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Monday, April 27, 2015

Riot, looting prompt state of emergency, curfew in Baltimore

Riot, looting prompt state of emergency, curfew in Baltimore 
 

AP Photo
A man carries items from a store as police vehicles burn, Monday, April 27, 2015, after the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van.

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Rioters plunged part of Baltimore into chaos Monday, torching a pharmacy, setting police cars ablaze and throwing bricks at officers hours after thousands mourned the man who died from a severe spinal injury he suffered in police custody.

The governor declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard to restore order, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in her first day on the job, said she would send Justice Department officials to the city in coming days. A weeklong, daily curfew was imposed beginning Tuesday from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., the mayor said. At least 15 officers were hurt, and some two dozen people were arrested. Two officers remained hospitalized, police said.

"The National Guard represents the last resort in restoring order," Gov. Larry Hogan told a news conference. 

"I have not made this decision lightly."

Officers wearing helmets and wielding shields occasionally used pepper spray to keep the rioters back. For the most part, though, they relied on line formations to keep protesters at bay.

Monday's riot was the latest flare-up over the mysterious death of Freddie Gray, whose fatal encounter with officers came amid the national debate over police use of force, especially when black suspects are involved. Gray was African-American. Police have declined to specify the races of the six officers involved in his arrest, all of whom have been suspended with pay while they are under investigation.

Emergency officials were constantly thwarted as they tried to restore calm. Firefighters trying to put out a blaze at a CVS store were hindered by someone who sliced holes in a hose connected to a fire hydrant, spraying water all over the street and nearby buildings. Later Monday night, mayoral spokesman Kevin Harris confirmed that a massive fire that had erupted in East Baltimore was also related to the riots. He said the Mary Harvin Transformation Center was under construction and that no one was believed to be in the building at the time. The center is described online as a community-based organization that supports youth and families.

The smell of burned rubber wafted in the air in one neighborhood where youths were looting a liquor store. Police stood still nearby as people drank looted alcohol. Glass and trash littered the streets, and other small fires were scattered about. One person from a church tried to shout something from a megaphone as two cars burned.

"Too many people have spent generations building up this city for it to be destroyed by thugs, who in a very senseless way, are trying to tear down what so many have fought for, tearing down businesses, tearing down and destroying property, things that we know will impact our community for years," said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a lifelong resident of the city.

Gray's family was shocked by the violence and was lying low; instead, they hoped to organize a peace march later in the week, said family attorney Billy Murphy. He said they did not know the riot was going to happen and urged calm.

"They don't want this movement nationally to be marred by violence," he said. "It makes no sense."

Police urged parents to locate their children and bring them home. Many of those on the streets appeared to be African-American youths, wearing backpacks and khaki pants that are a part of many public school uniforms.

The riot broke out just as high school let out, and at a key city bus depot for student commuters around Mondawmin Mall, a shopping area northwest of downtown Baltimore. It shifted about a mile away later to the heart of an older shopping district and near where Gray first encountered police. Both commercial areas are in African-American neighborhoods.

Later in the day, people began looting clothing and other items from stores at the mall, which became unprotected as police moved away from the area. About three dozen officers returned, trying to arrest looters but driving many away by firing pellet guns and rubber bullets.

Downtown Baltimore, the Inner Harbor tourist attractions and the city's baseball and football stadiums are nearly 4 miles away. While the violence had not yet reached City Hall and the Camden Yards area, the Orioles canceled Monday's game for safety precautions.

In a statement issued Monday, Attorney General Lynch said she would send Justice Department officials to the city in coming days, including Vanita Gupta, the agency's top civil rights lawyer. The FBI and Justice Department are investigating Gray's death for potential criminal civil rights violations.

Many who had never met Gray gathered earlier in the day in a Baltimore church to bid him farewell and press for more accountability among law enforcement.

The 2,500-capacity New Shiloh Baptist church was filled with mourners. But even the funeral could not ease mounting tensions.

