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Canadian Bill C-309: Trading Liberties for Security, the Road to Authoritarianism and Fascism

2 November 2012, 21:49  

Canada has passed Bill C-309, an arcane law, redundant on the surface, but paving the way for massive abuse and crack-downs on protestors and demonstrators across the country. With the success of student protestors who recently won and beat back a tuition increase, some say the establishment in Canada is fighting back. “Masks off!”, as now you face up to 10 years in prison in Canada for wearing a mask.

In a move that many are saying now has Canada following the US in stripping away the rights of the people and sees it obediently goose-stepping down the road to fascism after its southern neighbor, a new law was passed in the land of the moose and the maple leaf, that has many advocates of civic freedom up in arms.

The law in question, Private Member’s Bill C-309, put forth by Conservative Canadian MP Blake Richards, places a ban on wearing masks at “unlawful protests and tumultuous demonstrations”. The new law calls for prison terms of up to five years for wearing a mask at an illegal protest and ten years if a protest turns into a riot.

Although Canada already has laws on the books regarding the wearing of masks during criminal and indictable offenses the lawmakers have seen fit to pass the draconian law which some say will have a chilling effect on peaceful protests, something many feel it was designed to do.

According to the general counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association Nathalie Des Rosiers, in an article in theCanadian Daily Mail: “We’re concerned that if it is used it would simply create a chill on protests and prevent people from protesting peacefully altogether. On its face, it looks more symbolic than anything.”

For reasons unbeknownst to us the Canadian lawmakers decided to pass the law on Halloween, a holiday famous for masks. Are they being humorous or is this a slap-in-the-face to Occupiers and students who effectively demonstrated against tuition increases? Or are they after those would dare support the group Anonymous and wear Guy Fawkes masks?

In an article on RT Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae said in a statement: "I don't think people understand the implications that it has, when does wearing a toque low on your face become a mask? Are we going to ban people from appearing in a protest because they are wearing a burqa? Are we going to say that on a cold day that people can't wear a mask?"

The reasons for the passing of the arcane law can be many on the surface, the claim that during the recent football riots it was impossible for police to arrest and prosecute rioters may be valid but it is actually redundant to have a mask law when there are already such laws on the Canadian books and participating in unlawful gatherings is already “unlawful” and taking parts in riots is also illegal.

According to Canadian media reports the bill was formed in response to the 2011 Stanley Cup riots which took place in Vancouver, British Columbia. Canadian media also reports that the main targets of the bill are members of the Blak Bloc anarchist group, who show up at demonstrations and try to escalate tensions and who many claim are undercover police.

Regardless of all of the reasoning for the bill, it is redundant and unneeded. Unless we look at the real reasons for it; one might argue that with the billions of dollars that they US and Canada have spent on facial recognition technology, the counter measure of a simple mask, nullifies all their efforts, something lawmakers would never admit. Another reason might also be the growing protest movements across North America and the fear by the authorities of a popular uprising, something that those in power will do anything and everything to suppress.

The questions surrounding the bill and the chances for the law to be abused are many. When does a peaceful protest become “tumultuous”? Will a scarf on a cold day, worn by a protestor be enough to throw the person behind bars for 10 years? What happens when a mask is part of the message of the protest? Such as Guy Fawkes masks? Will anyone wearing a Guy Fawkes mask now be a target for arrest? The mask is the message after all and such masks will never be authorized. What about the Occupy Movement, will they have to leave their faces bare on cold days or risk a decade behind bars? Their peaceful protests are rarely “authorized”.

If Russia, on the other hand, had such laws on the books then the group Pussy Riot would have gotten 10 years for wearing masks at their unlawful and tumultuous demonstrations. Instead of the mere 2 years for an act of religious hatred and the desecration of the holiest church for Russian Orthodox Christians.

North America has been on the road to fascism for decades now and this is just another law and another attempt at stripping away the rights of the population and controlling the masses by fear. The constant and ever present fear many in North America have of losing their God-given-freedom.

