Civil Rights and Covid-19

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Civil Rights and Covid-19

Since the public health emergency was declared in March, police across the province have had the power to serve a notice of infraction for gathering in groups of two or more. Quebec prosecutors could then set the fine as high as $6,000.

By April 4, police were authorized to use their own judgment — issuing tickets of $1,000. With fees, that comes out to more than $1,500. For minors, the fine can't top $500.

The rule is, if you don't live with that person, you're not supposed to be in close proximity of them. That hasn't changed, but some people were left confused by the security minister's comments on Wednesday, said Longueuil police spokesperson Const. Mélanie Mercille.


I know it is a threat, but I find the above too draconian and unnecessary. There should be patrols and people should be reminded. Playgrounds are closed. Businesses are closed. Beyond that people should be educated. Social pressure will take are of the rest. That would mean some infections but so does opening up the economy. Let those people determined to congregate be the volunteer first wave.

Barring family members from care homes was and is outrageous when protecting them from covid already massively failed and there wasn't and isn't enough staff to look after them. By what right is this happening? What rights do we give up if we voluntarily enter a care home? What rights do families have?

Most if not all seniors over seventy live each day as if it could be their last particularly if they need the care of a nursing home. It is far more important to them that they see loved ones as opposed to living longer in solitude. Seniors have been dying of dehydration and loss of the will to live. People will be haunted forever by the thought of their parents dying alone and feeling deserted by family in their last days.

It isn't like everyone is in full isolation. Many workers are still out there including staff at those homes. If they were being properly cared for it would be bad but under the circumstances it is criminal.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

New Campus Sexual Assault Rules Bolster Protection for Accused Students

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Wednesday unveiled new sexual assault policies for college and school campuses that weaken the rights of sexual violence survivors while bolstering protections for people accused of sexual harassment or assault. The new rules — set to take effect in August — also reduce the legal liabilities against colleges and schools, and narrow the scope of which cases schools and colleges are required to investigate. Advocacy groups supporting survivors of sexual violence have vowed to fight the new policies. Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, denounced the rules, saying, “This is all part of this administration’s ongoing attempts to undermine the civil rights of students. All students deserve an educational environment free from sex discrimination and violence.”

Viral Video Shows LAPD Officer Violently Punching a Man Arrested for Trespassing

Cellphone footage has emerged of a Los Angeles Police Department officer repeatedly punching a man being arrested in the neighborhood of Boyle Heights in late April. The video shows the man with his back toward the officers, standing near a fence with his hands behind his back, when one of the officers begins punching him behind the head and body, hitting him over a dozen times while yelling profanities. The man then tries to take a few steps away from the officer as the officer walks toward him again, punching him several more times. The man doesn’t fight back. The police officer has since been ordered to stay home pending an internal investigation. He has been identified as a 20-year LAPD veteran named Frank Hernandez. The Los Angeles Times reports Hernandez has been involved in three on-duty shootings during his career. In 2010, Hernandez shot dead a 37-year-old Guatemalan immigrant named Manuel Jamines, sparking protests.

Anger Mounts over Killing of Ahmaud Arbery, Black Jogger Shot to Death by 2 White Men in GA

Nationwide condemnation is growing over the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old African American man who was shot dead while jogging by two white men in Brunswick, Georgia, in February. Shocking video emerged this week showing the two armed men waiting to attack Arbery while he ran down a narrow road. The men have been identified as former police officer Gregory McMichael and his son Travis. A friend of theirs filmed the video showing the ambush and killing of Artery. Basketball superstar LeBron James tweeted, “We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes!” Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden condemned the killing, writing on Twitter, “The video is clear: Ahmaud Arbery was killed in cold blood. My heart goes out to his family, who deserve justice and deserve it now. It is time for a swift, full, and transparent investigation into his murder.” There have been no arrests so far in the case, which is now going to a grand jury.

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“Weaponized and Racialized”: Police Departments Use COVID-19 to Target Black & Brown Communities

Viral images have shone a spotlight on uneven policing. Some show police officers distributing masks to White residents in crowded New York City parks — and apparently arresting no one. Meanwhile, videos have emerged of violent crackdowns on social distancing measures in Black and Latinx neighborhoods. We continue our look at how Black and Brown communities are being disproportionately targeted and policed in New York City’s enforcement measures during the pandemic, and also discuss how officers have ordered protesters to disband, citing executive orders from the mayor and the governor that ban “any non-essential gathering of individuals of any size for any reason.”


AMY GOODMAN: I want to talk about some of the disproportionate approaches of the Police Department, and disparate approaches. So, you have, last week, on the same weekend when police officers were distributing masks to White residents gathered in — oh, in crowded parks, not involved with social distancing — pictures were going online. Pictures were going, showing White people crowded in Central Park. At the same time, you had a different group of New York police officers attempting to shut down a press conference and a protest in Manhattan’s East Village. The event was organized by Reclaim Pride Coalition [to] protest Mount Sinai Health System['s] invitation to partner with the right-wing evangelical group Samaritan's Purse to open medical tents in Central Park, that happened a while ago. The officers ordered the protesters to disband, and gave one of them a summons saying she had violated social distancing rules issued in executive orders from the mayor and the governor that ban, quote, “any non-essential gathering of individuals of any size for any reason.” So, you have both the arrests around social distancing and the arrests around protests, Norman Siegel. Can you talk about this?


Those are terrible examples but they are in the US.  I'm questioning what our civil rights are in Canada and which are being breached.

Is there a balance between civil rights and protecting the public? People are getting massive fines for being on public property even if they are not under personal quarantine.

Is it disproportionately hitting areas of greater poverty because of the lack of backyards?

Misfit Misfit's picture

I don't think it is because of the lack of back yards. I perceive that it has more to do with the race, the sexual orientation, and the affluence of the people involved.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

BCCLA Reacts: Canada Border Services Agency officers investigated for hundreds of misconduct complaints

The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) is horrified at the revelations of gross misconduct by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers uncovered through an access to information request by CBC news.

Media reports reveal that CBSA conducted over five hundred investigations of its officers between Jan 1, 2018 and early 2020. Allegations and investigations into CBSA officer misconduct included improper search, sexual harassment, bribery, theft, excessive use of force, abuse of authority, collecting women’s personal phone numbers, and more. Though many details from the access to information documents are redacted, those that have emerged paint a horrifying picture of officers gloating and boasting about harassment, abuse of authority, and sexual violence.

According to Meghan McDermott, Senior Staff Counsel at the BC Civil Liberties Association, “These complaints reveal what happens when we give unchecked power to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers, who have wider powers than police agencies. Every major police agency in Canada has some form of independent oversight, yet, despite its immense powers, there is no independent civilian oversight body to investigate CBSA officer misconduct or review CBSA policies. We urgently need robust CBSA accountability and external oversight, and more needs to be done to tackle the marginalization of migrants and refugees created by our immigration enforcement policies.”....


Misfit wrote:

I don't think it is because of the lack of back yards. I perceive that it has more to do with the race, the sexual orientation, and the affluence of the people involved.

I live in downtown Montreal. If I had children/teens right now how could I keep them indoors 24/7 or on a small balcony for months?

Women and PoCs are less likely to be affluent enough to own a house with a backyard.