Rabble, The Toronto Star, Alex Hundert, Solitary Confinement & Dirty Tricks… (feat. Antonia Zerbisias)

Judy Rebick & Alex Hundert together in Montreal...

Judy Rebick & Alex Hundert together in Montreal…

Since the G20, there’s been a disturbing trend with some parts of the media. Rather than being critical of the criminals who trained and led the forces of destruction they’ve instead re-framed them as political prisoners and jailhouse activist heroes. It’s a sick, twisted, logic- the type of stuff that makes Dick Cheney giggle like a schoolgirl.

Rabble.ca and the Toronto Star are two of the worst offenders in this area- they’ve both dedicated a good chunk of column inches the the cause of promoting G20 criminals. This may have been understandable prior to their conviction, but both publications have  continued long after. The big question is why are they doing this- is the media using the anarchists, are the anarchists using the media, or is there a bigger game at play?

The answer may come from the pattern of the media’s behaviour…

Outside of the anarchist run Media Co-Op, no publication has done more to twist the reality of the G20 criminals than Rabble- a website founded by Ryerson University professor Judy Rebick. Rabble’s Krystalline Kraus has published numerous articles deifying G20 ring leaders. After Kelly Pflug-Back’s imprisonment for smashing-up a police car, Kraus labelled her as a ‘political prisoner’. When Alex Hundert, a ringleader who trained anarchists how to ‘de-arrest’ people, was imprisoned Kraus (who’s not native to Canada) had this to say:

“At the next pow-wow, I will dance the intertribal in honour of Alex Hundert.”

Rabble took things a step-further today. This time they broadcast Dan Kellar’s telephone interview with Alex Hundert discussing a hunger strike he led inside his cell block at Penetang prison.

The Star’s coverage of the G20 anarchists has been slightly less blatant but equally as dangerous. In July they published an article about Alex Hundert’s brave quest to get more books to his fellow inmates. Then Star columnist Antonia Zerbisias published an article about how G20 ringleader Mandy Hiscocks was campaigning for the rights of disabled prisoners from inside Vanier prison.

Rabble and The Star’s willingness to promote the G20 ringleaders as prison activists is dangerous to the public, to the people inside the prisons, and to the activists themselves. Alex Hundert is learning this first-hand, he’s currently in Solitary confinement after leading a sit-in about lockup times. It’s hard to argue that the media’s willingness to cover his PR activities hasn’t emboldened him.

Rabble content producers have responded to my criticism of anarchist violence by publishing two very personal attacks against me. The first was related to my writing about Harsha Walia, one of Canada’s most vocal public supporters of anarchist street violence. The article contained blatant lies, so I wrote to Rabble asking them to remove the attack- they did, but not before one of their editors wrote a nasty, visceral, email to me. Next, Rabble published Dan Kellar’s radio show where he spent five minutes openly slandering me. Rabble removed this show after I complained.

Antonia Zerbisias’s response to my criticism has been equally as visceral as what I saw from Rabble. She began by making a mental health slur and then threatened me live over Twitter:

Antonia Zerbisias Threat

The irony of her attack was that she posted a website that Alex Hundert created in an attempt to discredit me (it’s hard to know if she was cognisant of that fact or not). A little over a week ago, Zerbisias attacked once more with an email trying to bait me into answering some very loaded questions.

Harsha Walia at the G20...

Harsha Walia (pointing finger) being aggressive towards the police at the G20

She said she was writing an article about stalkers and wanted to ask some questions about my reporting on Harsha Walia. She said that that Wakia “has actually given me concrete evidence that she’s been a target”. Yes, indeed, Walia has been someone I’ve focussed some of my articles on. I write a lot about people who promote political violence- Walia is one of Canada’s most vocal and public proponent’s of it. Anyone who writes about political violence and doesn’t cover Walia is missing a big part of the picture.

Rather than enter into a logical debate about the violence they support- Zerbisias and Rabble both decided to use threats and public attacks to try and discredit the messenger. In essence, what they’re doing is using violent tactics for the cause of protecting the use of violence. This is madness.

The old-left is busy preparing for the days when the G20 gang leaders are released from prison. They’re re-framing their crimes and painting them into hero martyrs. Once out of jail, Hundert & Hiscocks will be used to ‘inspire’, recruit and lead impressionable young minds to join their cause. Some of those kids, like Eva Botton, will end up making the worst mistakes of their lives.

Rabble and The Star’s behaviour has been simply unacceptable. Let’s hope they have the sense to stop promoting evangelists of violence before more lives are destroyed and more people get hurt.


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