Police said in a news release sent while the funeral was underway that the department had received a "credible threat" that three notoriously violent gangs are now working together to "take out" law enforcement officers.

A small group of mourners started lining up about two hours ahead of Monday's funeral. Placed atop Gray's body was a white pillow with a screened picture of him. A projector aimed at two screens on the walls showed the words "Black Lives Matter & All Lives Matter."

The service lasted nearly two hours, with dignitaries in attendance including former Maryland representative and NAACP leader Kweisi Mfume and current Maryland Rep. John Sarbanes.

Erica Garner, 24, the daughter of Eric Garner, attended Gray's funeral. She said she came after seeing video of Gray's arrest, which she said reminded her of her father's shouts that he could not breathe when he was being arrested on a New York City street. Garner died during the confrontation.

"It's like there is no accountability, no justice," she said. "It's like we're back in the `50s, back in the Martin Luther King days. When is our day to be free going to come?"

With the Rev. Jesse Jackson sitting behind him, the Rev. Jamal Bryant gave a rousing and spirited eulogy for Freddie Gray, a message that received a standing ovation from the crowded church.

Bryant said Gray's death would spur further protests, and he urged those in the audience to join.

"Freddie's death is not in vain," Bryant said. "After this day, we're going to keep on marching. After this day, we're going to keep demanding justice."

Gray was arrested after making eye contact with officers and then running away, police said. He was held down, handcuffed and loaded into a van without a seat belt. Leg cuffs were put on him when he became irate inside.

He asked for medical help several times even before being put in the van, but paramedics were not called until after a 30-minute ride. Police have acknowledged he should have received medical attention on the spot where he was arrested, but they have not said how his spine was injured.

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Rough ride? Lawyer says fatally injured arrestee lacked belt

Rough ride? Lawyer says fatally injured arrestee lacked belt 
 

AP Photo
Protestors march for Freddie Gray through downtown Baltimore, Thursday, April 23, 2015. Gray died from spinal trauma a week after being arrested by a group of officers, hoisted into police van and driven to a Baltimore station.
  
BALTIMORE (AP) -- No video captured what happened to Freddie Gray inside the police van where officers heaved him into a metal compartment after pinning him to a sidewalk. The cause of his fatal spine injury has not been revealed.

But a troubling detail emerged as hundreds of protesters converged on City Hall again Thursday: He was not only handcuffed and put in leg irons, but left without a seat belt during his trip to the station.

Unbelted detainees have been paralyzed and even killed by rough rides in what used to be called "paddy wagons." It even has a name: "nickel rides," referring to cheap amusement park thrills.

Police brutality against prisoners being transported was addressed just six months ago in a plan released by Baltimore officials to reduce this misconduct. Department rules updated nine days before Gray's arrest clearly state that all detainees shall be strapped in by seat belts or "other authorized restraining devices" for their own safety after being arrested.

Gray was not belted in, said attorney Michael Davey, who represents at least one of the officers under investigation.

But he took issue with the rules.

"Policy is policy, practice is something else," particularly if a prisoner is combative, Davey told The Associated Press. "It is not always possible or safe for officers to enter the rear of those transport vans that are very small, and this one was very small."

Commissioner Anthony Batts said there are no circumstances under which a prisoner should not be wearing a seatbelt during transport.

"He wasn't wearing a seatbelt and that's part of our investigation," Batts told The Associated Press on Thursday. "It's our responsibility to make sure people are safely transported, especially if their hands are behind their back."

Batts also said another man who was in the van during the tail end of Gray's ride told investigators that Gray was "was still moving around, that he was kicking and making noises" up until the van arrived at the station.
But Batts was careful to say that the investigation includes "everything the officers did that day."

The Gray family's lawyer, Billy Murphy, said "his spine was 80 percent severed" while in custody. It's not clear whether he was injured by officers in the street or while being carried alone in the van's compartment.

But if it happened on the way to the station, it wouldn't be the first such injury in Baltimore: Dondi Johnson died of a fractured spine in 2005 after he was arrested for urinating in public and transported without a seat belt, with his hands cuffed behind his back.

