Hunger Strike: Canadian activist protesting against Crime Bill C10

”Are we going to be a compassionate Canada and look out for one another, or are we going to criminalize one another and send each other to jail? That’s the fundamental question that has to be answered.” Grand Chef Derek Nepinak, Asembly of Manitoba Chiefs

Obert Madondo’s Indefinite Canada Crime Bill C10 Hunger Strike

CNL Editor’s Note: Despite its poor audio quality, the posting of this video answers to the important message it contains.

At 12:01am on Wednesday, March 14, Ottawa-based activist and progressive blogger, Obert Madondo, started an indefinite hunger strike to protest PM Stephen Harper and the Conservative government’s new cruel Safe Streets and Communities Act (formerly omnibus crime Bill C-10).

The new law will violate Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, particularly: the right to equal protection before the law; the right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment; the right to liberty; and the rights of Canadians convicted overseas.

Changes to the youth justice system will victimize and punish our youth: Young offenders will now get stiffer sentences that potentially turn them into hardened criminals, instead of rehabilitating and reintegrating them into society.

The Act will punish the weak and marginalized. The majority of those who will face tougher sentences, extended periods in custody before trial and extended ineligibility for parole are those with mental health issues, blacks and Aboriginals, who are already oversubscribed in the jail population.

The law’s mandatory minimum sentence requirements will weaken and undermine the Canadian judiciary. The Act will divide society. It will cost Canadian taxpayers at least $15 billion.” (…)

Now is the hour to build a society that nurtures hope instead of extinguishing it. It’s a moment to remind ourselves that an injustice visited upon a single Canadian or community, is an injustice visited upon all of us. We must insist on a united and caring Canada that without apology encourages all to set aside differences and prescribed labels, and come together to create a strong national identity based on these Canadian values: compassion, respect for fundamental rights and the rule of law, multiculturalism, inclusion, diversity, fairness, democratic governance and accommodation of difference.

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