 Americans long ago gave up their liberty and freedom in the name of security, now Canadians must follow suit? There used to be a joke that the only difference between Americans and Canadians was that Americans had guns and Canadians had health care. Perhaps this is not far from the truth?

Canada Closing its Doors to the Roma

15 September 2012, 22:02  

Canada closing its doors to the Roma

The situation for the Roma in Europe is not improving. Trapped in a cycle of discrimination and poverty where they are not allowed a decent education and therefore cannot obtain decent jobs and in many cases segregated, not allowed proper health care and under constant attacks by ever increasing nationalist groups all over Europe, many turn to crime, prostitution and any other means they can to simply survive. This only reinforces the negative view of the Roma and leads to even more discrimination against them.

The Hungarian Roma community, which accounts for approximately 7% of Hungary’s population, continues to face discrimination in every aspect of their lives. Since a report issued by Amnesty International in 2009 little has changed for Hungary’s Roma, they still face discrimination and segregation in all areas of life. This includes public education, housing, employment and medical care.

The Roma not only face daily racism and discrimination but they have to contend with violent attacks by nationalist and neo-Nazi groups such as the illegal paramilitary Hungarian National Guard, which was disbanded by the Hungarian government but reformed and continues to grow. It is for the most part an anti-Roman organization whose members have included high level Hungarian officials in the past.

Last month the Hungarian Guard held an inauguration ceremony for 140 new members in a secret location in Dunaföldvár Hungary. Although the police came out in force, with over 300 officers taking part in an operation to shut down the ceremony and arrest members, the group managed to confuse police with decoys and misleading phone calls, and the police raided a location where none of the group’s members were actually present.

The discrimination of the Roma is by far not limited to Hungary, they face discrimination all over Europe but the reason that I am focusing on the Hungarian Roma is because soon they may have no place to go as many who were seeking asylum in Canada are being sent back and the doors for Roma asylum seekers in Canada are about to be all but closed.

With the passing of the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, a Canadian piece of legislation that some are calling the “anti-Roma law, the process for the Roma obtaining asylum will be all but impossible and their deportation will be much easier and quicker.

According to Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney, in a report on the cic.gc.ca website; “This legislation will help stop foreign criminals, human smugglers and those with unfounded refugee claims from abusing Canada’s generous immigration system and receiving taxpayer funded health and social benefits. Canada’s immigration and refugee system is one of the most fair and generous in the world and will continue to be so under the new and improved system.”

In reality the law will stop the waves of Roma that had begun to arrive in Canada and were abusing the system, often by returning to Hungary and still receiving benefits from the Canadian government. But the reason they return is not so simple as the government wants to portray. For many of the Roma they have no choice, many arrived in Canada with the hope for a better life but were trapped in conditions that were worse than the ones that they had left another example of the vicious cycle that the Roma are trapped in.

The new law now allows the Canadian Government the option of adding countries to a safe list in order to speed up the processing of refugees and deporting them. If a refugee comes from a country on the list, their claim will be processed in 45 days, not the 1,000 days that the other claimants have.

Such a move may help Canada to implement a universal no-visa policy for the entire European Union, something it currently does not have. For example Hungarians do not require a visa to travel to Canada but Czechs do. Their non-visa status was revoked due to the number of Roma claims for asylum.

According to the Budapest times the Canada Border Services Agency has recently reported that they are worried about the rising level of crime being committed by Hungarian Roma refugees in the country, these crimes mainly include skimming fraud and check fraud with a rising level of cases where checks are stolen and deposited into the bank accounts of refugee claimants who returned to Hungary.

The Budapest Times reported last year that the head of the National Roma Self-Government Flórián Farkas was warned by the Canadian Ambassador in Budapest, that Roma travelling to Canada “face prolonged and complicated procedures and have little chance of their asylum application being successful.”

So for the Roma seeking a better life and to break the cycle discrimination which starts with poor education, poor medical care and poor housing and continues and leads to job discrimination and no chance for quality employment and the betterment of their lives due to the previous reasons, another door appears to have been closed due to the actions of some who have supposedly cheated the system.

