Charles Roach, a champion of social justice, a defender of the Black community against police violence and a leading advocate of civil rights died on October 2, 2012 at the age of 79.
Charles Roach was a fervent supporter of many of the same ideals driving Harry Kopyto in his quest for social justice and closely identified with Kopyto’s legal cases. Charles was Harry’s lawyer when Harry was charged with “scandalizing the court” for criticizing the cozy relationship between the police and the judicial system in the mid-1980s. He also represented Harry when the Law Society drove Harry out of the legal profession on trumped-up charges of fraud in 1989.
Charles Roach continued to defend Harry until his death. He acted as a legal advisor to Harry during his current good character hearing. He was also Master of Ceremonies at a social gathering organized by the Harry Kopyto Defence Committee last year to support his current battle to remain a paralegal.
Charles’ talents went beyond the legal profession and included painting, playing music and writing.
In reflecting on this tragic loss, we’ll be posting a few pieces by Charles and his thoughts about Harry’s efforts, including a poem written in late 1986 entitled “Bravo Kopyto” celebrating Harry’s success in overturning the scandalizing court law, as well as a brief summary of Charles’ experience with the Law Society in representing Harry during his disbarment proceedings.
Supporters of Harry are reminded that he is back before the Law Society this coming Tuesday October 9th at 9:30 a.m. in the Museum Room, Osgoode Hall. Charles had agreed to be a character witness in this proceeding. Although his body gave out, his spirit lives on.