A column in the National Post last week compared the peaceful civil disobedience and incarceration of 82-year old environmental activist Betty Krawczyk with that of 62-year old anti-abortion protester Linda Gibbons:
Two court injunctions; two women who violated them in a way that significantly harmed no one; prison time for both that would come as a shock to some violent offenders.
In it, Chris Selley suggests that the “outraged supporters on both sides” should “consider joining forces” to look “the ferocious power of the state straight in the eyes” because “true civil libertarians must stand up for people they don’t like for the greater good.”
In quoting from my blogpost on Betty K’s Sept 22 hearing, Mr. Selley says he suspects that I would “decline the opportunity” to similarly defend Ms. Gibbons. I’m not convinced she requires further defence from me, given she has already recently received two stirring ones in The Sun and NaPo, further linked to by Selley in his weekly roundup, while the MSM has entirely ignored Betty this time round.
Selley on both protesters: “Not caring is pretty much where I’m at, incidentally.”
Let me see if I can awaken those libertarian sensibilities of yours, Mr. Selley, in the one case here with which I am more familiar.
You wrote : “I happen to think court orders should be obeyed, and that those who defy court orders should be punished.”
You probably already know Betty strongly agrees with you on both those points, but what has driven an otherwise law-abiding citizen to resort to defying that sensibility?
The government hires a corporation to clear publicly owned land. Members of the public protest. The corporation, on behalf of the government, gets a court order to prevent the public from making further protests and then the government arrests those who disobey it. The public’s beef is actually with the government defiling public lands and not with the hired corporation, but the courts collude with the government in a SLAPP suit that leaves the public no legal recourse against the government. It’s a built-in fail.