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Obert Madondo's Canada Crime Bill C10 Hunger Strike - Letter to Governor Genera of Canada

Obert Madondo's Canada Crime Bill C10 Hunger Strike - Letter to Governor Genera of Canada

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Published by Obert Madondo
On March 14, 2012, Ottawa-based activist and progressive blogger, Obert Madondo, started an indefinite hunger strike against the Conservative government's cruel new crime law, the deceptively christened "Safe Streets and Communities Act" (Bill C10). This is Obert's appeal the Governor General of Canada to either withhold or reserve Royal Consent to the draconian bill.
On March 14, 2012, Ottawa-based activist and progressive blogger, Obert Madondo, started an indefinite hunger strike against the Conservative government's cruel new crime law, the deceptively christened "Safe Streets and Communities Act" (Bill C10). This is Obert's appeal the Governor General of Canada to either withhold or reserve Royal Consent to the draconian bill.

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Published by: Obert Madondo on May 06, 2012
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ObertMadondo312CumberlandStreet,Apt610Ottawa,ONK1N1B3March13,2012HisExcellency,theRightHonourableDavidJohnstonGovernorGeneralofCanadaRideauHall1SussexDriveOttawaONK1A0A1YourExcellency,I’mwritingtodemandthatyouusethereservepowersinvestedinyouresteemedofficebytheCrowntoeitherwithholdorreserveRoyalAssenttotheomnibuscrimeBillC-10.Indeed,inthedemocraticage,theCrown’sreservepowersshouldrarely,ifever,beused.ButCanadatodayfacesasituationthatconstitutionallycallsontheGovernorGeneraltoreigninanauthoritarianpetro-primeministerwhohasbecomeaseriousthreattobothourparliamentarydemocracyandtoCanadians.SincePrimeMinisterStephenHarperandtheConservativescametopowerin2006,CanadianparliamentarydemocracyhasbeenhurtlingtowardtheIntensiveCareUnit.TheomnibuscrimeBillC-10isthelordoftheConservatives
 
draconianbills,policies,measures,officialrhetoricandattitudesthroughwhichMr.Harperseekstoimposeaninsidiousright-wingworldviewthatwillcannibalizeCanada’sfuture,institutionsandvalues.TheSafeStreetsandCommunitiesActwillexpandstatepower,weakenthejudiciary,dividesociety,takeawayCanadians’rightsandfreedoms,createresentmentofthe“other”,andpunishtheweakandmarginalized.ItwilltransformCanadaintoaZimbabweindemocraticdisguise.YourExcellency,bothcrimeBillC-10andtheSafeStreetsandCommunitiesActaretheepitomeofstateabuseofpower,thelawandresources.MyconscienceandlivedexperiencedictatethatIresistourover-compensatedelecteddictator.Democracyshouldneveryieldtotyranny.Indeed,itneverhas,neverwill.At12:01amonWednesday,March14,2012,I’llembarkonanindefinitehungerstriketodemandthattheMonarchysidewithanddefendCanadiansagainstStephenHarper.Ihumblysubmitthefollowingdemands,andassureyouthat,shouldYourExcellencyabandonCanadiansandyieldtoHarper’styrannyastheHouseofCommonsandSenateshamefullydidandsignthebillintolaw,I’llcontinuethehungerstrikeuntiltheActisrepealedinitsentirety.Mydemandsare:TheGovernorGeneralofCanadashouldusethereservepowersinvestedinhisesteemedofficebytheCrowntoeitherwithholdorreserveRoyalAssenttotheomnibuscrimeBillC-10FormerOttawaPolicechiefandnewly-appointedConservativeSenator,VernonWhite,shouldimmediatelyresignThe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indigenouswomenandgirlsTheHouseofCommonsmustimmediatelyinstitutemeasurestoimproveaccountabilityandtransparency.Themeasuresshouldincludelimitationsonthegoverningparty’spowertoa)manipulateparliamentaryStandingOrdersb)evadeoppositionscrutinyc)shutdowndebated)imposegagorderstosilencecriticsande)lockupcommitteesbehindsteeldoorstomuzzlecommitteemembersandpreventthemediafrominformingusontheproceedings.
 
