Yesterday afternoon, Bill C-309 achieved royal assent and was written into Canadian law.
The bill makes it so that anyone wearing a mask during a protest could face up to 10 years in prison.
The number of Canadians who are quick to throw their support behind a variety of draconian legislation without considering the long-view has grown far beyond disheartening – it has become downright sickening.
Although our history with refugees is somewhat checkered, we eventually developed an international reputation for being a nation of values, one that prioritized humanitarianism above economics, especially in the post-WWII era.
Nowadays, we seem to have lost our national identity and have been divided among ourselves into factions of East vs. West, Liberal vs. Conservative, Lower/Mid vs. Upper class, etc.
The most disconcerting aspect of this cultural shift is the fact that many blue-collar types have heavily bought into the onslaught of partisan rhetoric.
Many in Canada appear to have lost their ability to think critically.
There is little-to-no outcry about the outrageous abuses of power we are seeing from our elected officials, whether at the federal or provincial level.
If opposition does arise, it is usually perceived and framed through either, blue, red, and now orange-coloured glasses.
The more we enable our governments to criminalize those who are actively engaging their democracy, the less it bodes well for our collective futures.
Chinese artist and renowned dissident, Ai Weiwei, shared similar sentiments recently after the exposure of the United States’ PRISM program.
He is currently seeing many parallels growing between China and the West. After years of experiencing government overreach within his home nation, including a message-sending arrest in 2011, he has an intrinsic understanding of the need to protect individual rights and the importance of the ability for humans to be able to freely express themselves without fear of reprisal.
In the following (must-read) article, Weiwei states:
When human beings are scared and feel everything is exposed to the government, we will censor ourselves from free thinking. That’s dangerous for human development.
This sums up the problem with banning anonymous protest.
With technology accelerating to the point where it is being marketed as our only reality, it is more important than ever for us to protect the last semblances of our privacy.
When authorities have the power to turn a peaceful protest into an unlawful assembly based on a predicated lie, you realize that the purpose is to intimidate you, silence you, and fuck you away from doing anything but what you are told is within the limits of acceptability.
This is anti-democratic.
Of course, there are still dummies out there who have yet to comprehend that any official who prorogues parliament (of which the Conservatives and Liberals are both guilty of in recent history) has already revealed our state of “democracy” to be a complete sham.
This is no different.
In an age of political lobbies, union-busting, and agent provocateurs, the goal is to dictate the terms of your civil liberties.
There is more at stake here than your freedom to condescendingly cross your arms whenever “unemployed hippies” force you to look outside your own personal bubble of isolation.
Keep in mind, laws already exist in Canada which make it illegal to conceal your identity if you are attempting to commit a crime.
The difference with Bill C-309 is that authorities now have the ability to arbitrarily determine what constitutes an illegal gathering without any oversight or debate. And if you happen to get caught up at the time that decision is made, simply being in the vicinity could lead to serious consequences in regards to your employment and social status.
It is time to stop being so apathetic towards the increasingly intrusive and fear-mongering introduction of preemptive laws.
Oh, and if you’re the type to say some shit like, “if you don’t do anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about!”, just kill yourself now for the betterment of the human race.
When “what’s wrong” is constantly being redefined, I’ll laugh at you when it inevitably impedes upon your ability to be an ignorant dickhead.
For the full CBC article pertaining to this issue, “Wearing a mask at a riot is now a crime“, click here.