Freedom of Speech? Not if you protested the G-20 in Toronto…

I find it "interesting" that in Canada, a nation that claims to be a defender of our God-given Rights and Freedoms, we have judges telling people they cannot exercise their Right to Freedom of Speech.

It would seem that even after the largest number human rights violations in Canadian history, the affronts to our fundamental Rights and Freedoms isn't going to end any time soon.

During the G-20 protests, Alex Hundert and Amanda Hiscocks were arrested and charged for the "crime" of having helped organize the protests.  Technically they were charged with "conspiracy to commit mischief", but that's what I call a bulls*** charge if ever there was one.

Well, except maybe for Ian Thomson, the Ontario man being charged with "weapon dangerous to public peace" for having the unmitigated gall to try and save his own life from three thugs in the process of burning down his home with him inside it...

Hundert and Hiscocks, along with Peter Hopperton and Leah Henderson, were arrested after police stormed the home where they were sleeping.

As has become standard operating procedure across Canada, police refused to show anyone the search warrant.  By law the police are REQUIRED to show a person the search warrant before they commence their search.  In practice however, police routinely refuse to show anyone the search warrant and threaten anyone who dares ask to see one with obstruction of justice charges if they don't comply with police requests immediately.

Brian Ward, Bruce and Donna Montague, Jonathon Login... these are just a few examples of this sort of police coercion, but those were evil (law-abiding) firearm owners...

In this case we have people expressing their political views, as is supposedly guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Rights that a judge feels perfectly justified in violating through the bail conditions imposed on these two nefarious individuals.

The actual wording of the bail condition states that Hundert and Hiscocks must not:

plan for, assist in planning for, attend at or participate in any public demonstrations.

How absurd.

I think it is fantastic that these two are challenging that bail condition.  I'm even more thrilled to see that the Canadian Civil Liberties Association has joined this fight.

This imposition of broad ‘no protest’ bail conditions is a very troubling practice and one that is in desperate need of review by the courts,” said Cara Zwibel, Director of the Fundamental Freedoms Program for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA).

Many fundamental rights and freedoms were infringed during the G20, and we are still feeling the effects of those violations. We hope that this application will clarify and affirm that all Canadians—including those expressing dissent—have the freedom to speak out, associate with one another, and peacefully assemble."

As bizarre as it sounds, especially after all the police brutality that will go unpunished because nobody in the police force is willing to identify police constables who beat the crap out of so many people, there are still 17 people facing conspiracy charges for planning G-20 protests.

It would seem that Police Brutality on a scale never before seen in Canadian history is completely okay, but daring to speak out about what you believe is wrong will be punished with bogus charges.

It would seem the government is intent on sending a message to anyone who thinks they might want to exercise their Right to Freedom of Speech in the future: Shut up or we'll do this to you too.

I believe that Amanda Hiscocks is entirely correct when she says,

"When cities can be militarized to protect the agenda of the powerful and wealthy as happened last year in Toronto, when elected officials are willing to cut services and programs depended upon by poor people while protecting profits for banks and corporations, people need to organize to protect themselves and their communities, and to fight back."

When we criminalize Free Speech because we don't like what someone has to say, especially when the world's news cameras are recording ever word, are we really any better a nation than some tin-pot, third-world dictatorship?

 

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