Unfortunately for the Roma the vicious cycle they are trapped in may not have an exit.

Quebec and 'Independence' in the Americas: History and Today

8 September 2012, 20:38  

With the secessionists winning the elections in Quebec the world is full of speculation that they will secede from Canada. In this piece I take a brief look at independence in the Americas and give my take on the Quebecers and others in North America who claim to want to be free but refuse to pay the price for that freedom.

Classically the French and the English have never really shared much love for each other. This goes back to the years of the great empire building and the wars for the Americas between the Spanish the French and the English, with the Portuguese and other nations playing a smaller role.

The Spanish, one could say won the wars for the Americas hands down, partly because they were able to assimilate better with the Indians and the indigenous peoples and rather than attempting to completely annihilate the natives they absorbed each other.

The Spanish won more territory taking over part of North America and almost all of Central and South America, with small areas won by the Portuguese.

For the French, loyal to France and the Monarchy it was a different story, the English, for the most part drunken cut-throats, murderers, and misfits of all sorts who hated England and were engaged in a campaign of genocide against the indigenous people, chased them far to the North where they too waged a war of annihilation on the Indians, albeit on a smaller scale.

The Tories, loyal to the United Kingdom and the Monarchy, were also chased to the North, by those who refused to pay allegiance to their homeland, in what is known as the American Revolutionary War.

With the grandiose schemes of Napoleon and then the successive failures of the French Empire, Quebec was a consolation prize for the French. It was a cold and unforgiving place that the English were not that interested in.

In the end the French in fact ended being subjugated and controlled by their historic rivals from across the La Mange as English speaking Canada and the Tories paid their allegiance to England and the Monarchy, and controlled what became to be known as Quebec.

Personally for me it is difficult to feel sympathy for any of these people as they committed the worst genocide in the history of all mankind against my people. Given that fact, they are all living on stolen land so any discussion of Quebec becoming independent from Canada seems to me to be absurd and a denial of history. Nevertheless the Indians are for the most part gone and those who are left are contained and voiceless, except for a very few.

Ignoring those facts, as the world has been trained to do, allow me to continue. The Quebec people are proud of their heritage, their language and their culture. They are also proud of what differentiates them from the English and in particular from the Americans.

Among these differences is violence in society. Many French Canadians view themselves as pacifists and violence, especially gun violence, in the country is rare. So the American style shooting outside of the victory speech by the new premier has many worried that this may be a sign that American style mass shootings may be coming to Canada. Not likely, as Canada has strict gun laws and a working social safety net for the population, including housing and healthcare, but nevertheless people are worried.

Will Quebec secede from Canada? Not likely, the people are too comfortable with what they have and the way things are, they may complain but few are willing to pay the price and go through all of the trouble that would be involved. Freedom and independence are not as important as all of the nice things they think they are provided with and many just want to be left alone to live their lives, pay their mortgages and raise their children.

So we have a continuation of the bickering and another question over the division of lands stolen from the Indians. Since this is an opinion piece I will give you my opinion: the Indian people should be allowed to hold a referendum on whether they wish the invaders to stay on their lands. Based on the answer then we should proceed from there.

Wishful thinking, since that is never going to happen and in fact the whole topic is not even worth discussing because it is up to the people of Quebec themselves to decide on whether or not they wish to stay a part of Canada, and they will not be doing so anytime soon.

They have too much to lose in their eyes and I have already said it would be too troublesome and adversely affect their comfortable lives. The same problem exists in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, the Maldives and a host of other territories or possessions where the people are too comfortable with the things they think have been given by the colonizers and fear the consequences of self-determination.

In this way capitalism and the West have manipulated and literally bought off much of the world. Were trade and import export levels balanced worldwide this would no longer pose a problem but unfortunately there are only a small group of countries controlling the flow of goods and services worldwide.

If this grip could be broken then there might be a chance for equality and an improved standard of living for the entire planet. This idea does not sit well with the United States or the world’s leading trade powerhouses, for when they lose the trade wars they lose a large tool that they use to advance their imperialist ambitions.

