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Take the Power Back: Canada a fascist state?

Darius Mirshahi | Interrobang | Opinion | September 27th, 2010



Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
In case you haven't noticed, the country you are living in is sliding down a slippery slope towards fascism.

The Harper government is building new super-prisons and expanding existing ones even though crime rates are substantially down across this country. This government also hasn't hesitated to ship its citizens to other nations to serve jail-time there when requested to do so.

One of the most egregious examples of this is Marc Emery, a famous Canadian weed activist who has been caught up in America's "war on drugs." For simply selling seeds online from his Vancouver-based company, Emery was extradited to the U.S. where they convicted him of drug felonies and locked him up even though he never broke American law on American soil.

How about Omar Khadr, a Canadian-born child who our government has deliberately let rot in Guantanamo Bay for the last seven years? He was captured in Afghanistan at age 15 and accused of helping locals fend off a U.S. attack. He has been abused, denied justice and had his entire youth stolen from him. Now 22 years old, he is the only western citizen still being held at Guantanamo Bay, and the Canadian government has spent over $1.3 million to keep him there, despite the urgings of Amnesty International, UNICEF, the Canadian Bar Association and the Federal Court to bring him home.

More recently we witnessed the largest mass arrest in Canadian history that saw over 1,100 people have their civil rights violated and illegally detained or arrested. Before any of the protests even began, several wellknown outspoken community organizers woke up to the barrel of a gun in their faces and are now facing conspiracy charges. One of these people is Alex Hundert, a dedicated social justice and indigenous solidarity activist from Waterloo. After several weeks of imprisonment, he was finally released on $100,000 bail with strict conditions including "no protests," a violation of Charter rights. A few weeks after he was released he was invited by Ryerson University to partake in a panel discussion. After the discussion he was re-arrested outside his home. According to the police he was breaking his conditions not to protest by simply speaking in a university classroom. He is now in jail simply for communicating his ideas and experiences.

It gets worse. A crown attorney in B.C. is attempting to have Betty Krawczyk locked away for 15 to 25 years, or even life. Krawczyk is an elderly woman who has repeatedly used non-violent direct action to stand up to the cutting of sacred old growth forests and the polluting of waterways. The way they are planning to do this is by asking the court to designate her as a chronic offender and to re-sentence her under the rules of "accumulated convictions." The two cases which the crown are using as "precedent" for this unprecedented attack on the right to protest in Canada are cases involving repeated violent pedophiles who raped their own children. That's right, the prosecutor is attempting to equate non-violent environmental activism with rape, and lock up "repeat offenders" for life.

These are just a few of the many horrifying examples of how we are slipping deeper and deeper into a fascist prison society. It is up to us to stop the ongoing expansion of the security apparatus before it is too late.
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