Dr.Dawg

Another zombie lurch towards a police state

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guyfawkes.jpg

The allegedly freedom-loving Harper government can now have you jailed for ten years for wearing a mask at a protest—if the cops decide the protest is an “unlawful assembly” or a “riot.”

Yup. The cops will decide. And we all know from their behaviour in Toronto at the G20 in 2010, and in Montreal more recently during the student protests, how charmingly attached they are to notions of free expression and assembly.

Conservative MP Blake Richards, the sponsor of the bill, “wanted to give the police another tool,” but has ended up giving them a weapon. Bill C-309* gives an even freer hand to people who already operate with near-impunity.

There are many reasons people wear masks when they protest. Some simply want to be anonymous—perhaps their employer doesn’t share their politics, for example, or they are taking a stand sufficiently unpopular that they would prefer not to incur the disapproval of their relatives, friends and neighbours. Perhaps they are masking up with vinegar-soaked bandanas when the cops are getting free with tear-gas and pepper-spray. Maybe they just enjoy wearing the well-known Guy Fawkes mask seen above as a gesture of solidarity.

Doesn’t matter. Any or all of these people are now facing up to ten years in prison, on a cop’s say-so.

The bill does nothing, of course, to punish police officers who remove their name-tags before brutalizing peaceful protesters. At most, they face losing a whole day’s pay for making themselves anonymous. (And anyone remember these bozos?)

That’s the point, though, isn’t it? The aim of this and countless other measures adopted by the Harper regime is to stifle dissent, to chip away at our political rights, in this case under the guise of doing something about hockey rioters in Vancouver or the idiot vandals at the Olympic protests or some-such. Few to none of us, of course, were sympathetic to those hooligans. But we’re all hooligans now.



police savagery.jpg

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* Here are the relevant provisions of the Criminal Code that the Bill amends.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr.Dawg published on June 19, 2013 11:06 PM.

Milking a mouse was the previous entry in this blog.

Police brutality: another animal in uniform [updated] is the next entry in this blog.

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