"We argued they gave him what we call a `rough ride,'" at high speed with hard cornering, said Attorney Kerry D. Staton. "He was thrown from one seat into the opposite wall, and that's how he broke his neck."

Staton obtained a $7.4 million judgment for the family, later reduced to the legal cap of $200,000.

It also has happened in Philadelphia, where police in 2001 barred transportation of prisoners without padding or belts after The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the city had paid $2.3 million to settle lawsuits over intentionally rough rides, which permanently paralyzed two people.

Gray fled on foot and was captured on April 12 after an officer "made eye contact" with him outside a public housing complex, police said. Videos show Gray screaming on the ground before being dragged, his legs limp, into a van. Witnesses said he was crying out in pain.

Kevin Moore, a friend of Freddie Gray's who recorded video of his arrest, told The Baltimore Sun that police had Gray's legs bent "like he was a crab or a piece of origami."

Police procedures require officers to get immediate medical help if detainees need it, and to avoid aggravating any injury.

In Gray's case, he repeatedly asked for help during the trip, but the driver instead diverted to another location to pick up another prisoner.

For the first time, the fire department released a timeline for paramedics' response. Gray was arrested at 8:42 a.m. Paramedics received a call for an unconscious male at 9:26 a.m., Baltimore City Fire Department spokesman Captain Roman Clark said.

Medics arrived at the police station at 9:33 a.m., but didn't leave for the hospital until 9:54, arriving roughly an hour and 20 minutes after his arrest. Clark didn't say why it took more than 20 minutes to leave for the hospital once paramedics arrived.

"How did his injuries occur?" said Robert Stewart, a former chief who consults with police and the Justice Department on use of force. "These guys are picking up someone who is obviously injured."

The driver also has a responsibility to refuse to take a seriously injured prisoner to the station if he belongs in a hospital, Stewart said.

"If I'm the officer in the wagon, if the guy's hurt, I'm not taking him," he explained.

All six officers involved in Gray's arrest have been suspended with pay while under criminal investigation. Davey, whose firm is on contract with the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, said five of the six officers gave voluntary statements the day of Gray's arrest, and one - he didn't say who - declined to speak with investigators.

It's quite common for prisoners to yell and complain, saying they've been injured or feel sick or that their handcuffs are too tight.

"You have to make a judgment call: is this a tactic, something to distract me?" said Lt. Luis Fuste of the Miami-Dade Police Department. "You're taught that these things are often done with an ulterior motive."

Yet Fuste and other law enforcement experts say rough rides aren't typical, and aren't worth the trouble to officers.

"Once he is a prisoner he is absolutely your responsibility," said Peter Moskos, a former Baltimore officer who teaches law and police science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. "Even if there was no malign intent, even if there was no assault, he's your prisoner. He goes into the wagon alive, he can't come out dead."

The Department of Justice is investigating whether Gray's civil rights were violated, and an internal police investigation will be delivered by May 1 to the state's attorney's office, which will consider filing any criminal charges.

But some details have already been made public as authorities try to restore trust with a community demanding transparency and justice.

Commissioner Anthony Batts said Monday that officers repeatedly ignored Gray's requests for medical attention before he was hospitalized in critical condition. "He asked for an inhaler, and at one or two of the stops it was noticed that he was having trouble breathing," Batts said. "We probably should have asked for paramedics."

Prosecution rests in penalty phase of Boston bomber's trial

Prosecution rests in penalty phase of Boston bomber's trial 
 

AP Photo
In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing survivor Steve Woolfenden, right, is depicted on the witness stand beside a photo of his injured son Leo being carried to safety, left, during the penalty phase in the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Thursday, April 23, 2015, in federal court in Boston. Tsarnaev was convicted of all 30 charges against him. Three people were killed and more than 260 others were wounded when twin bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon April 15, 2013.
  
BOSTON (AP) -- A video played Thursday at the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev showed a mother crouched over her 8-year-old son as he lay dying on the sidewalk, a scene prosecutors hoped would linger in jurors' minds while they determine whether Tsarnaev lives or dies.

