Masks of Mischief
it should be obvious anyone donning a disguise is up to no good
It was Alberta Conservative MP Blake Richards who introduced the private members bill (C-309) to make wearing mask at violent protests a criminal offence.
While we owe some gratitude to Richards for his initiative, the question remains why i' taken so long to get this common sense reality accepted?
After Street protests in Quebec, and before that the Stanley cup disturbances in Vancouver, and before that the G20 riots in Toronto, it's alarmingly apparent that those planning to smash windows, Vandalize, intimidate or otherwise raise hell, cover their faces so they cannot easily be identified from videos.
It shouldn't be rocket science to realize that by making it illegal to wear masks at such protests, it is at least a bit of a deterrent to illegal or violent behavior.
As an amendment to the criminal code, Bill C-309's alternative title is the unwieldy "Preventing Persons from Concealing Their Identity during Riots and Unlawful Assemblies Act."
The weakness in the legislation is it seems to apply only to those committing illegal acts. To Wit: 'Every person who commits an offense... while wearing a mask or other disguise to conceal their identity without lawful excuse is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years."
Sorry Folks, but that isn't good enough. I'd argue that any person wearing a mask or disguise at any controversial protest or demonstration is up to no good, and can be assumed to be contemplating illegal behavior.
If someone carries a loaded gun while committing a crime it van be assumed he is willing to use it, hence the consequences for the person are graver when he is caught.
Police should not have to wait until a person wearing a mask at a protest does something illegal before arresting him. The mask itself is, or should be, evidence of mischief.
It not the same thing, but the wearing of the burka or veil or face covering is unacceptable in certain instances. Quebec and other places (Belgium, Holland) have ruled that people applying for government jobs, or making demands on Government services in hospitals,, schools, licensing offices and in courts. That as it should be.
It strikes most of us as lunacy when someone wearing a burka applies for a drivers license and refuses to reveal her face for a photograph- as happened in Florida. The "Lunacy" Doesn't refer to the burka wearer, but to the system that permits it.
During the Afghanistan's guerrilla war against Soviet occupation, western journalists revelled in stories of sneaking into the country disguised in a burka o join mujahedin fighters. It added a bit of glamour and derring-do to the adventure. Oddly some burka-wearing zealots, who raise a fuss about laws against the garment, turn out to be women not raied under Islam, but who've converted and (Mistakenly) think face covering is a religious rather than cultural requirement.
There'll be controversy when (if at some future demonstration or Brouhaha, police arrest people wearing masks before they've committed an illegal act. Inevitably, some will test or provoke the system. Just to see what happens.
Lets see if the courts will accept that wearing a mask at a protest is an indication of illegal intent, jast as carrying a loaded gun is.
-Peter Worthington (the Calgary Sun: Monday May 14, 2012.)
So, I think this guy is on crack. How can wearing a mask and expressing our freedom of speech with anonimity be a criminal offense. A LOT of people hold opinions based on touchy subjects but don't want their family's caught in the cross fire of that opinon expressed. Besides when did protesting become about WHO is there but WHY they are there?
Not all protests or Bruhaha's are violent, and in fact more often then not they don't become violent with out provocation!
So the Idea that Wearing a make at ANY "controversial Protest or Demonstration" SHOULD be a criminal offense and or a sign that we're up to mischief? Aren't ALL protest's Controversial by some standard? That's the point!
Just because someone is wearing a mask doesn't mean their going to swing a loaded gun around or toss Bricks in to windows, blow up cars or cause "Mischief" because if that was the case then every Police member attending the "Protests" of the G20 summit would be committing a CRIMINAL offense by that standard as they HAVE to wear "Protective Masks" over their faces and this makes them harder to identify via video as well.
Oh wait? Comparing a mask to a gun..... oh that's quaint.... even more quaint. Comparing a mask to a burka- Yes lets go back to the caveman standard of visualising the Burka (a relgious Choice symbol) and turn it in to a bad thing.
While agree it's ridiculous to attempt to get a driver's license photo and wear a burka, it doesn't make the Burka a bad symbol.
Wearing a mask to a protest mean's you don't want your name involved BUT you wish to express the opinions being made. WHICH IS IN OUR Rights and Freedoms.
We have the right to anonymous voting and a protest is showing our vote AGAINST something.
Smarten up Peter, your logic is flawed. (Or am I the only one who thinks this?)
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