In reality it is strange for me, a person of Arawak (Taino) / Spanish descent, who has assimilated and been accepted in Russia to be writing about the French and English squabbles, people who not long ago brutally committed genocide against my people and are still bickering over the lands they stole, with the Quebecers making claims to wanting their own country on lands that are not theirs to begin with.

If the Quebecers want independence I say more power to them, they should stand up and have the fortitude to fight for their independence and stop whining. Many people’s would go to war for such a chance, all the Quebecers have to do is have a referendum and go through some difficulties. If freedom is not that important to them so be it, but stop whining.

I could say the same thing to my fellow Puerto Ricans, but they have been so brainwashed that the very idea of freedom, self-determination and independence is an abomination to them. They are too afraid to even think about such a thing and are content to be a US possession.

Before I go I just want to say to those who might write to me about Chechnya and the Russian Caucasus, those lands are and have been a part of Russia and were not annexed or taken possession of.

The question should not be where would we be without our McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Chevrolet cars, the question should be: “What would it be like to breathe freely?”

Quebec Shooter Arraigned on 16 Charges

7 September 2012, 22:09  

The shooting outside a packed venue in Montreal, Canada where Quebec’s new premier was giving her victory speech may not have been targeting the premier. Canadians continue to express shock and disbelief at the incident. Many Canadians see Canada as a pacifist country and are not accustomed to incidents of political violence and mass shooting.

The man who died in the attack was killed as he was preventing the killer, who has now been named by police, from entering the building. Police have yet to charge the shooter on charges related to an attempted assassination.

The name of the shooter in the assassination attempt on the newly-elected premier of the of the Canadian province of Quebec has been released to the public and is reported to be one Richard Henry Bain, the soon-to-be-62-year-old owner of a fishing and hunting shop in La Conception, Quebec .

Thursday morning the suspect was arraigned in a court in Montreal on 16 charges, the most serious of which being first-degree murder for the killing of 48-year-old Denis Blanchette, the sound technician who Bain shot dead at the venue called the Metropolis during the victory speech and celebrations of the new premier and her party.

Police have still not released any information regarding the motive for the killing even though the suspect has undergone interrogation. There are reports that during the incident, the arrest and afterwards the shooter was rambling and incoherently making statements in English and French.

The details continue to come in including those regarding the mental health of Bain who was reported to be lucid and calm in court as he was arraigned. Apparently he suffered from and was being treated for bipolar disorder in the recent past.

The 16 charges he faces include first-degree murder, a charge of attempted murder for shooting and wounding 27-year-old David Courage, two charges of attempted murder for pointing his gun and attempting to shoot Quebec Security Service Officer Sargeant Stéphane Champagne and a bystander named Elias Ames-Bull (fortunately his gun jammed), a charge of aggravated assault, an arson charge for attempting to burn down the Metropolis with a highway-flare, a possession of explosives charge and multiple and varied weapons charges, mostly for improper storage and handling.

Bain is said to have owned more than 25 weapons and rifles with almost all of them being registered. According to police he had 2 weapons with him and 3 more in his black SUV which was parked nearby. The five weapons included a 9 mm semi-automatic Luger, a Beretta, a Ceska Zbrojovka carbine, a semi-automatic .22 caliber hunting rifle and .357 Magnum revolver.

Bain is said to have lived alone in a chalet near a lake in La Conception more than 2 and a half hours from Montreal. His neighbors and friends paint a portrait of a man with many failed business ideas but with no particular political positions or leanings. There are reports, however, that he may have been angry because the government did not allow him to expand his fishing camp.

According to local media reports Crown prosecutor Éliane Perreault said that for the time being Bain will not undergo a psychiatric evaluation as he is lucid and understands what is going on around him and appears to understand the charges against him.

The state appointed public defender who is representing Bain, Elfriede Duclervil, told reporters she had not had a chance to speak to her client as he was in intensive care but that she would do so after the hearing where it is reported Bain merely said okay when he was made aware of the charges against him.

