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Save Free Speech Now!

SGT. PEPPER FOR EVER!

Doug Collins

Aug 10, 2001

Nearly four years and $10 million after the event, we have been
presented with what will surely be a useless report on the police actions
against "demonstrators" at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
summit (APEC).

This mini-war took place at the University of British Columbia and
anyone who has forgotten what it was all about has only to think of the
pepper-spraying "Sgt. Pepper" to be reminded of it. For this fine fellow
whose real name is Hugh Stewart (sometimes called Handsup Hughie) has been seen dozens of times on TV using his spray can. The slightest mention of the Commission of Inquiry conducted by retired judge Ted Hughes has always brought the sergeant on screen like a genie out of a bottle.

Such over-exposure was intended by the television folk to show police
brutality in action against poor little innocent students. The Globe & Mail
even managed to call the pepper spraying "infamous". But every time I saw it I laughed. I think most people did, because the "protester" deserved
what they got.

They weren't just holding up cards and screaming abuse. They tried to
blockade the motorcade routes used by the visiting prime ministers and
presidents and tore down the security fence that was designed to keep them
away.

That was when the great Pepper used his noodle and his nozzle. In
fairness to the judge, it must be said that he absolved the sergeant from
blame, while criticizing his superiors for allegedly not organizing things
properly. Still, I blinked when I read the front-page headline in the
National Post that read, "Federal Role AT APEC 'Improper'".

It was based, of course, on the Hughes report, which, unless the media have missed it, has nothing to say about the students' role having been improper. The protesters, meanwhile, complained that their constitutional rights were violated.

Do we have a constitutional right to storm police barricades, throw
things at the police, and act as if rioting is a constitutional entitlement?

Yes, judging from what has been going on here in Loonyland.

When the B.C. legislature opened in July, the usual ceremony on the
front steps of the building could not be held because thugs were
threatening violence. They almost succeeded in pushing down the fence
behind which the Lt. Governor was to speak, and he was obliged to sneak in
by the back door. He had sneak out the same way.


Garth Mullins

"This is what democracy looks like," said the revolting Garth Mullins, a
weirdo who was also at the UBC demo, the Battle in Seattle, and every
other battle he could reach. He was also one of the organizers of the riot
that took place two years ago in the Vancouver Public Library when I gave a talk on freedom of speech.

Do such antics inspire our media to express rage? Not exactly. Bland
acceptance is the rule. When union people and others forced the mayor and council to leave the council chamber on the same day that the Lt. Governor became a refugee, a fem Vancouver Sun writer wrote a thinly-veiled piece of approval on "British Columbia's culture of protest". But a different tune would have been played if the Heritage Front or some other right-wing group had been doing the protesting.

There is much in Mr. Hughes' report about what the police should have
done, what they didn't do, what the feds might have done, and so on. But
in many respects it is a masterpiece of unreality. It states, for instance
that the police should tell demonstrators how to avoid arrest!

Neither Hughes nor anyone else has mentioned that the demonstration
at UBC was yet another leftist event by loonies, with Mullins's misnamed
Democracy Street group prominent in the parade. They are in fact a bunch of
hard-line radicals for whom democracy is a joke. And if Fidel Castro had
been attending the summit instead of that arch villain Suharto of Indonesia
we would have heard cheers from the screaming multitude, not jeers.

Another freak in these affairs is Jaggi Singh, always referred to in
the papers respectfully, like Mullins, as "Mr" and much interviewed, as
also is Mullins. "Mr." Singh was twice arrested at UBC, once "inappropriately" according to the report. Released on bail on condition
that he stay away from the protest, he did not, and is now free on bail
again after being arrested in the Quebec City riot. Among other things, he
faces a charge of having been in possession of a weapon there.

The concern about constitutional rights for rioters rings a bit strange
when you consider that human rights commissions are busy punishing people
for just SAYING the wrong things and being politically incorrect. Not much
talk of constitutional rights there.

Sgt. Pepper made my day. Pity he didn't manage to spray Mullins, though.
Perhaps he'll do better next time. Meanwhile, I nominate him for the Order of Canada.

-----

Doug Collins, was a World War 11 hero -- elven escapes from German PoW camps. He has had 55 years of journalistic experience in Canada, with the Calgary Herald, Vancouver Sun, CBC, and most recently as a columnist with the NORTH SHORE NEWS. He was the victim of a B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and was fined for some of his controversial columns. The case is now working its way toward an appeal in the courts. He is being backed in this appeal by the Canadian Association for Free Expression.

---------------
Note: Garth Mullins leads a Vancouver-based anarchist rent-a-mob that is committed to mayhem under the guise of protesting human-rights abuses. A slightly butchy version of Jean Harlow in appearance, he decries the end of free speech on Mondays amd Wednesdays and crashes meetings supporting free speech chaired by Doug Christie and Doug Collins on Tuesdays and on Thursdays. In Absurdistan (a.k.a. "Canada"), where the torture apologist Bernie Farber is hailed as a 'human rights activist,' for example, Garth Mullins, likewise, is ascribed a moral authority he is galaxies away from possessing.

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