more comrades are arrested for “aiding” and taken to jail, and they are also booked on the frame-up charge of ’assault police”, a standard gimmick used against CPC(M-L) when the, cops can’t find some petty violation to use. They are then photographed and finger-printed.

6:00 p.m. – Global TV news gives sensational coverage to the raid, showing pictures of the NBI and apartments, even before any comrades are released from jail.

6:30-10:00 p.m. – Comrades are interrogated and then released one at a time and told to appear in court either April 7 or May 5 for trial. Only two comrades are not charged with “aiding”. Mason is held in jail incommunicado and threatened with a jail sentence for being in Canada illegally. His court appearance is set for February 28.

February 24: The K-W Record and the Toronto Sun publish hysterical items about the raid, alleging violent struggles by the comrades, and at the same time giving the police line that it is just an immigration matter. Meanwhile, Mason is scheduled for an immigration inquiry and possible deportation.

February 25: The Globe and Mail, the New York Times and other newspapers run articles about the raid, trying to link it to the case of a Soviet spy who is being expelled from Canada around the same time. In the House of Commons, Jake Epp raises the NBI raid and the Soviet spy case, and Mr. Francis Fox replies to his question about the RCMP aid on NBI by saying “it indicates that the RCMP security forces are obviously doing their work”.

A Special Inquiry officer comes from Hamilton to Kitchener, and Fred Mason is ordered deported. He is sent to the U.S. on the next jet plane from Toronto airport. This leaves Crown prosecutor Bob Bryson with no one to prosecute at the February 28 court hearing.

The RCMP tell The Chevron, the student newspaper at the University of Waterloo that there are “no political overtones” to the raid, while Doug Davies of Kitchener Immigration said they knew nothing about the raid.

February 28: The Organizing Committee to found the Canadian People’s (Citizens and Residents) Defence Committee is formed and holds its first press conference to denounce the February 23 raid and the arrest of Comrade Bains. The K-W Record published an incredibly distorted article on the press conference and subsequently refuses to print a letter from CPDC correcting the errors.

March 3: The CPDC organizing committee begins a series of public rallies against the political persecution of CPC(M-L) and Comrade Bains.

March 10: A notorious police socialist publication financed by the Canada Council and other arms of the state publishes a series of fantastic lies about the February 23 raid in an effort to disrupt the growing outrage of the people, against RCMP attacks on progressive forces.

March 13: The Closing Rally of the Third Congress of CPC(M-L) is held in revolutionary atmosphere of the victory of Marxism over revisionism and opportunism of all hues.

March 19: CPDC holds a press conference in Toronto which is boycotted by the bourgeois media. A vigorous demonstration and rally against state-organized racist attacks and the political persecution of CPC(M-L) and Comrade Bains takes place in Toronto. Walter Pitman’s “Task Force on Human Relations” sends spies to the meeting sponsored by the East Indian Defence Committee and the West Indian People’s Organization.

March 30: Constable Hamilton of the RCMP lays Information against three comrades for “assaulting police” and against one of them for “obstructing police”. The comrades had already been charged with “aiding” Mason.

April 7: Ten comrades appear in Waterloo Provincial Court to have trial date set. Nine comrades have trials postponed until May 5 for a date to be set. One comrade demands to have an immediate trial and to see the so-called “evidence” of the prosecution but he is remanded to the next week. The three comrades scheduled to appear on the “assault” charges are not called before the judge. Meanwhile, the judge issues a summons for a comrade to appear in court April 27 on the “assault” and “obstruct” charges.

April 14 and 21: One comrade appears again in court and demands a trial.

April 25: Constable Hamilton serves the summons on one comrade two days before her scheduled court appearance for “assault” and “obstruct”.

April 27: The comrade appears on the “assault” and “obstruct” charges and her trial is postponed for two weeks. The two other comrades mentioned on the information for “assault” are called in court, even though no summonses have been served on them.

