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Wear a Mask During a Protest in Canada: 10 Years in Jail

Phrogman (80473) writes | about 2 years ago

Canada 5

Phrogman (80473) writes "The Conservative government of Steven Harper in Canada has proposed a new bill that would impose a jail term of 10 years for anyone wearing a mask while "participating in a riot or unlawful assembly". The conservative backbencher who proposed the bill makes it clear that he intended it to allow police to arrest anyone wearing a mask "before protests spiral out of control". Since this is the same government that arrested hundreds of protesters during the G8/G20 summit using a law that didn't actually exist, it raises the question as to how they will define "unlawful". This is the latest in a series of "tough on crime" legislation being promulgated by the Conservatives now that they have the power of a majority government. The 10 year penalty is more than double the penalty awarded to a person who murdered someone in a fit of "road-rage" recently."
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5 comments

The reason for the law... (1)

Endovior (2450520) | about 2 years ago | (#39960989)

Okay... so having RTFA, it seems that this law is intended to cover stuff like the Vancouver Hockey Riots [mashable.com], where a bunch of people went randomly crazy and proceeded to smash windows, set cars on fire, and steal things. And, in all truth, it really would be nice if the legal system were able to cover things like that, since a bunch of those people got away with it [riot2011.vpd.ca]. That said, the usual abuses of power suggest that this will actually be used against the Anonymous guys who show up at protests wearing Guy Fawkes masks... which really, isn't a good situation at all. Also, since the people who DID get away with it weren't actually wearing masks, it's questionable exactly how useful this kind of thing would be.

Being Canadian myself, this is, of course, why I generally like my government better as a minority government. When no single political party controls a majority of the votes, this kind of thing can't happen.

Re:The reason for the law... (1)

fireman sam (662213) | about 2 years ago | (#39962819)

It is useful in that the police state can arrest anyone who they think may in the future possibly be party to the committing of a crime which cannot be defined. Protecting the people from future crime. Didn't futurama do something like this?

have a anti-mask protest with masks (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | about 2 years ago | (#39965135)

Id like to see 1m people say a big FU to the govt and wear masks, but the sheeple of today BEND OVER, and ask the govt, BE GENTLE.

Where the fuck are these idiots politicians coming from, havent they watched the history channel or learned from the fucking germans.

Id like to see politicians with loving families be arrested and placed in hardcore jails and be analy challanged, just for lying to the people.

Common wifes, see how your hubby is a total dick, and divorce him!!

Lets get around the laws.
Define "MASK".
Paint face with clear see through highly reflective IR paint, that is 100% clear to the eye, but shows up as a big white blur in any photo.

FU govt, we can use technology to beat your sorry ass lame communist laws that.

Re:The reason for the law... (1)

Phrogman (80473) | about 2 years ago | (#39965751)

It would certainly seem to be intended by the MP who tabled it as enabling the police to arrest people wearing "masks" *before* they do anything wrong. This bill makes it a crime to engage in protest while trying to remain anonymous to any degree. So where before someone could wear say a Guy Fawkes mask and simply wave a banner and be within their rights, now they are criminalized for doing the same. All they need to do is declare any assembly of protestors as being "Illegal" then grab anyone who could be construed as "wearing a mask" then next few seconds. I imagine they will define "wearing a mask" as anything which might potentially interfere with face-recognition software and monitoring cameras.
Meanwhile the police who remove their rank and name badges before arresting innocent protesters will not be punished of course. Nor apparently those police who go undercover at riots to *cause* the riotous activity - as we saw them be caught doing at the G8/G20 Summit. Nor the officers who arrested people at that summit for violating a law that *did not exist* and held them in pens for up to 24 hrs without food, water, medical attention and without being charged with anything.
As much as I find it hard to believe, Harper really is taking baby-steps towards a form of authoritarian dictatorship it seems. He is building new prisons, raising the minimum penalties for a host of offenses, "streamlining" environmental reviews to the point that they will achieve nothing in order to let Big Oil do whatever it wants, shutting down environmental groups that get involved in politics (while ignoring right wing lobby groups like the Fraser Institute that do nothing BUT political work it seems), and gagging Canadian scientists to prevent them discussing or reporting on Global Climate Change (because he has stated he doesn't believe in it - of course he doesn't, it would hurt Big Oil, and I am sure they are paying a lot of money in support of the Conservatives - if not directly then as "campaign contributions").
Since the Canadian public is generally pretty apathetic, and seemingly stupid enough to keep reelecting the Harper Regime, if he wants to, he can get away with it, it seems. He just needs to keep eroding our rights under the law like this.

Mask of Benevolence. (1)

TemplePilot (2035400) | about 2 years ago | (#39963673)

And you know lawyers-police-courts, will always try to exploit a loophole and tack on even more charges just because they can, so I guess make-up (lipstick etc..), glasses, long hair over face, facial hair, and so on and so forth will be trotted out as a "disguise" simply because the situation was classified a "crime" by those who declared it so, whether or not it really was. So yeah damn'd if you do damn'd if you don't. To object, is to be a criminal by default. If you ask me, I'd say we're all turning into another dictatorship day by day, much like China and Korea, as those placed in power by us, manipulate our laws into oppressive regimes to maintain consolated power over the people who mistakenly thought they elected them on their behalves while opting for what was once called democracy. It is clear our Canadian leaders are operating behind a 'disguise' of their own known as a mask of benevolence to mislead the Canadian public into the next era of political oppression. As clearly evidenced by the recent G-20 activities, and more recently by Canadian government monitors watching what our environmental scientists are saying [realscience.us] to the Canadian media at large about climate change and other such issues at a conference [ipy2012montreal.ca] in Montreal.
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