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Vol. 72/No. 51      December 29, 2008

Communist League opposes attacks
on free speech in Canada elections
MONTREAL—The mayor of Westmount, Quebec, a city on the island of Montreal, has conceded that it was wrong for city employees to tear down campaign signs for William Sloan, the Communist Party of Canada candidate in Westmount-Ville-Marie in the October 14 federal election. His signs called for “Canada out of Afghanistan” and “End Canadian Support to Apartheid Israel.”

Communist League candidates protested the attack. In an October 20 letter to Westmount mayor Karin Marks, Michel Dugré and Joseph Young, candidates in Rosemont-La Petite Patrie and St. Léonard-St. Michel respectively, said, “This action is a serious attack on freedom of expression. It violates the election law. We demand a public apology on the part of the City of Westmount and a commitment on its part that such actions will not be repeated.”

In her November 7 reply, the mayor said, “I recognize that these signs shouldn’t have been taken down by agents of the Public Safety Service. It was, however, an unfortunate accidental error by a city employee.”

At the same time, Marks questioned the very existence of the Communist League. Her letter said, “I note equally with some surprise that the Communist League is not on the register of political parties registered with Elections Canada. Therefore I permit myself to question your interest in this affair.”

In their December 6 reply, Dugré and Young explained, “We are satisfied to see that you recognize the antidemocratic character of the actions carried out by your administration against the Communist Party candidate in the recent federal elections and that you commit that this will not be repeated in the future.

“With respect to your surprise, we were the candidates of the Communist League in these elections… . It is antidemocratic electoral laws that prevent the name of our party being on the ballot. This being said, it is not only candidates who are concerned by the actions of your administration; such an attack on the freedom of expression threatens the rights of all.”
Related articles:
Ft. Dix ‘antiterror’ trial in N.J. marked by attacks on rights
London court lets off cops in 2005 ‘antiterror’ killing
British ‘antiterrorist’ cops arrest Conservative Party spokesperson
Long Island cops cover up anti-immigrant attacks
Canadian rulers face parliamentary crisis  
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