On March 21, 2010, a group of city councillors gathered for an in-camera meeting to discuss the city’s plan to build a temporary police holding facility during the G20. City councillors Shelley Carroll and Adam Vaughan were reported as deciding that a single location would be a better solution. Vaughan was influenced by conversations with activists who attended the 2001 riot at the Quebec City Summit of the Americas saying “They didn’t know there was a detention centre, they didn’t know where it was located, they didn’t know how to get lawyers and support to that detention centre, and a whole series of issues around that.”
It was reported that when the Black Bloc anarchists started to smash up downtown Toronto that Shelly Carroll responded tweeting “Protest can’t stop consumerism at Yonge and Bloor, Off to Queen and Beav to watch Ghana Game!”. It was a strange response to criminals who were embarrassing Toronto on the world stage, and curiously devoid of criticism. The makeshift jail Shelley Carroll helped to create overflowed with prisoners- some arrested for entirely valid reasons, and 100’s of others using legally unsound mass arrest and kettling tactics. Surprisingly, 36 city councillors voted to commend the police for their behaviour.
Carroll and then Mayor David Miller “made the motion more palatable” by adding a clause calling for an investigation into the police. Carroll said it didn’t take too long after this incident to realize she made a mistake voting for the commendation- having risked emboldening rogue policemen. But Carroll’s call for a police investigation only addressed half of the problem. If Toronto is going to be successful avoiding a G20 replay during the Pan-Am Games, the city must also understand who the instigators were. Disturbingly, there’s no better place to start this investigation than Shelley Carroll’s city funded payroll.
Meet Administrative Assistant Leah Henderson:
Leah Henderson is the poster child for what can go wrong when you send your kids to York University (where she pursued Environmental Studies). Henderson worked as ForestEthics’ Boreal Campaigner in the early 2000’s, which brought her into the fray at the Grassy Narrows First Nation- a group she and fellow G20 ringleaders have influenced for over ten years.
Henderson was in a relationship with Toronto anarchist Alex Hundert up until the G20, both enjoyed rabble rousing at Grassy, and with the Six Nations in Caledonia. Their actions helped build ground-level contacts on the reserves- mostly fringe radicals whose presence was used to appropriate the voices of entire communities. In 2007 Henderson was charged with mischief at a Grassy Narrows protest.
The G20 was an opportunity for the radicals to make a big statement against “the man”. Henderson and Hundert were at the vanguard of the movement, Teaching and motivating impressionable young minds to join their efforts to “smash the state”.
But both their lives changed forever early in the morning on June 24, 2010. Executing a warrant, the police kicked-in their door and arrested Henderson “at gunpoint”. Hundert was out of the house, but he was also arrested later that day. In total, 19 people were arrested that day- many who have graced the pages of this website.
A plea bargain was made, a subset of the arrestees were let off the hook, but Henderson and Hundert would eventually be sentenced to prison time. In an astounding demonstration of arrogance and/or stupidity, both chose to use their sentencing hearings to prove to the courts that they’re hardcore badass revolutionaries.
Henderson’s story was a three page polemic explaining how she had zero remorse for counselling others to attack buildings including City Hall, Metro Hall, Goldman Sachs, and the Hudson Bay. Demonstrating her utter contempt for the law, Henderson defiantly explained to the court:
“I stand here guilty of breaking your laws, not the laws of justice”.
Half-way through her ten month sentence, after having received harsh criticism from the judge for her misguidedness, Henderson wrote a letter to her followers that explained how her lack of remorse made it pointless to pursue parole:
“Ok so a bit about me. Today is not just my halfway point, but it is also the day that I became eligible for parole. I’ve waived my right to apply for parole. I’ve done this for a few reasons, one is that I feel no remorse for my organizing against the G8 & G20, and given another opportunity, I will continue to organize against them (and colonialism and capitalism more generally). The parole board looks for remorse, and for how you will not re-offend. I can only hope more of us reoffend this work more often.”
Henderson was arrested for counselling young and impressionable kids (we’ll introduce one in a few moments) to put their entire futures in jeopardy by engaging meaningless violence and destruction. Believing, perhaps, that she’s Leon Trotsky encouraging fellow revolutionaries from St Petersburg’s Kresty Prison- Henderson’s jail letter explains how she can only hope more people will repeat her performance.
Henderson later complained how challenging it was to find work. It’s no secret that one of the biggest challenges for any newly released convict is finding a job. Get your name and face flashed across scores of newspapers and this challenge grows exponentially. So, what’s a hopelessly radicalised young convicted lawbreaker who’s on the record rejecting the legal system going to do?
Well, if they live in Toronto it appears the answer is to call city councillor Shelly Carroll. Henderson is now Carroll’s administrative assistant- with government perks and benefits that most Torontonians could only dream of. In Shelley Carroll’s world, the best thing to do to someone who encouraged Toronto’s youth to commit violent crimes is to stick your finger up at their victims by giving them a cushy job on the taxpayer’s dime.
Before we move onto Carroll’s next deeply disturbing hiring decision, it’s important to note that Henderson is as radical today as she was while locked up in prison. When she realized her cover had been broken on Thursday, Henderson vented her disappointment with a posting on her Facebook page:
Meet Constituency Assistant Claudia Calabro:
Claudia Calaboro’s was a spokesperson for the Toronto Community Mobilization Network during the G20. The position made her a highly visible figure in the movement, and partnering her up with many of the people who got arrested there. Demonstrating her deeply confused values even before the protests began, Calaboro was quoted in a story about how anarchists fire bombed an Ottawa bank saying she’d neither condemn nor support the arson because she’s “not interested in speaking about tactics”.
