RCMP Grounds Aircraft Carrying Anti-Harper Labour Protest Message

“Stephen Harper Hates Us” banner. [Public Service Alliance of Canada]

by Obert Madondo The Canadian Progressive, Sept. 4, 2012:

If your progressive message is truthful but critical of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, it automatically qualifies for a “threat” and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) won’t allow it to fly over Ottawa. Let me put it another way: Ottawa is no place for legitimate political dissent. That’s the message our-scandal-ridden national police force conveyed on Saturday when it grounded a plane chartered by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) to fly a protest message over Ottawa and Gatineau.

The message, which is part of PSAC’s national protest against recent devastating federal public service cuts, read: “StephenHarperNousDéteste.ca”, (Stephen Harper Hates Us).

The Mounties’ suggestion that it grounded the plane after it’d entered restricted airspace over Parliament Hill and posed a security threat is ridiculous.  An insult to our collective intelligence, even. The pilot had to have been aware of airspace restrictions in the capital.  He’d have been a complete fool to deliberately violate those restrictions while carrying a message critical of the Dear Leader. Furthermore, the RCMP could simply have warned him without grounding the aircraft.

The RCMP‘s action was politically-motivated. Period.

The Mounties grounded the plane due to the banner’s political message. They did it to further restrict our freedom of speech. But especially, to shield us here in Ottawa from being reminded of the biggest truth of our time: Stephen Harper Hates Us (Stephen Harper Nous Déteste). Before Saturday, the aircraft had already flawn with the same message over Montréal and other parts of Québec.

PSAC’s regional executive vice president Larry Rousseau rightly concluded that the action “was more about the message and taking down the message, because the message maybe hurt the prime minister politically.”  Rousseau further articulates the reality: a new Canada, Stephen Harper’s Canada.

“I’ve never, ever heard of anything like this for any previous prime minister. It has become so absurd to see that anything that is critical of the prime minister is immediately met with fear and trepidation.”

The Dear Leader is scared of his own people. In recent years, he’s instituted several measures to fortify Ottawa, police-state style, against imaginary enemies of the state. For example, the RCMP’s Parliament Hill detachment officers now carry Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine guns. As “secondary weapons”, we’re told.

It’s all futile. PSAC and StephenHarperNousDéteste.ca are another expression of our burgeoning #DenounceHarper democratic outrage. Our steely determination to retrieve Canada from Harper’s dictatorial grip.

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Obert Madondo

Publisher and editor
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based independent journalist and progressive political blogger. He's the publisher and editor of The Canadian Progressive.