Québec Premier Jean Charest just enacted a draconian emergency law restricting the most basic rights of free assembly. The
law could turn Canada into an international embarrassment -- making us
look more like the Middle Eastern police states the Arab Spring just
overthrew -- unless we show the world that Canadians reject this type of outdated suppression.
The emergency law, known as Bill 78, imposes massive fines of up to $125,000 for organizing peaceful protests -- the most basic right of free democracies. And anyone hoping to gather just 50 people must give police 8 hours notice! Legal scholars are uniform in declaring the law unconstitutional, but while we wait for the courts to strike it down, free speech is in jeopardy. Let’s join together and show leaders everywhere Canadians reject this attack on basic rights and that all suppression will bring is a stronger opposition.
Our country's constitutional rights and international reputation are at risk.
Join the call and forward to everyone -- if we reach 50,000 signers,
Avaaz will erect giant protesters in front of Montreal representatives'
offices to bring our national call home to politicians:
The freedom to peacefully assemble is a fundamental right enshrined in
the Canadian constitution. It’s a basic right respected throughout the
democratic world and now the Québec government is trampling all over it.
When governments try to change the rules of the game like this to
suppress their opponents, one of two things happen: freedom begins to
wither or the backlash leads to a brighter and freer day. Right now,
police are already cracking down: over 300 people were arrested at once on Sunday night. But if we stand together, we can ensure that our voices lead to a better tomorrow.
The student demonstrations over tuition hikes that provoked this
over-the-top response have been largely peaceful. A small group of
radicals and overzealous police shouldn’t be allowed to destroy Montreal
or our basic rights and values. But instead of directing police to respect protesters, Premier Charest decided to fan the flames by passing this backwards bill. This is not the way democracies deal with legitimate debate and it’s time we show Charest and the rest of our country’s Premiers that citizens everywhere will not stand for being silenced or intimidated.
Join the call to repeal Bill 78's attack on our rights -- click here to sign:
Throughout the world, peaceful demonstrations have overcome repressive backlashes.
At a moment when even the Middle East is overthrowing emergency laws
intended to suppress, Canada shouldn’t be going backwards. Let’s join
the spirit of the day and show that we too are capable of overcoming
ignorance, fear and abuse of power.