Friday, October 24, 2014

No. Just No.

As I had expected, the first steps in the Harper Government's overreaching reaction to this week's events in Ottawa are starting to surface.  

Introducing Harper's Thought Police:

Sources suggest the government is likely to bring in new hate speech legislation that would make it illegal to claim terrorist acts are justified online. 
The Prime Minister told the House of Commons on Thursday that Canada’s law and policing powers need to be strengthened in the areas of surveillance, detention and arrest. He said work is already under way to provide law enforcement agencies with “additional tools” and that work will now be expedited. 
The dilemma faced by law enforcement agencies was highlighted by the case this week of Martin Couture-Rouleau.
Wait a second here.  First of all, the notion of "terrorism" is remarkably vague.  As has been pointed out before, "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter".

Just consider this for a moment.  A law like this is highly subjective in its enforcement.  Speak out against the actions of an oppressive government, and you could be "condoning terrorism", or if you speak on behalf of an oppressed people, suddenly that becomes a "crime" for which you can be arrested and detained.

I want to bring to your attention section 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in this country:
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(bfreedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.
So, think about this, the Harper Government wants to arbitrarily constrain this right to speak out on various topics.  The notion of what constitutes "terrorism" is subject to the momentary views of the government.  In this government's case, I imagine that speaking out on behalf of the Palestinian peoples would be considered "terrorism", as would criticizing the invasion of Iraq.

Unless these measure have incredibly precise definitions associated with them, it is not going to be much of a leap for these laws to make an entire class of political prisoners in this country - people who just happen to view things differently from the official views of our politicians.

Yes, I said that - political prisoners - for that is what this government is creating.  For those of us who remember the Cold War era, in Russia, such people were called "dissidents" and imprisoned; and China has quite a collection of "ideological prisoners" as well.  Such honourable company to be keeping as a nation.

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