His Saga of Social Activism Continues
Artur Pawlowski, a street preacher in Calgary, has now been arrested or had to turn himself in to the authorities eight times. His crimes are always the same, standing up for justice and freedom and charter protected rights. City Hall once again, disregards democracy in a most outrageous way.
Pawlowski and about ten volunteers used the timing of the municipal election to bring forward their concerns regarding the suppressing of freedoms and silencing of speech in Calgary. The street preacher and his group decided to enter City Hall and pass out documentation about Canada’s and Alberta’s Christian heritage with a goal to cause people to be very mindful of who they vote for in the upcoming civic election.
“Who would ever think that encouraging people to consider our nation’s and province’s Christian heritage along with prompting to vote in the upcoming election would lead to such hostility on the part of City Hall security and the police. What is happening to our democracy in Canada? What is stopping these people that are acting so clearly in the most undemocratic way possible? If officers now believe that freedom of speech during election time is illegal, what other rights will we lose in the near future?” questioned Pawlowski.
Fines and access bans were levied against Pawlowski and volunteers under Trespass on Premise and the Petty Trespass Act. In fact, volunteers are strictly prohibited from entering the Municipal complex for a period of two years. Why such a severe penalty? The pamphlet titled, “Who are you going to vote for?” became so dangerous that security assaulted Pawlowski, corporate security with Owen Key was called and eventually, the police arrived on the scene. The group of volunteers managed to distribute hundreds of pamphlets before they were ticketed, noticed of trespass were given and Pawlowski was handcuffed and taken into custody.
There was such a hatred displayed against Pawlowski, that before his release, the Crown Prosecutor demanded that he be restrained from coming within 200 meters (that’s around six hundred feet) of any public building anywhere within the City of Calgary. What that would have meant, is that Pawlowski could be arrested almost anywhere within the city limits for breaching the condition of his release. Pawlowski refused to sign such an outrageous document.
“Can you imagine being arrested, handcuffed and taken like the worst kind of criminal to the police station? And for what? Giving away pamphlets that are encouraging people to vote on October 18th. You could see clearly the bias when the arresting officer mocked me, after seeing my T-shirt which said ‘Jesus loves you’, stating that he does not believe in God but rather believes in evolotion. Such a display of discrimination should never happen in a democratic society,” stated Artur Pawlowski.
After spending the night in jail, Pawlowski was charged and is to appear once again before the court to continue the battle for constitutional rights for all Canadians. The irony of this situation is that we have an election at this time and City Hall Corporate Security’s top man Owen Key believes that he has the power to control who, during this election, has a right to publicly express their views on the future of Calgary.
“I have lived in Canada for many years and have seen much erosion of our heritage happen, behind the scenes and without proper democratic representation, because people didn’t show up to vote. One such example, occurred in 1983 when only 12 members of parliament, out of 282, showed up to vote on changing our national heritage day, which celebrates the date of Canada’s formation, from “Dominion Day” which reminded us of our nation’s Christian roots to “Canada Day” which tells us nothing of our roots. Whether a person likes or dislikes the outcome of that vote, one can clearly see that a vote in the House of Commons conducted with only 4% of members of parliament present did not fairly represent the views of most Canadians. The same thing can happen, in Calgary, if Calgarians do not step up and let their voices be heard on who will be our next Mayor and Members of Council,” stated Pawlowski.
Dave Hughes was banned for two years from entering the municipal complex, Maurice Boyer banned for two years, Bogdan Stobiecki banned for two years, Misael Serrano banned for two years and Shelly Digout banned for two years. For their horrible crimes of passing out literature relevant to our current election, and for encouraging people to cast their vote on October 18th, and to be heard, the rights of municipal citizenship of these volunteers have been revoked. They are not allowed to access any services offered at or through City Hall, that any other free citizen would have full access to.
“When officers arrived, I was told that I am free to distribute pamphlets outside the Municipal Complex, basically telling me that the public government building was no place to engage people publicly on the upcoming election and on Canadian and Albertan heritage. I told him, that I would not be treated like a slave or a dog that can be kicked out and kept out of our public places of government and free speech. I am a Canadian citizen, whether they like it or not, I have my rights and I will exercise them. Giving pamphlets away is clearly freedom of expression,” ended Pawlowski.
To view the actual brochure that the volunteers were distributing, visit www.streetchurch.ca. Specifically it can be found at http://streetchurch.ca/index.php/20100930640/News/Media/Who-are-you-going-to-vote-for.html.