Canadian Beacon Blog: Federal Conservatives Hate Superheroes
By Konstantine Roccas, Staff Writer
It’s official, Conservatives hate superheroes. Ok not really, but Stephen Harper and his jolly band of merry-men really dislike protests. I mean really dislikes them. Perhaps wary of the chaos that rocked Montreal last year and the Occupy Movement of two summers ago, the Conservatives passed a private members bill that outlaws the wearing of masks in any unlawful gathering/assembly/riot.
Keep in mind that in Canada now, emergency laws can and have been passed that make protests legal only if they are reported to the police. So basically you can be a good little protestor if you: report everything to the police, don’t cause trouble, don’t wear a mask and don’t protest anything that upsets the established order.
It’s an odd dichotomy when you think about it. On one hand our government constantly goes on about the right of free speech and how great democracy is, constantly pressuring other countries to be ‘democratic.’ But when democracy is actually practiced, it’s a threat that needs to be shut down.
Governments in general love the notion of democracy, but they hate the actual practice of democracy at home.
Now back to the Merry-Men. The law was introduced by MP Blake Richards from Wild Rose Alberta (‘natch’) who claims that this was, “something that police, municipal authorities and businesses hit hard by riots in Toronto, Vancouver , Montreal and other cities in recent years, were asking for.”
Well Blake, maybe the people wouldn’t be so quick to protest if you and the conservative government actually heard them out and actually pretended to care about their grievances. Also, I really don’t think businesses were clamouring for this as you claim. Well, maybe the Montreal police, who are on record saying that there, “is no right to protest.” Also, Vancouver only riots during Stanley Cup finals, and a riot is generally not planned like a protest.
Don’t get me wrong, I dislike wanton destruction and generally support the police who have a tough balancing act in upholding the law and ensuring the safety of the public, while trying not to be seen as overly brutal. Laws like the above however, discourage the dialogue that a society needs to prevent it from stagnating.
Oh did I mention that the penalty for transgression involves up to 10 years in jail? Yes sir, don’t you think about covering your face or you might end up in jail. Literally, Canadians have killed for less jail time than that.
Honestly though, this is just another cog in the federal conservative wheel. As I mentioned above, it appears that there’s a real disconnect between real democracy and the veneer of democracy. In today’s world, democracy works only when it serves those in power. When it attempts to serve the people for whom it was originally intended, it ‘s seen as a threat.
And yes, apparently we are a threat when we try to protest something. Boy the Conservative Party sure is funny sometimes.
Konstantine Roccas is an observer of local and international affairs and governance, but also writes about anything else that piques his ire. He enjoys a half kilo of Greek yogurt daily. He writes for the Arbitrage Magazine. More of his work can be found at myriadtruths.blogspot.ca and he can be followed on Twitter @KosteeRoccas.