TheConservativegovernmentmustimmediatelystopitscovertwaronCanadiansandCanadiandemocracy,whichcurrentlymanifeststhrougha)thecriminalizationofdissentb)promotionofdivisivelegislation,measures,rhetoricandattitudesc)whippingupofunnecessarymoralpanicandd)blackmailingofcitizensbypasting“Canadians”or“victims”or“children”or“mandate”labelstoitsdraconianlaws,meassandofficialrhetoricYourExcellency,theSafeStreetsandCommunitiesActwillcarrythepreamble:NOW,THEREFORE,HerMajesty,byandwiththeadviceandconsentoftheSenateandHouseofCommonsofCanada,enactsasfollows.InessenceHerMajesty’sesteemednameandtheGreatSealofCanadawillbeappendedtoalawthatwillinflictagreatinjusticeonCanadians.IsincerelybelievethatHerMajestywouldagreewiththefollowingminimumargumentsagainsttheAct.1. ThemakingoftheAct,fromthefirstreadingofBillC-10intheHouseofCommons,throughtothefinalvoteinbothhouses,wasaone-party-statetyrannicalabuseofCanadianparliamentaryprocessanddemocraticpractice.Itwasatriumphofspinoversubstanceanddeliberativedemocracy.Ateveryturn,oppositionMPs,electedby60%ofCanadians,andopposingexpertwitnesseswhoattemptedtoinputintothebills’208clausesandhundredsofamendments,wereshownthepoliticalmiddlefinger.2. ThroughtheAct,HarperseekstoradicallyengineerCanadiansociety-sociallyandpolitically–andimposeaninsidiousright-wingworldviewwhichiswar-loving,pro-punishment,anti-science,poverty-ignoringandanti-minority.TheActwillexpandstatepower,yokethejudiciary,divideCanadians,takeawayrightsandfreedoms,andpunishtheweakandmarginalized3. Onekeytestofanysocietyishowittreatsthemarginalizedandmostvulnerable.TheActwillhurtthemarginalized,weakandracializedminoritiesthemost.OnFirstNationsCommunities,itwillperpetuateconditionsofcolonialismandthelegacyofresidentialschools4. TheActwillcostCanadiantaxpayersanestimated$15billion.Surely,howcanweagreetopartakeinthedaylightrobberyourseniors,education,healthcareandothersocialservicestofinancealawthatwilloppressusandturnourjailsintotrainingschoolsforhardcorecriminals?5. TheActwasbirthedinanenvironmentoftyrannywereallCanadiansweretreatedaspotentialenemiesofthestate.Dissenters,activistsandcivilsocietyorganizationsopposedtoofficialpolicyordedicatedtoissuesaretargeted,demonized,dehumanizedandlabeled“enemiesofthestate”.IntheHouseofCommons,HerMajesty’sOfficialOppositionisaccusedofbeing“anti-Canada”.Gun-controladvocatesarecomparedtoNazis;opponentsofthelonggunregistrytoAdolfHitler.MPsopposedtotheConservatives
 
newonlinesurveillancebillare“withthechildpornographers”.TocaptheConservatives’attitudeagainstCanadians,nowHerMajesty’sRoyalCanadianMountedPolice(RCMP)detachmentofficersonParliamentHillwillstartcarryingtherapid,accurate-fireHeckler&KochMP5submachinegunsas"secondaryweapons"totheirstandard-issuesemi-automatic9mmpistols.YourExcellency,I’mdemandingonlytheminimumofwhatCanadiansshouldrightlybedemandingoftheirleadersrightnow.I’mdemandingthatyouresteemedofficeusetheCrown’sdiscretionaryandconstitutionalpowerstocounselandwarn.NowisthehourtoforceParliamentreturntosanityandrespectourdemocraticandlegislativeprocesses.It’sthehourtoencourageourelectedrepresentativestolistentoandvaluetheconcernsofallCanadians.NowisthemomentfortheGovernorGeneraltobringCanadiancitizens,permanentresidentsandotherstogether,andencourageustocreatestrongandgenerouscommunities.It’sthemomenttoencourageustosetasidedifferences,dialogueandcontinuetobuildanationalidentitybasedontheCanadianvaluesofmulticulturalism,inclusion,diversityandcompassion.OurcollectivesecurityliesinaunitedandcaringCanadawhosejusticeandlegislativeprocessesarepredicatedoncompassion,fairnessandinclusion.
 
