My Canada respects citizen and journalist free speech.
My Canada respects the role of the media in enhancing democracy.
My Canada does not cast a chill on political participation.
But we need to pivot to this Canada because, along with America, we’re sliding into Soft Fascism.
During Olympics protests in Vancouver, the city council designated “free speech zones” where people could go and speak freely. Nonsense. I am a free speech zone. So are you. So is Justin Brake, whose journalistic credentials didn’t prevent him from being ordered arrested at Muskrat Falls, NL. See the excerpt from the Ricochet piece below.
And so is Amy Goodman who was charged with rioting while being a journalist in North Dakota.
In fact, since 9/11 I’ve noticed a distinct change in tone at protests as police ceased to be there to keep the peace by keep cars from driving over us when we spill onto roads, to stalky intimidaters. The chill was palpable. At one point between Iraq invasion protests and Olympic protests and long before Occupy, I stopped taking my kids to protests in a stroller because I didn’t trust the authorities if somehow I was detained, kettled or arrested for something imaginary. What would happen to my children?
Even my definition and use of “Soft Fascism” was a calculated decision partially inspired by a chill in social media a decade ago against calling things fascist, even though they were clearly anti-democratic and subversive of constitutionally-guaranteed rights. Soft Fascism is a kinder, gentler fascism that doesn’t need jackboots and brown shirts. But these days, with Trump and fascist-friendly pundits, we have crossed the line of Fascism Lite to actual fascism.
But my Canada includes a respect for the Charter, which guarantees democratic speech and participation, and my Canada needs to have journalists who are not afraid to cover events with political, social, environmental and economic significance without fear of arbitrary and illegal arrest.
Our Canada, today, is content with perpetuating this chill that, like inspiring apathy, undermines democracy.
My Canada, however, isn’t like that. But to get there, we need to pivot to a new Canada that is a champion of citizen rights.
My Canada celebrates democracy and facilitates the sometimes uncomfortable dissent that happens because we’re not all sheep.
And I think that’s your Canada too.
You can reach the prime minister here and the NL premier here. Forward this piece to them and your people, and let the PM and NL Premier know that you want a Canada that encourages journalists to help create a more robust democracy. Not a Canada that intimidates journalists so the government can essentially censor important news stories.
If we don’t pivot to a new future, the Soft Fascists will continue to flourish and expand their scope.
First they came for the _____________; and you know how THAT ends!
Court order to arrest reporter covering Muskrat Falls is unacceptable | Ricochet
Journalism is not a crime
Court order to arrest reporter covering Muskrat Falls is unacceptable
Unprecedented order represents clear and present danger to press freedom in Canada
An order has been issued by a Newfoundland court, at the request of the Crown corporation Nalcor, to arrest 21 land protectors peacefully occupying the Muskrat Falls site. The order also directs the RCMP to arrest journalist Justin Brake of the Independent. On both, this is intolerable.