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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Actual innocence 

POGGE writes a great piece about Arar and the RCMP -- To serve and protect. Our reputation, that is.
In the comments section, someone posted "As for Arar, I do not know the full story and I doubt that we ever will, inquiry or not. You can be sure that there is some info about Arar that CSIS has that it will never share."
And that's exactly the problem now.
Being a law-abiding, tax-paying, white, middle-class person, I, too, used to believe in the police and the justice system -- I thought that, as a general rule, that police would NEVER finger someone as a suspect nor would prosecutors EVER bring charges against anyone unless they had GOOD reason to think the person was ACTUALLY GUILTY of a crime.
But over the last five years, there's just been too much bullshit going on in provincial justice systems across the country for me to believe this anymore. Not to mention the "guilty of being Aboriginal" bias which has thrown so many Aboriginal people in jail over the years that there is likely not a single Aboriginal person in the country who hasn't had at least one relative serving time -- certainly in Saskatchewan, that is the case.
Examples? Saskatoon's very own "Starlight tours" and the Stonechild inquiry and the Klassen case. Then there is Driskell, Phillion, Sophonow, Milgaard, Marshall, Morin, Truscott, and all the other cases referenced on Injusticebusters as well as all the Innocence Projects around the world.
So actually, no, I don't have any particular problem believing that Arar could be guilty only of being Muslim after 9/11.
First they came for the Aboriginals
and I did not speak out
because I was not Aboriginal.
Then they came for the Muslims
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Muslim.
Then they came for the gays
and I did not speak out
because I was not gay.
Then they came for the pro-choicers
and I did not speak out
because I was not pro-choice.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me
.
(with apologies to author Pastor Martin Niemöller )

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