Prosecutors and investigators have not ruled out further charges prompting speculation on whether he will be charged with conspiracy to assassinate Pauline Marois, as was reported initially at the time of the incident. Currently there is no evidence that the killing and attempted arson of the venue was connected with an assassination attempt.

On Wednesday night hundreds gathered to pay respects to the man Bain murdered, Denis Blanchette. Mr. Blanchete, the father of one, prevented Bain from entering the Metropolis Theater where Marois was giving her speech and paid for it with his life. Those who gathered packed the street outside the theater and held a candlelight vigil.

Premier-elect Pauline Marois has requested outgoing premier Jean Charest to grant Mr. Blanchette a civic funeral. Mr. Charest’s press secretary has told the press that Charest plans on moving forward with Marois’ recommendation.

Quebec Secessionists Win, Assassination Attempt of New Premier

5 September 2012, 21:35  

At the victory speech ceremony for Quebec’s first woman premier and amid celebrations by the Quebec independence party, a lone gunman attempted to assassinate the new premier, Pauline Marois. Much of the world’s press see the victory as a sign that Quebec will secede from Canada, as opposed to those on the ground, many of whom say Quebec’s independence is the stuff of pipe dreams.

Canada, with a murder rate less than 33% of that of the U.S., where even police in some areas remained unarmed and where politically motivated violence is extremely rare, the last political killing in the country occurred in 1970 when Labor Minister Pierre Laport was murdered by a radical nationalist group operating in Quebec, is appalled by an assassination attempt on the newly elected premier of Quebec Pauline Marois.

The attempt on the life of the new premier took place at approximately midnight on Tuesday in a Montreal concert hall where Ms. Marois was making a victory speech after she became Quebec’s first female premier and her separatist party Parti Quebecois, were victorious over the incumbent Liberal party.

An unidentified man of about 40 years old was killed and another injured when the 62-year-old shooter, a “large man” whose name has not yet been released, opened fire at the venue just after Ms. Marois began speaking in English, something rare for a Quebec politician. According to Reuters she had just finished saying that one day Quebec would be an independent country.

Local media has reported that the man killed by the gunman was a technician at the theater and that the injured man was reportedly the driver of a bus used by the Parti Quebecois campaign.

After taking the man into custody police confirmed that the target of the killer was in fact Ms. Marois. So far they have released few other details regarding the incident.

The killer was armed with a hunting rifle and a handgun and was wearing a black mask and a black cape. According to police he entered the theater through a back entrance at approximately midnight and shot the two victims.

The gunman was also reported to have attempted to set fire to the theater and succeeded to starting a fire near the back door which police were able to put out.

During the arrest, as the man was being dragged away by police, he is reported to have shouted in French: "The English are waking up!"

The shooting has shocked Canada and has brought international attention to the separatist movement in Quebec, where close to 90% of the population are French speaking.

The victory by Parti Quebecois and their leader Pauline Marois has some Canadians worried about the secession of Quebec from Canada. However Ms. Arois has said there would not be a referendum any time soon, although she did promise a vote which might be years away. This might be due to the fact that, according to Reuters: “…a recent poll showed only 28% percent of Quebecers back separation from the rest of Canada.”

Ms. Marois is not loved by all Quebecers, according to Michael Den Tandt at the Ottawa Citizen, (LINK 1) she is the candidate for the Pure Laine or “pure stock” meaning Caucasian, Christian, francophone.

The author says her policies will attempt to give Quebec more control over a slew of issues including immigration, copyright rules, foreign aid and she has promised to give certain Quebecers “citizenship cards”.

The Ottawa Citizen and other Canadian publications also say that there is very little chance of there being a referendum on independence. Among the reasons the fact that Quebecers themselves do not want it, “they just want to be left alone to live their lives” and there are no monumental issues that Ms. Marois can rally behind to call for such a referendum.

So despite the fact the secessionists have won a small victory, winning 54 of the 125 seats in the provincial legislature, which means the Liberals will now have to share power, it is still unlikely that Quebec will be moving towards independence anytime soon.

 

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