April 28: The comrade who had appeared in court on April 14 and 21 appears in court once again to demand a trial and is promised that next week a date will be set. Still the prosecutor refuses to reveal what his evidence is or what the details of the alleged act of “aiding” are.

May 4: Constable Binnie lays an information against another comrade for “aiding” Fred Mason to violate the Immigration Act.

CPDC is founded at a mass rally at the University of Waterloo attended by 200 supporters.

May 5: Fourteen comrades are scheduled to appear in court on the “aiding” charges. Only twelve names appear on the docket, and of those, eight have charges against them abruptly dropped with no explanation. Comrade Bains is remanded for one month to set a trial date in June, whereas two other comrades have trial dates set for July.

The CPDC holds a demonstration of 150 people to denounce the frame-up case against CPC(M-L) and to announce the founding of the CPDC. Again the K-W Record publishes numerous false allegations and then refuses to print a letter from CPDC correcting their mistakes.

May 11: A comrade again appears in court on the “assault” charge and has the setting of her trial postponed to June 1.

May 27: Mr. Hayes, editor of the K-W Record tells CPDC that its letters will not be printed until after the trial is over, under the ruse that it might “bias” the trial and put the Record in contempt of court if the views of CPDC were to be printed. Of course, the Record was able to publish numerous lies about the raid and the CPDC actions.

June 1: The comrade appears again on the “obstruct” and “assault” charges and has a trial date set. A warrant is issued for the arrest of a second comrade who had not been served with a subpoena, under the hoax that the comrade, who had long since moved out of the area, was “evading service of a summons”.

June 10: Comrade Bains appears in court and has a trial date set for October.

June 30: CPDC holds a press conference at the Kitchener Provincial Courthouse and announces the Four-Point Programme of CPDC. The RCMP send under-cover agents to eavesdrop on the press conference.

July 8: The trial of yet another comrade for “aiding” Fred Mason is ended abruptly when the prosecutor withdraws the charges because he lacks sufficient “admissible” evidence to even have a trial, let alone win his case. This occurs after much bluster and cant about how the prosecution had so much evidence that it could not go to trial right away and needed more time to sift through everything. Subsequent inspection of material seized from the comrade’s home by the RCMP on February 23 reveals that it had nothing to do with immigration at all but instead was of a personal and political nature. The RCMP refuse to release his possessions, however, because they are supposedly saving them for the “Bains’ trial”.

July 15: At Kitchener Provincial Courthouse, the charges against another comrade for “aiding” Fred Mason, are dropped. The prosecutor claims to have forgotten all about the trial and does not even show up. This occurs in spite of the fact that a comrade had been hounding him all week to get some advance notice of his evidence and witnesses in order to prepare the defence. The comrade reclaims all of her material seized by the RCMP, none of which had anything to do with immigration.

July 28: The Joint Committee of the East Indian Defence Committee, West Indian People’s Organization and Canadian People’s (Citizens and Residents) Defence Committee is founded to wage a unified struggle against state-organized attacks on the immigrants, including racist attacks and the anti-immigrant Bill C-24.

September 7: The prosecutor, McDowell, again refuses to provide any inkling of his case against Comrade Bains or a list of what witnesses he will call. A few days later, the prosecutor for a comrade’s upcoming trial on “obstruct” and “assault” also refuses to provide the defence with an outline of the case.

September 13: The trial of a comrade for “obstructing” an RCMP goon in the February 23 raid on her apartment. The “evidence” simply consists of lies concocted by the police after they failed to find any evidence to convict her of “aiding” an illegal immigrant. At the trial the RCMP claim they thought she was an American in Canada illegally. The trial takes all day and is adjourned for two weeks.

September 16: The trial of another comrade for “aiding” Fred Mason also ends before it starts, with charges being dropped with no explanation, after requiring the comrade to travel a long distance at his own expense to be in court.