Prosecutors rested their case after playing the video during the testimony of a man who lost his leg in the bombings, and jurors watched as the mother pleaded with her little boy.

"I heard `please' and `Martin' being uttered by Denise Richard," said Steve Woolfenden, who was lying on the pavement next to Martin and his mother after the second bomb exploded. "Just pleading with her son."

The boy bled to death.

Prosecutors presented the testimony and searing images to give the jury one last reminder of the brutality and heartbreaking consequences of the bombings before the defense begins to present its case next week. 

Prosecutors argue Tsarnaev, now 21, deserves to be executed for his crimes, while his lawyers say his life should be spared because his late older brother, Tamerlan, was the mastermind of the attack.

Woolfenden's left leg was sheared off below the knee. He described frantically trying to get his 3-year-old son, Leo, out of his stroller after he heard him screaming and saw he was bleeding from the side of his head. 

As he lay helpless on the pavement, he spotted Martin and Denise Richard.

"I saw Martin's face," Woolfenden said. "I could see a boy that was, looked like he was fatally injured."

Three people were killed and more than 260 others were wounded when the bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon on April 15, 2013.

Tsarnaev was convicted this month of all 30 charges against him. The jury that found him guilty must decide whether to sentence him to life in prison or to death.

Also Thursday, several relatives of Tsarnaev, who's originally from Kyrgyzstan, flew into Boston, according to a law enforcement official who wasn't authorized to release that information and spoke on the condition of anonymity. Tsarnaev's mother, who faces a 2012 shoplifting charge in a Boston suburb, was not among them, the official said.

Tsarnaev's lawyers are scheduled to begin presenting their witnesses on Monday, and some of his relatives may be called to the stand.

Woolfenden described the terror he felt as he tried to help his son while trying to stanch blood pouring from his own leg.

"I took off my belt, and I applied it on my thigh as tight as I possibly could," he said. "Leo was crying and screaming uncontrollably. He was saying, `Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy.'"

A bystander came over and offered help.

Woolfenden said he told the man, "Please get my son to safety."

The man tied another tourniquet on Woolfenden's leg and then took his son.

"I was completely terrified because I didn't know if I was ever going to see my son again," he said.

Leo was hospitalized with a skull fracture, lacerations, small burns and a perforated eardrum.

An FBI field photographer, Michelle Gamble, showed the jury a paper mock-up of a metal grate where Tsarnaev placed the second bomb. She said the bomb exploded about 3 1/2 feet from Martin Richard.

Trauma surgeon Dr. David King testified Martin didn't die instantly and his liver, spleen and intestines were painfully twisted and stretched by the blast.
Martin's parents recently said they want the Department of Justice to take the death penalty off the table in exchange for a life sentence and Tsarnaev agreeing to give up his rights to appeal.

Also testifying Thursday was Heather Abbott, whose left leg was amputated after the bombing.

Abbott, of Newport, Rhode Island, said she was catapulted through the entrance of a restaurant when the second bomb exploded. She said her foot felt as though it were on fire, so she began crawling through the restaurant to follow a crowd of people trying to get away.

Later, in a hospital, a doctor recommended amputating her left leg below the knee. Her heel had been blown off, and her foot was severely damaged.

"It was probably the hardest decision I've ever had to make," she said.

Abbott identified photos of 16 other people who lost limbs. The photos showed the amputees wearing prosthetic limbs, in wheelchairs and on crutches.

Another amputee, Marc Fucarile, testified from a wheelchair and glared at Tsarnaev as he sat about 10 feet away with his lawyers. Tsarnaev did not look at him and stared straight ahead impassively.

Fucarile, whose right leg was blown off, said he has had more than 60 surgeries. Two years after the bombing, it's still unclear whether his left leg can be saved, he said.

