Willing to Protect our Future
Obert Madondo has lent his voice to Canadians seeking change in this country. At 12:01 am on Wednesday, March 14th he began his indefinite hunger strike to protest the governments new, and poorly titled “Safe Streets and Communities Act”.
Formerly known as Bill C-10, the new legislation is being viewed as draconian by many Canadian citizens. An increase in fees, lengthening the application waiting period for every citizen with a criminal record for a record suspension, and mandatory prison terms for convictions are just three of the things we’ve spoken out about here. It’s important to remember though, that these things are just a small fraction of the larger bill.
The Canadian Bar Association opposed the bill from the start, offering a 100 page document that detailed their many issues with Bill C-10. Meanwhile, few Canadian citizens even knew what the bill was. Small wonder.
Bill C-10 passed through parliament and the house of commons so quickly, that Obert Madondo has called into question the legitimacy of our democratic process. Objections were brushed aside without fanfare, and taxpayers are now saddled with the $15 billion dollar price tag to implement the new laws.
“My hunger strike is demanding only the minimum of what Canadians should be demanding right now.” Obert says. “We must stop Harper by any peaceful and democratic means necessary.”
Obert was arrested while expressing his freedom of speech during the “Occupy Ottawa” protests. This is an issue Express Pardons Canada raised awareness on earlier this year with the question: “Is Ottawa trying to limit freedom of expression with Bill C-10”? A justified question, as receiving a criminal record such as “failure to comply”, or “mischief” are common results for those arrested during protests. With harsher sentencing, and unnecessarily punitive and protracted eligibility periods for Record Suspensions (formerly Canadian Pardons), to remove such a criminal record, the question, although an indirect result of the law, is justified.
While we are not insisting that everyone join a hunger strike, we do encourage Canadians interested in the democratic future of our country to add their voices to Obert Madondo’s and give weight to his message by asking our parliament representatives for change. The goal is to revoke Bill C-10 and its misguided approach at rehabilitation. They can’t ignore Canadians forever.
You can follow his twitter feed here @Obiemad
Our best wishes go with you Obert. Stay strong, stay healthy, and keep fighting for change!