Four In The Afternoon: Illegal Edition

4 in the Afternoon 1 BREAKING THE LAW So as of about, oh, whenever you’re reading this, a bunch of new bills have received royal assent and become law. One of those bills is the Harper Government’s Economic Action Plan, which I’m obliged to remind everyone was prefaced by a massive and dumb ad campaign to convince us that this vague and nebulous thing is a good idea as opposed to a bullet point on Tory MP mailouts. Oh and you can’t wear a mask at a “riot” anymore, which is great, because a riot is a very well-defined term both in the bill and in Canadian law and in Western law in general, especially when it comes to [i]the police[/i], who are usually very restrained in their application of force. I mean, it’s too bad if say you’re someone who was instrumental in bringing a brutal teen rape case to light and want to remain anonymous while doing so, but I guess that’s the price we pay for safety, right?

2 BYE, BOB Career politician Bob Rae has quit. Global has a timeline of his life and work to date. Remember when he was the first NDP premier east of Manitoba? I don’t, because I’m basically a child, but still. It happened!

3 LAND OF THE TOTALLY NOT PRIVATE AT ALL ANYTHING The United States government has, according to the director of the FBI, used drones for surveillance on American soil. Hooray! Unfortunately I can’t find the Barack Obama/drone fanfiction I saw once where the President meets his faithful companion, a drone, outside the White House for a tender conversation between old friends, so instead have this Star Trek fanfic where an Enterprise captain uses drones. Very American.

4 SPEAKING OF PRIVACY Murray Mandryk’s column on the Saskatchewan government’s decision this spring to legislate what’s basically a corporate right to privacy is nuanced, thoughtful, and utterly damning. Go read it!

Author: John Cameron

John Cameron is a freelance journalist and occasional writer from Regina, Saskatchewan. He was the editor-in-chief of the Carillon, the University of Regina student newspaper, from 2010 to 2012. You can find more of his work in the Trash folder of several prominent national magazine editors' inboxes.

1 thought on “Four In The Afternoon: Illegal Edition”

  1. #1 First of all, there are a few legitimate reasons for wearing a mask at a peaceful protest:

    a) You might get fired for protesting (http://boingboing.net/2011/10/28/how-occupy-wall-street-cost-me-my-job.html);

    b) You might be gassed (http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0421-01.htm);

    c) The targets of your protest may aggressively seek retribution (http://www.opednews.com/articles/Scientologists-Violently-A-by-Kate-Noelle-081029-372.html).

    Secondly, the police have used a few techniques to attempt to escalate a peaceful protest into a “riot”:

    a) Kettling (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/misconduct-case-for-toronto-police-officer-in-g20-kettling-put-over/article7035463/);

    b) Agents provocateurs (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2007/08/23/police-montebello.html).

    These aren’t theoretical: these are things that actually happened. While I understand the desire of the police to identify criminals during a riot/protest, it was already a crime to wear a mask in the commission of a crime in Canada.

    Canadian police have demonstrated several times that they are prone to “creative” enforcement of existing laws during protests:

    1) Assault by bubble (http://boingboing.net/2010/07/13/arrested-for-blowing.html);

    2) Possession of a teddy bear weapon (http://rabble.ca/columnists/catapults-and-teddy-bears);

    3) Proximity to fence (http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2010/07/28/14857501.html).

    I can’t wait to see how this new law is creatively used to detain protesters and cage them in inhumane conditions (http://rabble.ca/news/2010/06/conditions-detainees-629-eastern-avenue-are-illegal-immoral-and-dangerous)!

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