Tamara Rich’s brutal crackdown on free speech


The Human Rights Charter states that “everyone has the fundamental freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.” Everyone except Tamara Rich, one of the organizers of the Truckers’ Freedom Convoy protests in Ottawa in January and February.

Most egregiously, under her bail terms, Rich must remain publicly silent pending the outcome of a court hearing in September 2023 for exercising her right to protest in the land of the free.

From February to July, we witnessed a shocking cat-and-mouse game between royal prosecutors and riches. Usually, 24 hours in prison after being arrested is the longest time he can be held before bail is set. Once a defendant is released on bail, they are allowed to return to public view until trial, provided they promise to keep the peace as directed by the police or a judge.

This is repeated to highlight the outrageous treatment Rich faced. Bail conditions are usually set within her 24 hours of arrest.

However, Rich spent almost 50 days in prison. She was rearrested numerous times after her release and she was in bondage when she appeared in court. She faced her five bail hearings. Not only is it insane, it’s outrageous.

All this happened with charges considered minor crimes. In fact, if she is convicted, the time she’s already spent in prison may be more than enough for any sentencing when her trial ends next September. It is bad.

She also has a bail condition to keep the spirit in jail until September 2023 (my term).

Please let me explain. Rich, under her bail conditions, is prohibited from:

  • Contact or communicate, directly or indirectly, by physical, electronic or other means, with any list of ten prominent Freedom Convoy leaders, including Tom Marazzo.
  • Log on to social media, post a message on social media, allow someone else to post a message on social media on her behalf, or indicate her approval of future protests.
  • Engage in organizing or facilitating anti-COVID order activities or freedom convoy activities;
  • Support orally, in writing, financially, or otherwise in any way related to Freedom Convoy.

Rich muffled. Her ability to express her thoughts, beliefs and opinions is shattered. She has to continue living like this until the end of her ordeal in a year. how is that reasonable? it’s not.

Consider also that her social media usage ban is absolute. It’s not just about organizing Freedom Convoys and new protests. it’s much wider. She can’t comment on her grandchildren’s Facebook posts, send tweets announcing her family’s events, or comment on her friends’ life milestones. nothing. Radio silence is requested.

Sentient beings know that there is no radio silence at any given moment in our minds. And those of us who live in an age where free speech is celebrated in her social media can understand the immense hardship this condition has caused her life.

The famous 17th-century English writer John Milton said that a man-murderer is “a rational creature, a killer of the image of God”, but a “destroyer of good books, kills reason, kills the image of God”. said it is. , like eyes. The expressions found in books transcend life.

I think social media is to Rich what books were to Milton. It is the medium that gives the modern individual the power to share his soul, the power to express reason through words and pictures.

Milton’s point is that freedom to think and express thoughts is a gift from heaven. Expressions are not just words, they constitute a person’s universal reality. To destroy our ability to express our views, dreams and ideas is to destroy the inner voice of the soul that makes us human.

“The worst and most complete tyranny to which mankind tends to be enslaved is tyranny of mind, tyranny of opinion, and, above all, tyranny of rule. moral Professor Thomas L. Pangle said:

Ontario Superior Court Judge Phillips ruled that Rich’s restrictions on free speech must continue.[S]Social media can be a problematic feedback loop, where people are teased or involved in group activities that they would never do alone. In a very real way, social media has arguably contributed to, and even facilitated, the now-controversial behavior. Rich needs to stay away from social media to reduce his risk of reoffending to an acceptable level. ”

If Rich had access to social media, could waging another Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa make Rich a repeat offender? was. Mandatory travel has been removed (although the US still requires vaccination to enter the country), social pressures have eased, and many employers are rehiring laid-off unvaccinated workers.

The protest was a one-off response to a very dark and uncompromising government intruding too far into the private lives of its disenfranchised citizens.

In my view, the Freedom Convoy protests have made Canadians realize that the federal government has gone too far. Both federal and state governments have since withdrawn.

Recognizing the changed reality on the ground, basic humanity demands justice from those who have more than paid their dues for the now-denied free speech cause. The time has long passed.

Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.

Barry W. Bushey