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Democracy in prison!

Official statement of NEFAC-Sherbrooke: Two libertarian activists of Sherbrooke imprisoned, yesterday, during the federal elections for having exercised their freedom of expression...

Translation by Infoshop Volunteer Erika

A-infos: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 16:23:34 +0100

During these last federal elections, the police force of Sherbrooke arrested and put behind bars bars two militants of the NEFAC, which made a popular anti-electoral education actions opposite a polling station in the downtown area of Sherbrooke. Their action was completely peaceful, non-constraining and even conformed to the Canadian electoral Law force. All it consisted of was distributing to encourage people to reflect on the political alienation which the vote in this electoral system represents, like on the illegitimate and antidemocratic character of the Canadian government. Their actiona encouraged discussionw and debatew with the voters on these same topics, without putting any pressure on their possible political choices.

After the employees of Canada Elections asked them to leave twice, and this, without ever explaining which electoral law they were violating, the militants were stopped under the pretext of refusal to circulate on a public highway (a violation under munical Law), and put into a jail cell for the remainder of the elections. It is clear that it was not their walking on the pavement that these two militants were arrested, but for having atargeted the image of the federal government, especially, with the credibility of this political system.

Throughout the events, neither the employees of Canada Elections, nor the policemen recognized the freedom of expression of the activists. The tactics employed by the police force to arrest them and imprison them are a total negation of their freedom to express their ideas in public, and especially to express ideas which were apolitical and did not make the promotion of any party or unspecified position.

===

Article of the newspaper the La Tribune (the Sherbrooke daily)

Thursday January 26, 2006

THE DAY OF the ELECTIONS
Two anarchists arrested in Sherbrooke

Claude Plante, La Tribune

Sherbrooke - for having refused to circulate after having distributed leaflets with the incentive for citizens not to vote in the federal elections on Monday, two activists with the anarchistic tendencies were arrested by the Sherbrooke police force.

The two men endorse that their right of expression aggravated at the time for an activity which was intended to be completely pacifist, ensures one of them, Christian XXXXXX.

"Our incentive was that we wanted simply to make people reflect and become aware of the gesture that they pose while going to vote, he says. We did not obstruct people, we spoke with those who wanted to speak to us."

It was close to the entry of the polling station located at the basement of the Michaelmas cathedral, in the downtown area of Sherbrooke, around 5:30 pm. An employee of Canada Elections asked them to move somewhere else.

The two militants of the Federation of the libertarian Communists of the North-East ( the NEFAC obeyed, ensures the activist. The distribution of leaflets continued.

A little after 6:00pm, a policeman was presented to them, asking them to circulate. After some discussions, both were arresyed. Handcuffs and interrogation at the station, says Christian XXXXX.

At the Sherbrooke police force service (SPS), one mentions that they were arrested under the terms of the local by-law, but that they could only arrest them for non-observance of the electoral Law.

"They were given freedom once the polling stations closed", explains Rene Dubreuil, speaker for SPS.

The activist, a member of the anarchistic collective sherbrookois the Accolade, intends to contact a lawyer. In spite of his claims against the system, he asks that his right of freedom of expression included in the Charter of the rights and freedom be respected.

His arrest was made for reasons "a little equivocal", he says. Christian XXXXX fears that he is being imposed only a kernal for him breaking an electoral Law of Canada, which could make him spend some thousands of dollars onced recognized as guilty.

His group militates in favour of a "direct democracy of the citizens", for a political system that accounts the working-class power.

La Tribune.

Collectif anarchiste La Nuit (NEFAC-Québec)
a/s Groupe Émile-Henry
C.P. 55051, 138 St-Vallier Ouest
Québec (Qc), G1K 1J0

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