ThisistheCanadaIexperiencedthedayIwasheduponCanada’sshoresasapoliticalrefugeefromZimbabweinthesummerof2003.TheviolenceI’dexperiencedandwitnessedhadmutilatedme.ButCanadaembraced,nursedandhealedme.CanadarestoredthatwhichZimbabwe-andtheUSdeniedme–dignity.Canadabelievedinmeasanequalmemberofthehumanrace,andencouragedmetounleashmypassionsintheserviceofmyadoptedcountry.In2004,IbrieflyvolunteeredforthelateNDPleaderJackLayton’ssuccessfulrunforParliamentaryoffice.Overtheyears,I’vecarvedauniqueCanadianidentityasaglobally-consciousactivism-orientedprogressivepoliticalblogger,withapassionforCanadianfederalpolitics,diversity,socialissuesandmovements,progressivepoliticsandCanadianforeignpolicy.ButI’vetastedthewrathofaCanadahostiletobothaccountabilityandthe“other”.InDecember,2003,IsigneduptovolunteerforCAPAIDSNetworkInc.,aregisteredCanadiancharitythatsupportsHIV/AIDSworkinAfrica.ByApril2008,I’dbecomethecharity’sexecutivedirector.InMay,2010,Iattemptedtopursueaccountabilityforpartofthemorethan$130000inCanadians’donationsthecharitymisused.Theboardofthecharityharassedmeandtossedmeunderthebus.Itblockedmyaccesstoemploymentinsuranceandtorpedoedmysupportsystemsasanewimmigrant.IlostmostofwhatI’dworkedforalltheseyearsandendeduponthestreetsofToronto.FromJune15toJune23,Iwalkedalmost400kmfromTorontotoOttawainprotest.ButIlearnedthatwhenthoseofusonthemarginsofsocietychallengethewrongdoingsoftheprivileged,ittakesmorethana400kmsolitarywalktobeheard.InOttawa,Iendeduponthestreets.FromJune23toOctober14,2011,IsleptinacreviceatLaurierandBankStreet.Iatefromsoupkitchens.IbathedanddidmylaundryonOttawaRiver.OnOctober15,2011,OccupyOttawashowedupintownandrescuedmefromthestreets.Themovementgavemeatent,afamilyandaplatformtodiscuss,inthespiritofequalityanddeliberativedemocracy,theissuesofourtime.OnNovember23,2011,ItastedthewrathoftheCanadatheSafeStreetsandCommunitiesActproposes.IwaspartoftheeightunarmedandpeacefulOccupyOttawaprotestersresistingthemovement’spolitically-motivatedevictionfromConfederationPark.Justafter2am,between150and200OttawaPoliceofficersdescendedonus.Duringtheeviction,thepoliceapplieddisproportionateandunnecessaryforce.Iwassubjectedtocruelandunusualtreatment.Thepolicehurtmyback,legsandleftarm.Iendedupinhospital.Today,Ilivewithexcruciatingpaineverysecondofmywakinghour.Iexperiencerecurringheadachesthatusuallywakemeupinthemiddleofthenight.Sincemid-January,I’vebeenexperiencingmemorylossorforgetfulness.NootherCanadiancitizenorresidentshouldhavetogothroughwhatIwentthroughonthemorningofNovember23,andthepainIlivewithnow.Whydidthefourpoliceofficerswhocarriedmetothemakeshiftdetentioncentredropmethreetimesduringthetrip?WhywasItreateddifferentlythanmytwowhitecolleagues?Onewasalsocarriedbypoliceofficersbutwasnothurt.Theotherwasdriventothecentreinapolicecruiser.Atthecentrewhydidtheofficersdropmeontothefloorandleavemelyingmystomach,apositionthatfurtheracerbatedmyinjuredbackandarm?Whydidtheyignoremypleaforimmediatemedicalattention?YourExcellency,SenateVernonWhitewasinchargeoftheOttawaPolicethatmorningandthat’swhyI’mdemandinghisresignation.I
 
venothingpersonalagainstthesenatorasafellowhumanbeing.Butthatmorning,afailureofjudgmentandCanadianleadershipoccurred.Istronglyquestionthesenator’sjudgmentinasituationthatdemandedtheutmostinsobrietyandaquickglanceattheCharterofRi

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