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The Terrifying Assault on our Civil Rights since Sept 11, 2001

Bill C-36 demonstration
photo courtesy of citizens on the web

The RCMP didn't require any special legislation to tell Cst. Gary Carlson to call up Howard Gowan on September 15, 2001 to ask him if he had friends in Iraq or Iran. Since they first picked him up illegally in 1967, returning him home 5 weeks later after subjecting him to a series of brain-curdling electro-shock treatments, the RCMP have been having their way with Mr. Gowan.

They tell him he is on the VIP Protection list, which is a list of people they pick up and detain if VIPs come to town. Yet he was part of the security organization assigned to protect Princess Ann when she visited in 1971.

There is a problem in Saskatchewan. Intelligent people in the east come up with laws in parliament and theories at the universities. Often these laws and theories are well-balanced and include suggestions for what to do when presented with a worst-case scenario. In other words, there are prescribed ways of doing things -- common sense ways which are respectful of the rights other people and proceed to more heavy-handed methods when those don't work. In Saskatchewan, the authorities know that no one respects anybody else here anyhow so they just proceed to methods which, in jurisdictions not run by hillbillies, would be reserved for cautious use after all other methods had failed.

The RCMP here were already getting their terrorist list together on September 15. What do you bet that we have more terrorists in Saskatchewan than they have down east? And I mean anything east of the Manitoba border. Witch-listing, drug-user-listing, satanist-listing, and, now, terrorist-listing is what Saskatchewan police do best. And then they actually fo through their lists and hunt people down. Then it becomes Witch-hunting, drug-user-hunting, satanist-hunting, and terrorist-hunting. When Saskatchewan social workers and police got going on sniffing out members of Satanic cults, they managed to arrest (and place on lists in files) more people than the whole USA round-up which had happened ten years earlier. The only problem was that the people they rounded up were not Satanists. They were not even child sex abusers (although a lot got publicly branded as such).

Abusive authorities love their lists. And Saskatchewan authorities love their lists more than most.

But come on, Sheila, I hear you saying. These abuses are going on all over Canada. I reply, yes, and maybe that is because Saskatchewan people move to other places and spread the word. The word is this: you don't have to be honest to get ahead in your chosen career (law, sociology, medicine --hey didja know Dr. Abraham Hoffer got his start here, both with the LSD experiments and then with peddling Ritalin -- ). You just tell lies that are so inflammatory, so unbelievable that when the person you are speaking to opens mouth to object, you give them a nudge and a wink. You don't have to swear them to secrecy because they're too embarrassed to ever repeat it. Except in the proper, know what I mean, nudge, wink setting. Secrets, used with the right mix of malice and conviction disguised as compassion and embarrassment can get you far. Like to the highest ranks of a police department or a prosecutions office or a justice ministry.

Here is an example of how Saskatoon Police abuse their power: Before any person can receive early release or a temporary absence from jail, the police of the city he or she wishes to be released to are consulted. If they say no, there is no early release. Marlon Gidluck applied for a temporary absence for Christmas day. His request was denied while requests from people with longer sentences and convictions for more serious crimes are approved.

As an eleven year old in Saskatchewan one of my best teachers was fired mid-term in 1954 because a janitor found a copy of the National Guardian (a communist newspaper) in her waste basket. The teacher who replaced her directed her anti-communist vitriol towards me (I had no idea what communism was or, indeed, what was going on.)

My first experience with politics was in Saskatoon at a constituency executive election meeting. John Brockelbank Jr. was in charge. I was with a group of people who proposed an alternative slate to the one hand-picked by Brockelbank. We were not allowed to put forward our candidates: we were not even allowed to stay at the meeting. The Saskatchewan Waffle simply voted that I could not stay the first time I tried to attend one of their meetings. I was listed by these people as a Trotskyist (or TrotskyITE as it was usually said, with scorn.)

Secret lists are dangerous. Getting placed on a secret list makes it certain your life will be subjected to terrifying upheaval.

Betcha didn't know that in Saskatchewan, we have been living without a fair number of Charter Rights for almost a decade. Gag orders and sealed court records have been successfully used against numbers of people we can't even find out about because -- guess what --it's a secret.

Here's a tip. As Roy Romanow goes about the country promising to listen to your suggestions about how to fix the health system, just remember where he comes from.

There's no doubt Bill C-36 is a bad bill and it should not be passed. We will be counting on people in the rest of the country to oppose it. In Saskatchewan we are busy fighting our way out of stuff that has been coming down on us for the last eight years.

Last week, Saskatoon got a new police chief who seems earnest enough but has not yet shown any visible signs of intelligence. The police union also got a new prez, cast in the Craig Brummell mold, it would seem, and already talking loudly about how he wants to start charging people who complain against the police. People have been complaining about us, he says, so it's time they found out what it felt like.

