Not to sound too alarmist or impolite, but what do you call a country with governments that do the following:
- arrest peaceful protesters and innocent bystanders in/near a designated free speech zone under non-existent laws, then beat, intimidate and abuse them,
- declare a panel discussion at a public university to be a demonstration to arrest someone for a probation violation,
- define protest to be a mental or personality disorder to lock up an 82-year-old devoted protester for the rest of her life.
I would call this a totalitarian, authoritarian, gulag-loving police state. Welcome to the Canada and BC of Stephen Harper and Gordon Campbell in 2010.
I’m not making up this nonsense.
Number 1 happened to hundreds of people in Toronto during the G20 in June. Numbers 2 and 3 happened in the last 4 days in Toronto to Alex Hundert and in BC to Betty Krawczyk, which you can read about here and here.
What are we supposed to do to get people’s attention to the arbitrary suspension of civil liberties?
- use all caps?
- write a sensational editorial title like “The Police State Date Rapes Canada”?
- spam everyone?
- scream at people at train stations and bus stops?
- stop whining, and just join the apathetic masses?
This police state has slipped into Canada without significant criticism from the mainstream corporate media or the governing Conservative-Liberal coalition in Ottawa.
The goal is, of course, for the political leadership in Canada and BC to intimidate and terrorize the population so much that we choose to avoid public dissent, protest or even assembly.
The rule of law is an ass this year in Canada.
Our leaders openly mock it.
My hope is in Don Davies, NDP MP and vice-chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. They will continue meeting soon to discuss the G20 debacle which threatened the fabric and principles of Canada’s democracy, and as of Friday night, is obviously a continuing threat. Contact him by email or here.
My other advice is for all of us to contact all the members of the House of Commons Public Safety Committee and let them know that the police do not have the right to arrest people under fictional laws. Nor are police allowed to arrest someone because they declare a public meeting at a public university to be a protest just to violate that person’s parole.
Charges were never even filed for hundreds of people arrested at the G20. This parole violation arrest Friday night will also not stand up in court.
Here are their email addresses for easy pasting [new members updated 10.11.10]:
We should also spread these stories to our people, our networks, our social media existence.
We should also send these stories to the journalists in the country that we respect. It doesn’t matter if they are local, provincial, national, tv, newspaper, online, or magazine.
We must make the bad people stop. Right now, they are counting on the terror of arbitrary arrest and imprisonment to keep more of us from rallying.
So we need to change the climate before we take to the streets. Calling out a bully is a critical tactic. We have to call out our political leaders to keep Canada from becoming more of a gulag that it is already slipping into.