I cannot resist an opportunity to write non-fictional crime. It is so sweet when the cops catch seasoned outlaws and take them to court to get their dues by his Lordship or Ladyship, as the case may be. If you are pre- millennial, you may remember the Battle for the Carmanah Valley which the cops waged against waves of fierce Raging Grannies defending old trees and interfering with private enterprise. The Forces of Law and Order took many prisoners of war, and treated them in full accordance with the Geneva Convention Etiquette on hospitality for enemies taken alive in battle. The Police chauferred them to Victoria comfortably in Police limos, a.k.a. Black Marias and paraded them before Mr. Justice Bouck who counted the flowers in their hair and gave them 45 days in jail, each more or less, if I remember well.
But life goes around and generations on do not learn the lessons judges taught the preceding generation, hence the courts find it necessary to remind us from time to time of our duty to obey what they say, so that peace may prevail. This they did the other day when the cops grabbed Elizabeth May and delivered her to the very Judge who had ordered the protesters to protest impotently, lest they upset the pipeline folk. He being the judge whose order May breached, would ensure a thoroughly impartial court hearing for May.
I have always had problems with governments controlling public protests against what the governments do unto us, that which we do not wish done. In my gray matter I host a notion that freedom cannot be given – that freedom must be taken - by definition. In my mind “licenced freedom” is an oxymoron.
Obedience is doing something we would not do if left to our own devices but which, if we do, would please those whom we obey. Conversely, failure to do as told, invites the ire of whoever is, or think he/she is, our master. The pursuit of escape from servitude, is the enduring pursuit of people, world wide.
But there is resistance to freedom, as Isaac Newton astutely observed. Hence the war against servitude is unending albeit it often happens inconspicuously. Bertrand Russell lamented the harm the education system does to the minds of the young. Just remember, you do not get marks for arguing in class, your get marks for parroting the teachers’ “teachings”.
Elizabeth May, our dear local outlaw who crossed the demarcation line a judge (what was his name ?) had drawn to protect the Kinder Morgan lovely pipeline. May, Elizabeth May, MP & OC, violated the line the judge had drawn. She dared disobey the Judge who neutered protest, that little remnant from “direct” Democracy that has survived the Party-o-cratization of our governance system.
It could very well be that she was hearing voices of past agitators and peace disturbers such as Oscar Wild and various malcontents such as Aristotle.
The judge who dealt with Elizabeth May, I suppose explains it by saying he was enforcing the law – likely he believes that is what he was doing and he likely is a fair Judge. But so was the Inquisition who tried Galileo. The law can be, and often is, “an ass” in the words of Charles Dickens was echoed by many.
The Judge who “put irreverent May in her place” could as easily have tried lifting passenger Rosa Parks from her seat on that black and white coloured bus, running a long way South of the Border, down Alabama way. Would he not?
Every day, rain or shine, Elizabeth May mingles and chats with us and speaks for us, and stands up for us and when she must, she protests for us and that is what she was doing in Burnaby when the cops got her. To arrest her and bring her to a judge who enters the Court House by the back door lest citizens dare talk to him, is illuminating of a reality that invites discussion which, sad to say, is prevented from happening because of the power o f the few to stifle awareness of the many.
But I want to thank the Judge who punished our local outlaw, yes I do. Because in doing so he gave us an opportunity to count our blessings, to remind us how lucky we are to have Elizabeth May listen to and speak for us.