Oh dear. Will some outside rights group please step in and save us?


13 Edmonton citizens arrested at Justice Minister's Office

This evening 13 Edmonton citizens have been reportedly arrested in association with the 4 day occupation of Canadian Justice Minister Anne McClellan's office. Those not arrested are headed down to the downtown Edmonton police station to attend the bail hearing.

The occupation of Anne McLellan's office was concluded tonight when a huge police contingent entered the premises and took the persons remaining there.

A crowd of perhaps a hundred people had gathered at the office for the police's 4:30 deadline. Consensus determined that people would not abandon the premises, and that decision was conveyed to the police.

Present at the rally to support the protestors were the Alberta/NWT Regional Representative of the Canadian Labour Congress, a vice president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, members of CUPE, CEP, CUPW, Industrial Workers of the World, The Council of Canadians, local antiwar and student movement activists, NPI and NDP members and members of the Socialist Caucus NDP.

The police (two vans, seven cars, and 20 officers) were on site for perhaps two hours before they moved in at which point about ten or twelve people were arressted for tresspass.

A meeting at the nearby Mr. Sub explored continuation of the protest, and determined that a jailhouse-solidarity initiative will be planned tomorrow at 3:00 P.M. in the cafeteria of Canada Place. Latest update After routine procedures all thirteen arrestees were released at approximately 2:15 am December 11th simply being charged with the offence of Trespass under the Alberta Petty Trespass Act. The protesters are to be congratulated on the peaceful manner in which they conducted themselves. They have succeedded in getting their point across on all three TV channels as well as radio. Appearances are scheduled for Provincial Court in Edmonton on January 8th 2002


POLICE FORCE ANTI-TERRORISM LAW PROTESTERS OUT

EDMONTON - Demonstrators who had been occupying the constituency office of federal Justice Minister Anne McLellan were forcibly removed from the building Monday night.

About 50 protesters and several labour union members chanted slogans as police charged them with trespassing and loaded them into three vans.

"We have a democratic right to assemble guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms," yelled out protester Mike Hudema, one of those who had been occupying the office since Friday in protest of the federal government's anti-terrorism legislation.

"We have assembled here to assert our democratic right because of the undemocratic process that our government has gone through in terms of ramming this legislation through."

There was a minor scuffle between a police officer and a representative from the Canadian Labour Congress when he shouted at police for being too rough with a female protester.

The protester would not walk and was yelling "they're hurting me" as she was dragged toward the police van and then handcuffed.

Two other people, a man and a woman had to be carried to a van.

The woman told officers she was disabled, so the officers sat her on the step of the police van, handcuffed her and then lifted her into the vehicle.

Police spokesman Dean Parthenis said the protesters had been given every opportunity to have their say and had even been offered office space elsewhere in the building to prepare for a meeting with Ms. McLellan on Dec. 17.

"It's gotten to the point where staff here feel it's gotten unsafe," Mr. Parthenis said.

"We're not trying to get in the middle of what the protesters want to accomplish but they wanted a date to meet with the minister and that has been set."

Fiona Cavanagh, one of the protest's leaders, had said earlier the group wants more public debate over fears the new anti-terrorism measures will curtail civil liberties and the right to protest.

"I'm a concerned person who is standing up for what they believe in," she said Friday. "I hope people continue to voice their concerns and stop these bills. Call for public forums and call for the community to be talking about this. This is not going to go away and we must stand up for what we believe in."

As the group prepared for the arrival of police earlier in the day, protesters were given instructions on how to respond and told to write the names of their lawyers on their arms.

On the weekend the protesters staged a mock eviction by moving two tropical plants, decorations and some furniture from the office foyer to the sidewalk outside.

They also set up a rented hot tub on the snow-covered lawn outside the minister's office.


POLICE REMOVE PROTESTERS FROM JUSTICE MINISTER'S OFFICE

EDMONTON (CP) -- Demonstrators who had been occupying the constituency office of Federal Justice Minister Anne McLellan were removed from the building Monday night.

About 50 protesters and several labour union members chanted slogans as police loaded them into vans.

The demonstrators had been occupying the office since Friday in protest of the federal government's anti-terrorism legislation.

On the weekend, the protesters staged a mock eviction by moving two tropical plants, decorations and some furniture from the office foyer to the sidewalk outside.

They also set up a rented hot tub on the snow-covered lawn outside the minister's office.

Throughout the incident, the protesters had been locked out of McLellan's main office.

Spokeswoman Fiona Cavanagh had said the group wants more public debate over fears the new anti-terrorism measures will curtail civil liberties and the right to protest.