The Electric Pencil

Posts Tagged ‘protest

Protecting the Right to Abortion: Out against Bill C-484

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If I have more time, I’ll post more on this later, but this Sunday there will be a very important march in Montreal on an issue I think all Canadians should be concerned about. The fight for legal abortions in Canada was a hard fought, decades-long battle. And while there is definitely no unanimity on the issue, it has been 20 years that women have not had to fear legal repercussions for seeking out an abortion.

Bill C-484, though, has raised serious concerns among many that the right to an abortion could be facing its most serious challenge in at least the last 10 years, if not longer. Officially the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, and introduced by Conservative MP Tom Epps, the bill seeks to increase the penalty for those who harm a woman who is pregnant, essentially on the basis that greater harm is done because a second potential life is taken. While on the surface this may appear harmless, there are fears that such a law would reopen the debate on the rights of a foetus. Proponents of the bill claim that there are provisions built in so that women are not held liable for injury to a foetus, and that this law does not go any further than any pre-existing laws, but critics still fear the repercussions and precedent set by the law.

There will be a demonstration this Sunday, June 1st, against the bill in Montreal. People will be assembling at 2pm at the corner of St-Jospeh and St-Laurent, and the march will begin at 2pm sharp.

I wish I had more time to post links to back up all this, but here are some sites with lots more information:

Written by Tim McSorley

May 30, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Putting the horse before the cart

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no2010About three weeks ago I read a post over at Friends of Grassy Narrows – it was an report written by Tom Quiggin on the threat that activists pose to the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. Seems like it took awhile, but the report is now making a few waves.

“Extremist Activity Associated with the 2010 Olympics, the G8, and the SPP” takes a look at what Quiggin calls recent violent activity and the threat they pose to major international events – the Olympics, G8 and the Security and Prosperity Partnership – being held in Canada over the next two years. Quiggin, a former RCMP officer and independent security consultant who wrote the report for an Israel-based security agency, is particularly alarmed by what he sees as an early increase in activities meant to target events nearly two years away:

“A clear upturn in violent protest activity is occurring. There had been a downturn or exhaustion of activity following the rush of activities from 2002 to 2004 (G8 and Bush visit). It is unprecedented to see this kind of forward planning by activists. Even the highly active G8 campaigners were essentially involved in activities for less than a year before the meetings in Ottawa.”

As proof of this upswing, Quiggin points to 19 recent incidents across the country – including broken windows at various Royal Bank locations (which is sponsoring the 2010 games) and the stealing of the an Olympic flag in British Columbia – carried out by what he calls a convergence of “anarchists, aboriginal “warrior” groups, poverty activists, housing activists, anti-capitalists, anti-globalization activists, student activists, and others who are just interested in anti-social behavior.” It isn’t clear whether he defines all of the above groups as ‘anti-social.’

While Quiggin’s report is obviously meant to sound the alarm for the Canadian government and the organisers of these events, it would be interesting to get a better idea of what the opposition groups themselves think of the report. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Tim McSorley

May 7, 2008 at 10:12 pm