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People's Tribunal in Toronto draws 250 participants

After several months of planning by a coalition of Cuba and other progressive solidarity activists of the Toronto area, 250 people attended a People's Tribunal about the Cuban Five, in the City Hall Chambers of this northeastern Canadian city. There they heard an impressive array of witnesses give testimony to a panel of Magistrates of Justice on the unjust and illegal political prosecution carried out by the U.S. government against Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, and René González .

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After a solidarity evening forum on Friday, Sept. 21, the Tribunal commenced on Saturday, and the ruling was announced by Tribunal Judge Juan Carranza. On Sunday, the attendees shared reports on ongoing solidarity work for the Cuban Five's freedom. Sunday at 1:00 pm, a spirited protest was held across from the U.S. Consulate near City Hall.
Read the list of witnesses and magistrates below, after the ruling.
The following is the ruling from the Peoples' Tribunal and Assembly:
This People's Tribunal was convened in Toronto fourteen years after the arrest and detention of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González Llort and René González in the United States.
After considering all the evidence before this Peoples' Tribunal, we find:
1. There is overwhelming and compelling evidence as to the activity of terrorist groups in Southern Florida, groups which have planned and executed terrorist actions against the people of Cuba for decades in contravention of U. S. and international law.
2. Every country has the right to defend itself and in that context, the Cuban Five acted in the least adversarial and nonviolent manner to prevent acts of terrorism without engaging in actions against the national security of the United States.
3. The U.S. failed to take any action to prosecute the actual terrorists in Southern Florida.
4. We find that men that are peacefully trying to prevent terrorism should not be in prison.
5. This Peoples' Tribunal condemns the cruel and unwarranted treatment of the Cuban Five during their incarceration.
6. We find the Trial was a political trial against the Five.
7. We find there was no credible evidence to support a conviction of conspiracy to commit espionage against the Five.
8. We find there was no credible evidence to support a conviction of conspiracy to commit murder against Gerardo Hernandez.
9. We find the U. S. Government interfered in the trial by spending considerable sums of money to pay reporters to write over one thousand printed articles and other television and radio coverage amounting to propaganda which had the unequivocal effect of influencing the outcome of the trial.
10. We find the court's decision to deny the motion for change of venue was patently unreasonable in light of jury intimidation and a pervasive environment of hostility against the Five.
11. Therefore this Peoples' Tribunal concludes that the Cuban Five were unjustly detained, unjustly prosecuted, and unjustly sentenced, all contrary to international and U.S. domestic law including the U.S. Constitution. This Peoples' Tribunal proposes the convictions be quashed, and that Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González Llort and René González be set free immediately, without any restrictions on their liberty.
12. In the alternative, and in the interest of justice and healing, the People's Tribunal proposes that the President of the United States should exercise his prerogative of a Presidential Clemency and allow the Five to return home.
The organizers of the Tribunal, with Elizabeth Palmeiro and Adriana Perez.