Obert Madondo's Indefinite Canada Crime Bill C10 Hunger Strike
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Obert Madondo's Indefinite Canada Crime Bill C10 Hunger Strike

Ottawa : Canada | Apr 08, 2012 at 8:21 PM PDT
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Obert Madondo's Indefinite Canada Crime Bill C10 Hunger Strike

On Wednesday, March 14, I started an indefinite hunger strike to protest Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper new draconian crime law, deceptively christened Safe Streets and Communities Act (formerly omnibus crime Bill C10). I’m an Ottawa-based activist and progressive political blogger. My five demands include the immediate repeal of the backward-looking, ideology-driven law. Today is day 25 of my peaceful act of civil disobedience.

During the debates in Parliament, experts and witnesses warned Harper about the law’s inevitable retrogressive impact on Canadian society, democratic institutions and core values. The Safe Streets and Communities Act will violate Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, particularly: the right to equal protection before the law; the right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment; the right to liberty; and the rights of Canadians convicted overseas. The law's mandatory minimum sentence requirements will weaken and undermine the Canadian judiciary.

America’s New Jim Crow is coming to Canada. The majority of those who will face tougher sentences and violation of civil liberties are historically disadvantaged racialized groups who are already over-represented in our prison system: blacks and aboriginals. The law’s sweeping changes to Canada’s youth justice system will victimize and punish young and first time offenders with stiffer sentences that potentially turn them into hardened criminals, instead of rehabilitating and reintegrating them into society.

The Safe Streets and Communities Act will: break up families; divide society; expand state power; impose a huge financial burden on provinces and future generation; will introduce the so-called “war on drugs”, which has devastated the US and Mexico; and make Canada's streets less safe.

Harper used his acquiescing majorities in the House of Commons and Senate to pass the backward-looking law. From the first reading of Bill C-10 in the House of Commons, through to the final vote in both houses, a one-party-state tyrannical abuse of Canadian parliamentary process and democratic practice prevailed. The Act was also birthed in an environment of tyranny where those opposed to official policy were targeted and labeled enemies of the state.

Harper and the Conservatives are determined to shake up Canadian society and impose an oppressive petro-state and right-wing worldview. They are laying the foundations for Canada’s future prison industrial complex. The GEO Group Inc., a major player in the private correctional services in the US, lobbied for the new law. The company has profited from 9/11, the economic meltdown and recent anti-immigrant crackdowns. It has profited from privatized corrections and detention operations in Australia, UK and South Africa, where it is also connected with the African country’s unveiling massive prison privatization efforts. In Glasgow, Scotland, the company is involved in an Immigration Removal Center. In the late 1990s, GEO was involved with Australia’s notorious Woomera Immigration Detention Center, once described by UN officials as a "great human tragedy” and likened to a "Nazi concentration camp".

This is not democracy. My conscience and lived experience has compelled me to engage in this act of civil disobedience and resist our elected dictator, Stephen Harper. The hunger strike is a last stand on behalf of the progressive voice that the Conservatives showed nothing but disdain for during the making of the Act.

I've written to every Canadian MP and Senator, and now await the official response from the Harper and the Parliament of Canada. I published this letter and my cause on my personal blog, www.canadianprogressiveworld.com, which I also update with journal entries, etc.

I need your help to spread the word. Let’s unleash the potent power of the social media and tell Harper and the Conservatives that the Safe Streets and Communities Act has no place in Canada. Together, we can do it! My YouTube video can be viewed at: http://youtu.be/V-mcaeD16ro.

Please share the video as widely as possible. Via our Facebook Profiles, Pages and Groups. Through Twitter. Via our email contacts. Post the video to your blog. Share it with your blogging and activist friends. Journalists too. MPs and Senators even. And ask your friends to share it with their contacts.

You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And I can be reached at: ronrich22@gmail.com

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Ottawa-based activist and progressive political blogger, Obert Madondo, explains his indefinite hunger strike protesting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's ideology-driven, cruel new crime law, deceptively titiled "Safe Streets and Communities Act"
Obert Madondo is based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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