Free Speech, Policing, and Falsified Assault as a Pretext for Arrest
June 12, 2010 by Paul McKeever
Within one minute after the peaceful arrival of two Canadians at the Niagara Falls constituency office of Canada’s Justice Minister, Rob Nicholson, a police officer arrives on motorcycle. He says he has been called to the scene. He asks that the video camera recording him be turned off. When the camera person refuses to do so, the officer – shockingly – asserts that the camera filming him is “interpreted as a weapon”.
Clearly, it appears the officer has been called by the constituency office of Canada’s Justice Minister, because he was not called by the two Canadians attempting to visit it. He knocks on the locked door of the Justice Minister’s constituency office. The staffer unlocks the door that she had locked when she saw the two Canadians approaching the office in their car. One of the Canadians – Jacob Hunter – says he will not remain outside the office, because – being a taxpayer-funded office of a member of Parliament – it is a public space. The police officers turns, smacks a video or phone device out of Mr. Hunter’s hand, presses him back by the throat area, then sweeps behind Mr. Hunter and slaps on the cuffs claiming – falsely – that Mr. Hunter has assaulted him.
Who is Mr. Hunter? Mr. Hunter is a Canadian opposed to the prosecution of people who use Cannabis. Mr. Hunter uses Cannabis pursuant to a Canadian-government-recognized license to do so. He has, in recent weeks, sat peacefully and quite legally in the constituency offices of one or more elected members of Parliament. He has, in those offices, quite legally rolled marijuana cigarettes (though he has been polite enough not to smoke them indoors). He has done so to protest the extradition of anti-prohibitionist Marc Emery to the USA (Justice Minister Rob Nicholson surrendered Emery to the USA unconditionally on May 10, 2010), and to oppose violations of the liberty of Canadians in general.
Why did the police arrive only 1 minute or so after Mr. Hunter’s car pulled into the parking lot of Mr. Nicholson’s constituency office? How could they possibly have responded so quickly? I leave the answers to such questions to whatever sound, honest and diligent minds remain in Canada’s journalistic community.
Why did the police officer do to Mr. Hunter what he did to Mr. Hunter? Why did he pretend that Mr. Hunter had assaulted him, as a pretext for arresting Mr. Hunter?
Why does anyone pretend that things are not getting as bad as they are getting under the Conservative government?
I write this not as a socialist: I am a capitalist. I write this not as a bleeding heart: I seek justice, not mercy.
And just as the tens of billions currently borrowed each year by Conservatives is not capitalism, the throat-clenching grasp of police urged by our government to de-humanize and bear false witness against Canadians is neither justice nor mercy. And, apparently, it is on-call to respond, at a moment’s notice, to the Justice Minister’s staff.
Free speech? We’re on the razor’s edge, my fellow Canadians. And that implies that we’re also upon the razor’s edge between freedom and oppression.
Please watch this video, and share it with the media and with your friends.