We just wanted to take this opportunity to send you an update and an invitation to come back to City Hall this Tuesday at 12 noon we will be meeting in the Atrium and at the bottom of the escalators outside the City Council chambers.
Last week we went with between 25 to 30 believers to pray, read from the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, read from the Canadian Bill of Rights, read quotes from different political leaders who stood for rights in the past, to sing the national anthem and to sing Amazing Grace.
As we were about to start the meeting, a representative of Corporate Security came and asked us if we were going to have a problem again this week. Jim Blake responded that he hoped that there wouldn’t be a problem with Corporate Security. To which the security representative said okay fine so you can gather but no preaching or things like that. So here we clearly see, by this statement from a representative of Calgary’s Corporate Security that gathering in our City Hall’s Atrium is okay but religious speech is not.
In the group were two elderly people. One was a World War II Veteran by the name of Sandi De Waal who fought, and watched his friends die, along his side, for our freedoms, so that we could stand in our municipal buildings and in other public places and speak without fear of persecution or prosecution from police and other civic officials and other governing bodies or individuals.
The other elderly person was a lady by the name of Daisy. Daisy’s husband was World War II Warrior, as well, and he has now passed to be with the Lord. But he also fought for our freedoms so that we can live as free men and women in a land strong and free, as our national anthem states.
Jim Blake, National Chairman of Concerned Christians Canada was the one that ran our gathering last Tuesday. I will briefly include a couple of points that he made in his talk.
He reminded us that when we sing our national anthem we are singing a pledge that we will stand on guard for Canada. He even reminded us that it even includes a prayer, "God keep our land glorious and free."
He also read part of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, relating to our guaranteed fundamental freedoms that we are granted under that legislation. Along with that, he read from the Canadian Bill of Rights, the following two quotes:
The first was from the preamble of the Canadian Bill of Rights which reads:
The Parliament of Canada, affirming that the Canadian Nation is founded upon principles that acknowledge the supremacy of God, the dignity and worth of the human person and the position of the family in a society of free men and free institutions;
Affirming also that men and institutions remain free only when freedom is founded upon respect for moral and spiritual values and the rule of law;
The second was a quote from Prime Minister Diefenbaker included at the bottom of the Canadian Bill of Rights:
"I am a Canadian,
free to speak without fear,
free to worship in my own way,
free to stand for what I think right,
free to oppose what I believe wrong, or
free to choose those who shall govern my country.
This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind."
For doing these activities we are surrounded by around 30 officers and staff of Corporate Security and we were told that we were not welcome and that we had to leave.
After Mr. Blake spoke, that security person came back and told us okay you said you piece now it’s time to go. Jim Blake had agreed and it was after he agreed that he was presented with a one-year no trespass notice indicating that he could no longer enter into City Hall for a full year.
That was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I decided this was way too much like the regime that I saw growing up in postwar Poland where people were in constant fear of persecution from people like the Nazis, who stole their rights and shot and killed for their own wicked purposes.
Being surrounded on all sides with armed officers threatening us and telling us that we had no rights to freedom of religion, freedom of expression or freedom of peaceful assembly. Ready to hall us all off at a moment’s notice if we wouldn’t shut up and leave. I took a stand and spoke out against this shameful treatment.
Daisy, the eighty-five year old I told you about, was confronted by an officer and was told that she should leave, to which she responded I don’t want to leave, I’m going to stay right here. Arrest me if you want to, but I’m staying.
A couple of people from our group were escorted out by police officers and warned not to return to the building. Jim Blake was able to convince Stephen Patterson the Corporate Security Advisor of City Hall to be wise and not to cause the officers to arrest citizens who are merely exercising their charter protected guaranteed fundamental rights and freedoms.
He agreed to meet with Jim Blake and to discuss options for us to be able to freely exercise our rights and freedoms and to find a balance that would work for everyone, but that would ensure that our rights are not denied.
So, in good faith Jim Blake will meet with Steven Patterson on Monday, January 30 to try to work something out but regardless we are going back Tuesday to exercise our guaranteed fundamental rights and freedoms at City Hall.
City Hall will demonstrate it’s true heart; whether it truly cares to honour the rights and freedoms of its citizens as it did with Occupy Calgary or whether it will again arrest its citizens for exercising those rights.
Please come out and show your support for freedom, for democracy, and for the right to freely speak one’s strongly and deeply held beliefs in the public forum.
Please don’t by the lie that for Christians public speech in political forums is banned. We were guaranteed these rights and we need to stand on guard for Canada for our freedom and for this and coming generations. Please join us Tuesday at 12 noon at Calgary’s City Hall at the base of the escalators in the Atrium.
Street Church Ministries