Later that day Calaboro spoke at a press conference officially kicking-off the G20 protests where she stated:
“After many months of planning, this is sort of our coming out party”
When the arrests started, Calaboro’s role was to spin a counter-narrative. In an article about Dave Vasey’s arrest she blamed his actions testing G20 security on the radical’s default demons of Harper and the police claiming:
“The Police carried out politically motivated arrests in an obvious attempt to try and scare people away from speaking out against the G20 policies and the misguided billion dollar circus that Harper rolled through Toronto”
Next there was her mysterious claim that she was packed into a van by Peel Regional Police who drove around for five hours and dropped her off in the middle of nowhere. Toronto police denied this claim, their spokesperson said it never happened. Some of Calaboro’s claims during the G20 were so wacky, it’s difficult to take this one at face value.
So, imagine for a moment that you’re a young woman whose name has been plastered on newspapers across the country making clearly outrageous statements on behalf of criminals who brought shame to our city. Similar to Leah Henderson’s situation, it could be really challenging to find meaningful employment- what’s a young extremist to do?
You guessed it, the most obvious choice is to get Shelly Carroll to put you on the City of Toronto payroll! Calaboro now holds the title of Carroll’s constituency assistant. It’s unknown if constituents who visit Carroll’s office know they’re enlisting the help of a G20 organizer who refused to denounce the bombing of a bank.
Occupy, No One Is Illegal And Sanctuary City:
After the G20, Shelley Carroll’s next public interaction with the city’s anarchist community came during Occupy Toronto. While many of her fellow city councillors were uncomfortable with the encampment’s impact, Carroll went the opposite direction and proposed that council endorses the “peaceful protest”.
In June 2014, city council held a controversial vote to declare Toronto a “sanctuary city”. The movement, called for the city to ensure services are available to all Toronto residents, regardless of immigration status, without the fear they would be turned-in to immigration authorities. Shelly Carroll was one of the many councillors who voted for it.
Sanctuary City was led by No One Is Illegal, the notorious anarchist group who were front-and-centre during the G20. Their Toronto leader Syed Hussan was arrested during the G20, but charges were dropped as part of the plea bargain with Henderson, Hundert and others. Hussan also led last year’s co-option of the Sammy Yatim marches from his family.Regardless of one’s feelings on the initiative, city council was rewarding agitators who’ve been making a mockery out of social justice movements.
In December 2013 the folks at No One Is Illegal were unhappy with the city’s perceived lack of progress. They wrote a letter in response- curiously, it was hand-delivered to Shelley Carroll and Joe Mihevc.
There are other radical connections we’ll cover in the near future, including a Black Bloc fetishist who has interviewed Carroll and other far-left leaning city councillors. But, for today, this last example wraps things up quite clearly. Using the knowledge they gained working for Shelley Carroll, and partnering with militant anarchist Syed Hussan, city employees Leah Henderson and Claudia Calabro will be teaching a class this November about How To Create Change At City Hall.
The class is being organized by Tools For Change, a radical training organization whose leader worked with the notorious Ruckus Society- an group closely linked to the violence at the battle that started it all- the 1999 Seattle WTO. TFC is funded by the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG), who also fund No One Is Illegal (and were a central part of the resistance against the G20).
Why is this important? Well, because as Undercoverkity recently discovered, OPIRG is already organizing planning events on how to “resist” the 2015 Pan-Am games. You see, the militants who smashed up the city during the G20 are looking forward to another round. And, unfortunately, people in our city council are enabling them.
Parting Thoughts- Shelley Carroll, Rob Ford, & Sandro Lisi:
Shelley Carroll has been almost laser focussed on attacking Rob Ford over the years. She lunges over anything from petty political correctness critiques, to more valid criticism about Ford’s dishonest response to his drug problem. She flipped my bozo bit earlier this year by flipping a binder containing police report allegations demanding that Ford resign on the basis his name is inside of it. There seemed to be a hint of bullying. (BTW I’m not a Rob Ford supporter, like Carroll, I’m also disappointed.)
Carroll was part of a chorus of Ford’s detractors who publicly declared that Rob Ford should resign based on his connection with Sandro Lisi- a man named in the police report Carroll was so flippantly flipping. It’s important to note that none of the allegations have been proven in court- so, basically, Carroll et all were ignoring our country’s core value that a person is to be presumed innocent unless otherwise proven.
In many ways, Leah Henderson is Shelley Carroll’s Sandro Lisi- but with some crucial differences. First, and most important, Henderson was actually convicted- she’s also entirely unrepentant. Carroll has supported Henderson, Calaboro, and Syed Hussan’s plan from No One Is Illegal.
There are many countries that would react more strongly in a situation like this- some prescribe public executions for elected representatives who support anti-government revolutionaries. And make no mistake, that’s exactly what’s happening here- Henderson, Calaboro, and Syed Hussan have all publicly rejected Canada’s legitimacy.
Luckily for Carroll, we’ve evolved past such barbaric practices in Canada- but this doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t be very scared. It would be hard to think of a bigger insult Carroll could make to her constituents, and the entire City of Toronto, than to reward a cushy government job to an unrepentant G20 criminal- particularly when that person openly promotes vulnerable youth to take the same dangerous path she did.
Shelley Carroll was right calling for an investigation on the police, there’s no question they went too far. But, now, it’s time to investigate the other side- the faux revolutionary hoodlums. There’s increasing evidence the same networks of people want a replay at the Pan-Am Games. The first step to avoiding more violence is to clean-up city hall.
Note: Shelley Carroll was contacted for comments on this story, but has declined to respond after multiple requests.