G20 protester arrested after WLU talk

Students, faculty and staff say police are ‘criminalizing’ the free exchange of ideas

Wilfrid Laurier University professors, staff and students are protesting the arrest of an activist who was sent to jail after police recorded a panel discussion without the knowledge of the university. Alex Hundert, 30, participated in the September panel session, hosted by the faculty of social work, on the topic of resisting the “G20 Agenda.” The activist was under house arrest related to charges of conspiracy during the protests that erupted in Toronto during the G20 gathering in June.

Hundert, who is under orders to avoid participating in demonstrations, contributed to the panel remotely through a computer. According to the Waterloo Record, he consulted with a lawyer beforehand to ensure he wasn’t breaching his bail orders. Police evidently disagreed, and arrested Hundert shortly after he participated in a similar discussion at Ryerson University.

A letter sent to John Milloy, minister of universities, colleges and training, was signed by 42 faculty, staff and students. “We are very concerned that his participation as an invited panelist at two university events was construed as involvement in a demonstration and that a meeting for the expression of dissenting ideas was criminalized,” the letter states. “For the police and courts to thus twist the meaning of dialogue at an academic event threatens precisely the free exchange of ideas that universities exist to foster.”