Aug 06

GAE Twitter Trial Update: Did The Crown Change Her Story In Mid-Trial?

Occupy Toronto's "Occupod", built by Gregory Alan Elliott

Occupy Toronto’s “Occupod”, built by Gregory Alan Elliott

[Note: I’m not a lawyer. I’ve done my best to understand yesterday’s hearing, but it’s possible there are complexities in the law that I don’t fully understand- if so, I openly welcome corrections]

Wednesday morning marked a new and unexpected chapter in the prolonged misadventures of Gregory Alan Elliott’s trial. Elliott was charged with criminal harassment for his communications over Twitter with three politically connected Toronto social justice warriors. Elliott lost his job and has been banned from using the Internet for over three years.

There were six other people in the courtroom yesterday morning; judge Brend Knazan, Crown prosecutor Marnie Goldenberg, a couple court staff, Elliott, and his dedicated son Clayton- neither the alleged victims nor anyone from the media showed. Elliott’s defence lawyer was on holiday and unable to attend the hearing so a speakerphone was placed under a microphone for him. While waiting for the judge Goldenberg commented to one of the clerks “I’ve never been in court on the phone”.

Adding to the unusual circumstances of the morning’s unscheduled hearing, the Judge had an unusual announcement. It appears that the Crown either made a colossal mistake or changed her story part way through. The results of this error could have a significant impact on Elliott’s case.

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Aug 05

Gregory Alan Elliott’s Twitter Criminal Harassment Trial Back In Court This Morning

Why would WoTOPoli  want to stop this guy?

Why would #WiTOPoli want to stop this guy?

There might be big news to report about Gregory Alan Elliott’s Twitter criminal harassment trial tomorrow. Elliott’s next court date was originally set for October 6th but, in a surprise move, the court will be called into session this morning at 10 am. No further information is available at this point, the court will be open to the public and I’ll be there to give as impartial of a report as I can.

The last time the court’s proceedings were interrupted in this case was after the judge received a letter from a “stranger” claiming that Elliott’s alleged victims “conspired, in my presence, to fabricate a criminal harassment complaint” against him. The letter went on to allege the conspiracy leads “to the ministry of the attorney-general”. The judge claimed the letter was signed and included contact information.

There are many possibilities tomorrow. Speculation has included that the potentially politically damaging case might get shut down on a technicality, the court might have received other new information, or that one of the two remaining alleged victims will be withdrawn from the case (one already has), or perhaps the judge has seen the video of city councillors encouraging Guthrie’s vigilante behaviour. But regardless of this morning’s outcome there’s one thing we’ll know for certain…

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Jul 27

BC Homebuyers Unwittingly Fund Misleading Water Campaigners (Feat. Real Estate Foundation of BC)

Real Estate Foundation of BC board members with Waterwealth Project in 2014

Real Estate Foundation of BC board members with Waterwealth Project in 2014

One of BC’s loudest activist campaigns over the past couple of years has been the fight against Nestlé’s water bottling plant in Hope, BC. Organizations battling against the company’s operations have complained that Nestlé was “tapping the water for free” in a “multi-million dollar giveaway” that’s “removing the water from the watershed” that could “suck Hope dry”. More recently, activists have been using BC’s regional water shortages to add fuel to the fire.

The “outrage” has received wide attention. Local BC media has been all over the story, there’s been some national coverage, and it was even covered by Russia Today– Putin’s propaganda channel that’s taken a special interest in attacking Nestlé. It would be hard to find a Canadian environmentalist’s Facebook stream without a link to one of the stories.

But there’s one minor problem, well perhaps a big problem, the activist’s claims are horribly misleading. More importantly, the solution they’ve called for has the potential to damage Canadian sovereignty. Adding insult to injury, BC home buyers have been unwittingly paying for the campaign…

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Jul 20

“Twitter Troll” Trial: City Councillors Encouraged Cyberbullying At 2012 WiToPoli Meeting (Feat. Carroll, Wong-Tam)

Shelley Carroll: "Where's our cyberbullies, why aren't we bullying the people that say things like that?"

Shelley Carroll: “Where’s our cyberbullies, why aren’t we bullying the people that say things like that?”

Women in Toronto Politics is a “non-partisan” political group started by Stephanie Guthrie, the primary complainant against Gregory Alan Elliott in the “Twitter troll” trial. The group has attracted the support of several far-left leaning city councillors including Shelley Carroll and Kristyn Wong-Tam. The group’s blog promotes a litany of left leaning causes including Black Lives Matter- a group Guthrie recently marched with, led in-part by a man who promotes killing cops.

On May 30th, 2012 WiTOPoli (rhymes with “monopoly”!) hosted a public event at the Centre for Social Innovation called “The Front Page”- including a panel to “explore how female players in the political sphere are discussed on Twitter, in the media, and elsewhere”. Carroll and Wong-Tam were on the panel- Elliott was in the audience, Guthrie tweeted him saying “Yay. Welcome!” on hearing he’d arrived.

The meeting was discussed in Ellott’s defence lawyers final submission as an example how Guthrie’s claim to be “afraid” of Elliott were less than genuine. But there’s one part of the night’s events that wasn’t discussed in the court and perhaps should have been. Shelley Carroll called on people to cyber-bully political opponents, and Wong-Tam defined insults as threats “threats” while cheering the virtues of taking vigilante action against such “trolls”.

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Jul 15

Blatchford Nails “Twitter Troll” Case, But Misses One Important Point (Feat. Gregory Alan Elliott)

Stephanie Guthrie

Stephanie Guthrie: Social Justice Princess

Yesterday marked the closing remarks of Gregory Alan Elliott’s trial. The best single word I can think of to describe the charges against him is “creepy”. The hardest evidence presented against him was testimony from alleged victim Stephanie Gurhrie saying he made her feel “creepy”. Elliott originally had three accusers until one dropped-out in the middle of the trial- the case against him has looked increasingly weak ever since.

The creepiest part of Elliott’s charges is that they actually made it to court- Toronto Detective Jeff Bangild testified that Elliott never made threats, sexual innuendo, or anything else of the sort. It was equally creepy listening to Guthrie testifying how she felt she was justified putting another man’s life at risk of harm in one of her many slacktivist campaigns against people she disagrees with.

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