This one's for readers who assumed I was wildly exaggerating, when I wrote last year that Canada was a police state.
I like Marc Lemire's latest essay so much, I am crossposting it here in its entirety. See Marc's Freedomsite blog for a picture of the prolific Mr Love.
Before I turn the podium over to Marc, I refuse to dignify a farce by adding a disclaimer to the effect that I do not support Mr Love's views on Zionism or Jews.
For crying out loud, the issue has nothing to do with hate speech against Jews or anyone else. The man is being persecuted by political correctness gone berserk.
Political Prisoner Brad Love May Not Write Letters to Anyone: Yes, That's In Canada, Not North Korea by Marc Lemire
TORONTO, March 24, 2009. Today, the outspoken voice of the workingman, Brad Love, was released from prison on bail conditions that his own lawyer, Peter Lindsay, suggested are more usually imposed on people facing murder charges.
Mr. Love is accused of five counts of writing letters, contrary to his previous parole conditions. (These are non-violent letters, on current political issues!)
Here are the conditions imposed on Mr. Love, who was arrested by eight burly Metro police, who burst into a free speech meeting sponsored by the Canadian Association for Free Expression [CAFÉ] in Rexdale, Thursday, March 19.
> $2,000 cash bail paid by his sister-in-law.
> $110,000 surety – the entire value eof his brother and sister-in-law’s house.
> Mr. Love is prohibited from sending mail to anyone, unless that person has specifically requested it.
> He must reside at his brother and sister-in-law’s Bolton home.
> He must get a job.
> He must keep the peace.
> A 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew (just like some naughty 15 year old).
> He’s specifically forbidden to have any contact with the Canadian Jewish Congress, B’nai Brith or York University, Peter Lindsay told CAFÉ.
The Crown had demanded Mr. Love’s continued incarceration for having written letters. The female Crown commented darkly that “Mr. Love’s purpose of returning surreptitiously to Ontario was to give a lecture on ‘hate.”
In fact, Mr. Love flew openly for two weeks' vacation with his family and only as a side matter spoke to a Toronto CAFÉ meeting, as he has before.
“To the best of our knowledge, it’s not yet illegal to criticize Canada’s poxy, minority-inspired, thought gagging hate laws,” a furious Paul Fromm, director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression, said outside the court.
“Besides, he isn’t charged with speaking to the free speech meeting.”
Mr. Love’s sister-in-law promised the court, “We’re not going to have any newspapers in the house and we’ll review his outgoing mail.”
One of the Crown’s reasons for wanting Mr. Love kept in prison pending his trial, which Peter Lindsay said might not occur for six to nine months, is that he has not changed his political views:
“It’s quite obvious,” she said, “his beliefs still exist and he’s not going to stop his behaviour no matter what conditions are put upon him. Despite sentences on his record, he is going to continue [to express himself]. He is an individual obsessed with racial hated and others sorts of hatred.”
In an interview with CAFÉ tonight, Mr. Love, settling down after enjoying his first decent meal in five days, explained the writings that have stirred the powers that be to send him back to prison:
He wrote taunting comments to the York University Student Union, B’nai Brith and the Canadian Jewish Congress on the occasion of Israel Equals Apartheid Week.
Among his comments were: "If all these Third World people are against Zionism, maybe they’re right."
He also wondered in his letters whether Third Worlders demonstrating against Zionism would be called racists. Brad Love told CAFÉ: “Many of the comments I made, I borrowed from Jewish comedians.”
Mr. Lindsay told the court that the surety of $110,000 is more usually demanded in crimes of serious violence or murder, not for a man who wrote non-violent, non-threatening, even if provocative, letters.
He also suggested that the previous parole condition that Mr. Love was not to write, FAX or e-mail letters to anyone who had not asked for this communication may well have violated his Charter rights to freedom of speech.
“It’s because it’s a thought crime,” Mr. Love commented on his legal shackles and restrictions. “Fort McMurray is my fortune. I have a great job there. All my clothes and possessions and my car are there. There are almost no jobs in Toronto,” he added.
The Crown hinted that three police forces have an ongoing investigation into Canada’s most famous and most jailed letter writer.
Over a 20 year period, Mr. Love wrote over 10,000 letters to elected officials and newspapers. In 2003, he was sentenced to 18 months in jail under Canada’s thought control “anti-hate” law, Sec. 319 of the Criminal Code.
He subsequently spent a total of six months more in prison for having written letters to persons other than those elected officials that his initial parole conditions forbade him to contact.
“It seems the State is intent on shutting Brad Love up,” Paul Fromm observed.
“What does it say about the emotional fragility of the powers that be that they can’t withstand a little needling and criticism from a blunt-spoken working guy, without running to the State to have him gagged and jailed? And we’re over in Afghanistan trying to bring democracy and human rights to those people. We ought to start right here in Canada.”