September 26: The trial of one of the comrades charged with “obstructing police” continues with the RCMP telling more lies and getting exposed. However, the judge accepts everything the fascist police say and convicts the comrade, assessing her the sum of $75.00. The prosecutor decides not to proceed with the charges of “assaulting police” when the comrades make it apparent that there will be a big battle over this charge as well and the whole affair would drag on for several more days. The comrade soon enters an appeal with Waterloo County Court.

October 7: The trial of Comrade Bains for “aiding” is postponed until January 13.

November 28: A letter is sent to prosecutor McDowell formally demanding to see an outline of the case of the prosecution against Comrade Bains and a list of witnesses so that the defence can prepare its case. McDowell once more declines to reveal anything about the trumped-up charges.

December 20: Subpoenas are sent out to numerous RCMP, immigration officials and journalists for the January 13 trial of Comrade Bains.

December 23: Application is made to a judge to get a court order to force the RCMP to allow the material they seized in the February 23 raid to be inspected by an agent for the defence of Comrade Bains. A hearing is scheduled for January 11.

January 5, 1978: Prosecutor McDowell becomes panic-stricken when, in his own words, “half the town” starts calling him, wanting to know why they are getting subpoenas for the January 13 trial. An agent for Comrade Bains explains to the prosecutor that, because he refuses to reveal his case, the defence intends to be ready for any eventuality and is trying to cover every angle that he may try to use. The comrades are determined to expose the whole charade of the state. McDowell then requests another postponement of the trial.

January 11: The hearing to view the evidence takes place and a court order is issued making the material seized February 23 available to the defence for inspection.

January 13: The trial of Comrade Bains for “aiding” Fred Mason is postponed until May 12.

February 2: Five RCMP goons raid a home in Sudbury using a warrant to search for “drugs”, but obviously in search of political material from the Party. A comrade is arrested on the nine month-old arrest warrant on the “assault police” charge. Although she is eight and a half months pregnant, the RCMP threaten to send her back to Kitchener jail or the women’s hospital at Kingston penitentiary, but they finally order her to appear at Kitchener Provincial court on April 14 for trial.

February 20: The appeal trial of a comrade on the “obstruct police” charge is set for March 2, but the prosecutor asks for a postponement. However, he manages to send the notice to the comrade’s year-old address instead of the one on the appeal notice. Consequently, she goes ahead with preparations for the trial.

March 2: The appeal trial of the comrade is postponed indefinitely by request of the prosecution, which claims that the RCMP witnesses are either “on special assignment and cannot be located” or are in Florida on holidays. The judge nearly throws out the case because she did not provide a transcript of the original trial, which would have cost $1,000.00.

April 14: The trial of another comrade for assaulting an RCMP goon during the February 23 raid is postponed until June 30, more than a year after the original state attack on the NBI and comrades in Waterloo.

(Up to this point, in the aftermath of the February 23, 1977 RCMP raid on CPC(M-L), comrades have made a total of forty-three individual appearances in court and spent innumerable hours preparing for cases that never came to trial. There has been only one actual trial so far, that of one comrade for “obstructing police”, and that resulted in a $75 fine after a conviction based on the uncorroborated evidence of two RCMP hooligans that have been trained to tell lies in order to frame anyone who opposes the state of the rich.)

May 12: Comrade Bains’ trial is postponed again by the Judge and prosecutor. A comrade is not permitted to act as agent for Comrade Bains in spite of a letter signed by Comrade Bains authorizing him to act as agent. Comrade Bains is ordered to appear in court on June 9.

June 9: Comrade Bains appears in court again. His agent presents a motion to dismiss the information for lack of sufficient details. Crown Prosecutor Hafemann opposes this with clumsy arguments. Court is adjourned for one week while the judge studies the matter. Comrade Bains is again ordered to appear in court on June 15.

June 15: The charge against Comrade Bains of “aiding” an illegal immigrant is dismissed. The motion is granted. Crown Prosecutor Hafemann says the Crown is considering the laying of a new information.