Straight Talk
MICHAEL COREN - COREN: Law breakers ignored while law-abiding protesters treated like criminals

Credits: ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY

MICHAEL COREN | QMI AGENCY

Within the propaganda and tawdry political theatre that is the Idle No More movement and the Chief Spence diet program, something rather magnificent occurred last week. A Canadian judge had the courage and consistency to question the police, and perhaps make himself politically unpopular with the liberal bloc that is the senior Canadian judiciary.

Superior Court Judge David Brown, a man of singular wisdom and integrity, was chosen to hear an injunction request by CN Rail to stop the Native blockade of a railway line in Sarnia. Their action was dangerous, irresponsible and — most pertinent of all — plainly illegal. Brown granted the injunction.

But, as we’re so often told in seemingly interminable episodes of Law and Order on television, there are several branches to the law. Now came the turn of the police to implement the law without fear or prejudice.

Problem is, the Sarnia cops demonstrated both in enormous lumps.

Not only did they refuse to comply with the injunction, they refused to even try to do so, and there is evidence that one officer, a staff-sergeant, actually joined the protesters. Orders from the most senior kind instructed officers not to intervene, and at every level of the Sarnia police word had gone out to in effect ignore the law.

In the end, this small protest was ended quite easily when the hands of the police were forced, and with no violence or even particular problems. But it took far too long. The disregard, even contempt, evinced for the law from high-ranking police officers and police lawyers is staggering, and reminiscent of some foreign state we would previously have mocked.

Thank goodness for Judge Brown, but those of us who have covered demonstrations and reported on the police in Canada have seen this politicization for some time now.

In the past year alone, for example, I have seen the police intimidate and harass, even physically remove and threaten to arrest, pro-Israel demonstrators, yet ignore their anti-Zionist counterparts across the street.

I have seen peaceful Christians physically attacked at a gay pride parade and cops ignore their attackers and instead caution the victims and promise to arrest them if they did not leave the scene.

I have seen teenage pro-lifers handcuffed and arrested, merely for holding signs, and an opponent of abortion have his camera confiscated, the photos inside destroyed. He was then told the destruction was accidental — the photos proved police brutality — and it took three separate actions to “accidentally” erase them.

Right to protest

In all of these cases, it should be not the beliefs of the protesters, but the right to peacefully protest that shapes the police response. Yet Natives breaking the law are ignored or encouraged, while law-abiding supporters of Israel, the family or the unborn are treated like criminals.

They are far from isolated cases.

Any private conversation with rank-and-file cops will reveal how depressed they are about the situation, but a new generation of recruits, drowned in politically correct training classes, has often lost sight of what policing is.

When an enormously respected judge tells the police they are not doing the job, surely even Canadians have to demand action.

Let’s see, let’s just see.

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