News StoriesSports StoriesToday StoriesBusiness StoryOpinion StoriesWeekly SectionsClassifiedsContact Us
    LFP Home  | Special Reports  | Photo Gallery  | Federal Election  | D-Day Feature  | Pope John Paul II

Subscribe to the London Free Press
News

Man charged in girl-dragging incident

Eye scans proposed for drivers' licences

Five robberies linked

Students survive rollover in bus

Minister sees mad cow deal closer

Back chief, Mohawks urged

Plan to attract doctors kicks off

Students hail plagiarism check ruling

UWO gives boost to United Way

Lawyer raps eroded democracy

Clement joins race

Layton plays Copps issue to the hilt

Provinces want more health-care money from Martin

Family seeks $1.85M in friendly fire suit

Letter affirms missile plan intent

Canadian back from Syrian jail

Ohio ape has Nfld. moniker

Car thief leaves streakers stranded

Canuck place in U.S. space race costly

NASA rover finally rolls onto Mars

Shiites demand elections

Suicide bomber gets hero's funeral

Militants blamed for Pakistan blast

Canadian troops set for rotation

Fears of smuggling ease

Dwarf-tossing show set for London

Londoner to push city hall sex complaint

Cutback makes no sense

Two killed in crash

Couple admits to abuse




London Free Press Business Section:


 



Lawyer raps eroded democracy

Anti-terrorism laws have helped suppress free speech and choice, he argues.
JOE MATYAS, Free Press Reporter   2004-01-16 03:36:48  



Anti-terrorism laws enacted in Canada after the 9/11 attacks in the United States are contributing to the erosion of democracy in Canada, a constitutional lawyer said in London yesterday. The new laws have "been used against our own citizens to suppress free speech, the anti-globalization movement, opposition to the closing of schools and hospitals and anti-poverty protests," said Rocco Galati of Toronto.

The idea citizens have a right to protest responsibly is being undermined by laws that are suppressing basic rights, he told members of the Women's Canadian Club of London.

Demonstrators are increasingly being pictured as anarchists who must be curtailed and those who defend their right to protest are being threatened, he said.

Galati said he and another lawyer were threatened with a security charge punishable by up to 14 years in prison for wanting to call a former employee of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service as a witness in an Ottawa demonstration case.

Galati, a former federal Justice Department lawyer who has argued more than 2,000 constitutional cases involving governments, made headlines in December when he said he wouldn't take any more cases involving suspected terrorists because of death threats against him.

The announcement came one day after Galati held a news conference with Abdurahman Khadr, 20, a Canadian citizen who was freed after being held in a U.S. military prison near Cuba.

Galati had pressed the Canadian government to facilitate Khadr's return to Canada.

He said such legal representations have been described in the media as 9/11 cases.

"There has never been a 9/11 case in Canada," he said, adding no evidence has yet been brought forward to make such a case against any Canadian citizen.

Galati said Canada's constitutional democracy and the rights of Canadians are being seriously challenged by police actions in the name of security and by proposed trade agreements.

The Quebec national assembly and the old city of Quebec were walled in by a chain-link fence during the Summit of the Americas in 2001 "by simple police order."

The fence was erected without an act of Parliament, legislature motion or act of cabinet and 11,000 armed police officers were deployed, he said, adding he told a judge: "Where I come from, that's called a coup d'etat."

Galati said demonstrators have every right to alert the public to trade agreements that would put corporations on an even footing with nations and make the rights of people subservient to them.

"Understand this," he said. "What it is all about is that Coca Cola will have the same rights as the government of Canada."


Copyright © The London Free Press 2001,2002,2003





Sections:
News | Sports | Business | Today | Opinion | Weekly Sections | Classifieds

Important Links:
Place an Ad | Subscribe | Become a Carrier | Email Directory | Customer Service
Comments | Terms and Conditions | Privacy Statement

CANOE Your Internet Network CNEWS


The Next London.  You're Invited!

Places of Worship

Auto  Seller

London this Week Auto Market

Hot Jobs

Movie Listings on Jam!

Career connection

Homes

London Pennysaver

London This Week