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Where: Consulate of the Russian Federation (3655 Avenue du Musée, Montréal)
Wednesday August 1 NEW DATE: Thursday August 2 2012, 6:30PM - 8:30PM
Original French Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/394101260647067/
Let’s gather in solidarity with Maria Alekhina, Ekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, three members of the PUSSY RIOT punk collective, who were absurdly condemned by the Russian judicial system to three months of prison for having possibly expressed their political opinions during a “punk prayer” staged on February 21 2012 at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow.
The song requested that the Virgin Mary become a feminist and banish Vladimir Putin. It also criticized the support that certain representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church had given Putin. For this act, the members of PUSSY RIOT are facing charges of “hooliganism on the grounds of religious hatred”.
The gathering will begin in front of the Consulate of the Russian Federation (3655 Avenue du Musée, Montréal). If our numbers are great enough, we will then leave in a demonstration to then make our way to Parc Émilie-Gamelin in time for the 100th Nighttime Demonstration.
Bring your balaclavas! :D
Tommy Chouinard and Paul Journet June 12, 2012
Controversial poster art by music group Mise en Demeure, published on cover of today’s Journal de Montréal.
The deputy leader of Quebec Solidaire, Amir Khadir, will likely take legal action against the Journal de Montréal and the Journal de Québec for headlines in today’s editions.
The front pages of both dailies featured the headline, “Khadir Armed, Charest Dead” («Khadir armé, Charest mort»,). A subtitle specified that a “troubling image” had been found at the Mercier MNA’s home during a police search of his residence last Thursday. The front page image is a of poster inspired by the famous painting, “Liberty Guiding the People,” by Eugène Delacroix. In the altered version of the painting featured in the papers, Amir Khadir’s head has been photo-shopped onto the body of a revolutionary fighter, and Premier Jean Charest’s head has been photo-shopped onto the body of a man lying on the ground.
Staff note: In order to shed light on the issue of preventative arrests, here is an article that appeared one year ago.
Louis Baribeau, Lawyer May 2011
Original French Text: http://www.barreau.qc.ca/pdf/journal/vol43/201105.pdf - p.11
Canada’s recent admission that preventative arrests were carried out during G20 in Toronto when no crime had been committed questions the legality of the practice.
On November 15th 2010 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States asked Canada to explain the allegations of human rights violations during G20 in Toronto in June 2010, when1105 of some 25 000 protesters were arrested. It asked in particular which measures Canada had adopted following the 2006 recommendation of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC) to respect the right to peacefully participate in demonstrations of social protests and “in which only those who have committed criminal offences during the course of the demonstrations are arrested.”
Arrests to disperse the crowd
In its January 31st 2011 response to the IACHR’s questionnaire, Canada confirms that among the 10 000 people peacefully demonstrating on June 26 2010 there were a few hundred individuals dressed in black who threw objects toward police officers. “Instead of attempting to penetrate the crowd and to arrest this sub-group of individuals behaving aggressively, a measure that could have caused injury to people who were protesting calmly and to innocent spectators, the police decided that the crowd had to be dispersed and that those refusing to do so had to be put in preventative detention in order to put an end to the breech of the peace and to prevent other anticipated violations,” Canada states in its response.
Canada’s admission of having carried out preventative arrests disobeys the 2006 recommendation of the HRC, confirms Dominique Peschard, president of the Ligue des droits et libertés, also speaking in the name of the Clinique internationale de défense des droits humains de l’UQAM (CIDDHU) and the Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l’homme in a letter to the IACHR dated February 2011. According to him, Canada’s interpretation of the police’s power to arrest “effectively violates the right of each person to peacefully participate in demonstrations of social protest”.
Marie-Ève Sylveste, Professor, Civil Law section, University of Ottawa
June 12, 2012
PHOTO CAPTION: Montreal’s police force made 34 arrests deemed “preventative” over the Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend.
The City of Montreal’s police service (SPVM) made 34 “preventative” arrests this weekend surrounding the events of Montreal’s Grand Prix, as well as augmented identity controls and searches in the metro and onsite at the Grand Prix.
In so doing, the SPVM has suggested that arrests can be made in virtue of article 31 of the Criminal Code without them ending up in charges. Not only are we of the opinion that the Criminal Code does not allow for preventative arrests, but we are also very concerned to observe that police officers have been incessantly multiplying their recourse to such measures in Canada over recent years, and as such, have acted as though it’s the most normal thing in a democratic society.
Are we witnessing the rise of a preventative state?
Catherine Lalonde & Raphaël Dallaire-Ferland
Are the identity checks in the metro for wearers of red squares we’ve been hearing about since the beginning of Montreal’s Grand Prix real? Are those who show their opposition to the tuition hike now getting searched, taken to the nearest police station, as people have been saying on social networks for the last few hours? Saturday, two journalist from the Devoir tried to bring the situation to light by putting red squares on their chests before going into the metro station. The result? They were soon questioned and held for investigation. “We do just that, criminal profiling,” a Service de police de la ville de Montréal (SPVM) agent then said while searching our journalists.
Saturday, 1:50 PM: under the bright sun, the journalists Raphaël Dallaire Ferland and Catherine Lalonde meet up at Place Émilie-Gamelin. Carrying backpacks, they each put on a red square, she adds a black one. He wears a red scarf around his neck, loosely, that leaves his face bare. She carries two big white pieces of cardboard. Signs? Not even, not posters either. Just two big blank pieces of cardboard. Off to Berri-UQAM station.
In the metro, before getting to the platform, Raphaël gets stopped. Four police officers ask to search his pack “for security reasons.” The SPVM officers are polite. “We’re searching everyone,” says Agent Norbert, “because yesterday people threw flaming beer bottles at us. We even searched a guy with a hockey bag.” Yet Catherine passed without a problem.
On the platform, a few minutes later, our journalists, still unidentified, ask a half-dozen people, of all ages, carrying bigger bags than theirs, if they got searched. Five say no. The only one who had the same experience is a young man, twenty-something, who was wearing a red square when he was intercepted.