Letter to the Editor: Antoinette Halberstadt

Re: “Namecalling undermines activism,” Letters, March 26

Re: “Namecalling undermines activism,” Letters, March 26

I’m scratching my head wondering which Defend Our Freedom against Bill 51 rally this letter to editor is about.

Going through all the photos of placards the writer decries, all I find is: “Glorious and FREE. We stand on guard for thee”; “Reject fear. No C-51”; variations on “Kill/No Bill C-51”; “Nothing to fear but fear itself”; “Canada is OURS … NO Harper, No C-51”; and “I love (heart) human rights.”

Or maybe “Bill C-51 = End of Democracy = TERRORISM = ADOLF HARPER” is what the writer finds “demonizing”? Is it “spewing conspiracies” to read the definition of totalitarianism’ e.g. in the Encyclopedia Brittanica which gives Nazi Germany and Communist Russia as some examples, and see that this so-called security bill is the culmination of many Harper Conservative democracy-killing actions over the past few years as they march us towards a totalitarian state?

Or were statements at the rally about well-documented lines CSIS has already crossed several times, causing the suffering of innocent people including for example Maher Arar — and predictions that the broad and vague wording of C-51 combined with a pitiful lack of real oversight and examples of secret security forces having run amok in countries with no clear cheques and balances — the “spewing of conspiracy theories”?

Sure there’s brutal genocide going on, waged not only by radical splinter Islamic extremists but also, some say, by the US’s past war on Iraq and their current drone warfare. And sure there are terrorists.

Thank you Prime Minister Harper for painting a big bullseye on Canada to attract ISIL terrorism attacks on us by waging further war in Iraq, killing more civilians in the process, and for putting down and alienating peaceful Muslims as fast as you can, and for cutbacks to so many mental health and social programs, leading to alienated youth who latch onto the simple anti-establishment exhortations of ISIL to attack some of us.

Apparently Mr. Anderson hasn’t read all the very expert testimonies about C-51 doing nothing to counter terrorist attacks, and that — as local lawyer Ken Wyllie said — the act makes “chaos” of the Criminal Code and will in fact make it harder to prosecute actual terrorists.

I ask Mr. Anderson to lay his “We are losing the civility that is the hallmark of a great nation” at the feet of Stephen Harper. I am proud to be associated with the 155 patriotic citizens who braved cold and wet weather to take part in the Castlegar rally to defend all our neighbours, now and for generations to come.

Antoinette Halberstadt

Castlegar