Canada Crime Bill C10 hunger striker concerned about Parliament’s silent treatment
OTTAWA, April 13, 2012 - Today is Day 31 of my indefinite hunger strike against Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s new draconian crime law, deceptively christened “Safe Streets and Communities Act”, formerly crime Bill C10. I’m an Occupy Ottawa activist and progressive political blogger. I started my hunger strike on March 14. I have lost 21 pounds since I started the peaceful protest. I want to thank all of you around Canada and the world for your continuing support. Please be assured that my life is not in danger.
- The Parliament of Canada should repeal the Safe Streets and Communities Act in its entirety.
- Former Ottawa Police chief and newly-appointed Senator, Vernon White, should immediately resign.
- The federal government should make a commitment to invest 100 times the cost of monitoring and dismantling Occupy encampments across Canada last fall to institute a national inquiry into the case of 600+ missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls.
- The House of Commons should immediately institute measures to improve accountability and transparency.
- Harper and Conservatives must immediately stop their war on Canadians and Canadian democracy.
- The law violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, particularly: the right to equal protection before the law; the right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment; the right to liberty; and the rights of Canadians convicted overseas.
- The law weakens and undermines the Canadian judiciary.
- The law’s sweeping changes to Canada’s youth justice system forces us all to cannibalize the future by victimizing and punishing young and first time offenders with stiffer and mandatory minimum sentences. The changes will transform our youth into hardened criminals, instead of rehabilitating and reintegrating them into society. Even the victims of crime whom the Conservatives tough-on-crime agenda purports to protect will not be safe.
- The law will divide Canadian society and erode the following Canadian values: compassion, respect for fundamental rights, inclusion, diversity and fairness. Already, the Conservatives routinely stalk the public’s irrational fear of terrorists, radicals, people who look different, criminals, pedophiles and foreigners. They seek to create a society that is cowed, uncritical, fearful, divided and susceptible to propaganda. They’re trying to force us into a state of permanent fear; a place from where we’ll clamor for protection from the state. Fear and terror create an intellectual and moral void. It disarms society of its power to question. And the moment the state takes away civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism or crime, the terrorists and criminals have won without shedding a single drop of sweat.
- There is an implicit yet undeniable racism embedded in the law. America’s “New Jim Craw” is coming to Canada. The majority of those who will face tougher sentences and violation of civil liberties are from historically disadvantaged racialized groups that are already over-represented in our prison system: blacks and aboriginals. Aboriginals constitute 4 per cent of the Canadian population, but up to 22 per cent of the country’s prison population. Canada experienced a 50 per cent increase of black inmates in the last 10 years. Most of the inmates are incarcerated for crimes rooted in poverty, economic inequality and historical prejudice.
- The law will introduce the so-called “war on drugs”, which has devastated the US, Brazil and Mexico.
- The law will create a prison industrial complex in Canada. The GEO Group Inc., a major player in the global private correctional services, lobbied for the new law. The company has profited from 9/11, the economic meltdown and recent anti-immigrant crackdowns in the US. It has profited from privatized corrections and detention operations in Australia, UK and South Africa, where it is also connected with the African country’s unveiling massive prison privatization efforts. In the late 1990s, GEO was involved with Australia’s notorious Woomera Immigration Detention Center, once described by UN officials as a “great human tragedy” and likened to a “Nazi concentration camp”.
- The law will not just cost Canadian provinces and taxpayers at least $19 billion to implement. It will also impose a huge financial burden on future generations.
Tags: Canada , Crime Law , Conservatives , Dissent , Bill C-10 Hunger Strike , Obert Madondo , Parliament Of Canada , Stephen Harper , Safe Streets And Communit
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