[R-G] attacking our civil liberties: a few words on my most recent arrest.

aaron at istop.com aaron at istop.com
Fri Sep 14 09:34:58 MDT 2007

Feel free to post this or publish it anywhere
 Attacking our civil liberties
    On the morning of September 12th, 2007 supporters of Cole Webber and HCAP(
Halifax Coalition against poverty) came to support Mr Webber in his defence
against an assault charge from an HCAP action. Mr. Webber won the case very
easily, but it was not a complete victory for the activists of Halifax on that
    During a small recess in the trial, while outside of the court house, Mr.
Colin Bell was arrested by the Halifax regional police. After the trial was
over while walking up Spring  Garden, I was also picked up by the Halifax
police. Mr. Bell and myself were both charged with breaching  conditions that
were placed on us after being arrested at the Atlantica protests. The
conditions that Mr. Bell and myself were both charged with Breaching were a
non association condition and a no public demonstrations/protests condition
    Before I talk about the unconstitutional nature of these conditions, I
want to look at the facts to determine weather we were actually guilty of a
breach. While in front of the judge this morning the crown lawyer said that
Mr. Bell and myself were observed associating together. If this were the case,
the we have to ask ourselves why an arrest was not made during the alleged
association? If the cops had the ability to observe us associating with one
another, then they definitely had the ability to make an arrest at that time.
There is a simple reason why there was no arrest during an association and
that is because no association took place.
    The crown lawyer also mentioned that an HCAP email went out (more evidence
that a legitimate anti-poverty organization is having there emails monitored
by the state) calling for a gathering to support Mr. Webber for his trial.
This support came from about 20 or so individuals who were there to be in the
court to support Mr. Webber. These people did not come to participate in a
public demonstration. I did not go there for a public demonstration, I was
there to give my support to Mr. Webber. I am sure the same can be said of Mr.
Bell. There were no placards or banners visible, there was no chanting.
Nothing was happening to suggest there was a protest or demonstration. There
were individuals outside the courthouse waiting for Mr. Webber’s trial to
begin. A protest is defined as the act of protesting; a public (often
organized) manifestation of dissent.  We were not organized  and we were not
vocally showing our dissent. A demonstration is defined as a public display of
group feelings (usually of a political nature). It could be argued that a
group of supporters for Mr. Webber were displaying their feelings of support.
The argument can be made that any gathering of 3 or more people constitutes a
group and therefore a demonstration. Everyday life For myself and Mr. Bell
could be as easy or hard as the authorities want it to be Depending on how the
authorities define a demonstration or protest. We may be able to go to Food
Not Bombs to eat, we may not. We may be able to interact with more then one
person at a time, we may not. The vagueness of the no protest/demonstration
conditions gives the authorities the permission to enforce it as they see fit.
When conditions are enforced, they must not only be enforced in accordance
with the letter of the conditions, but also the spirit of the conditions. I am
sure that the intention of having the no protest /demonstration condition was
not to be vague so that would mean that when the conditions enforcement is
open to interpretation, although it is following with the letter of that
condition, it is not following with the spirit of the condition. Aside from
it’s blatant unconstitutionality, in order For the enforcement of the
condition to be legal, it cannot be so vague.
    At this point I wish to discuss the unconstitutional nature of the
conditions and why this should be of concern to all Canadians. Section 2 of
our charter of rights and freedoms states that Everyone has the following
fundamental freedoms: a) freedom of conscience and religion; b) freedom 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. The 2 conditions that Mr. Bell and myself were charged with
breaching are in direct violation of subsection c and d of section 2 of our
    The Canadian charter of rights and freedoms is a legal document that many
Canadians value. It gives us protections, in particular, protection against
prejudice and discrimination. The charter gives Canadians a sense of fairness
in a very unfair world. The charter is a document that our state is suppose to
uphold and possibly even strengthen but instead we see that the state is
actively destroying our charter by taking away our fundamental charter rights.
Seeing that the government in Ottawa today is running a state that is
stripping Canadians of their fundamental rights under the charter, if we wish
to protect the charter then I see no other alternative then to demand the
resignation of the federal conservative government, calling for new elections
and voting in a party who will protect our fundamental rights!!!
                              Aaron Doncaster

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