"We are going to try," he said.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Smuggler's mistake turned rescue into tragedy

Smuggler's mistake turned rescue into tragedy 
 

AP Photo
In this Monday, April 20, 2015, file photo, the Tunisian navigator Mohammed Ali Malek, and one of the survivors of the boat that overturned off the coast of Libya, waits to disembark from Italian Coast Guard ship Bruno Gregoretti, at Catania Harbor, Italy. The United Nations refugee agency said Tuesday that more than 800 people were believed to have drowned in the weekend sinking of a boat packed with migrants trying to reach Europe, making it the deadliest such disaster in the Mediterranean. Prosecutors said that after ship captain Mohammed Ali Malek rammed a vessel, terrified migrants rushed around the overcrowded boat, which was already unbalanced from the collision.
  
CATANIA, Sicily (AP) -- Rescue seemed so close at hand.

A ship with experience plucking migrants from unseaworthy smuggler's boats had arrived soon after the distress call went out. But then the fishing trawler's navigator made a maneuver that would seal the fate of the 850 people crammed inside: Instead of easing up alongside the merchant ship, he rammed it.

Relief gave way to panic. Terrified migrants rushed to one side, the trawler seized and capsized. What might have been another rescue in a period of unprecedented migrant crossings instead turned into a horrifying statistic: The deadliest shipwreck ever in the Mediterranean Sea.

The accounts of survivors who arrived early Tuesday in this Sicilian port 48 hours after the disaster offered new details of the tragedy. The traumatized witnesses corroborated a death toll of at least 800, making the capsizing "the deadliest incident in the Mediterranean that we have ever recorded," the U.N. refugee agency said.

Just 28 migrants, all men and boys in their teens, survived. And despite the enormous toll, only 24 bodies were recovered - frequently the case when ships sink on the high seas, especially when most passengers are locked below deck, as was the case Saturday night.

Aid agencies were quick to issue another warning: At the current pace, 2015 is set to be the deadliest year on record for migrants making the perilous crossing as they flee war, repression and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. In April alone, 1,300 have died.

The International Organization for Migration said the toll for the year could top 30,000 - nearly 10 times the 2014 total of 3,279, itself a record.

"We just want to make sure people understand how much more ... rapid these deaths have been coming this year," said Joel Millman, the IOM spokesman.

Italian ships have rescued well over 10,000 people over the past two weeks, an unprecedented number for such a short period, authorities say. The rescues continued Tuesday, with another 112 migrants, all men, picked up in a deflating rubber life raft in waters some 50 miles (70 kilometers) north of the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

On Tuesday, seamen who participated in saving survivors of the weekend capsizing told tales of near-miraculous rescue.

Among the ships to arrive in the pre-dawn hours Sunday was the coast guard ship Gregoretti, which dispatched medics in two dinghies. By then, the trawler had already disappeared into the sea.

`'We found, literally, a floating cemetery. Bodies were everywhere. With the dinghies we had to literally slalom among the corpses," said Enrico Vitello, a 22-year-old medic from the Order of Malta.

Hearing screams, they killed the engines and shined a spotlight, locating a migrant floating in the sea.

"We got close by and rescued him," said Giuseppe Pomilla, a 30-year-old medic. "He asked our names and where we were from. We told him we were Italians and came to rescue him. He was so happy."

Soon after, a boy floating in the sea grabbed their attention.

"We couldn't understand if he was alive or dead. He had his eyes wide open looking at us. He was not blinking, not moving or talking. We only realized he was alive when he grabbed us suddenly," Pomilla said.

When they took him on board, he "exploded in tears," the medic said.

Among the survivors were two alleged smugglers, who were detained for investigation of aiding and abetting illegal immigration. The Tunisian navigator, identified as 27-year-old Mohammed Alì Malek, could also face multiple counts of manslaughter and causing a shipwreck - the same charges the captain of the capsized Concordia luxury cruise liner was convicted of earlier this year.

Prosecutors said that after the trawler's captain struck the Portuguese-flagged container ship sent to rescue it, terrified migrants rushed to one side of the overcrowded boat, which was already unbalanced from the collision. The trawler pitched in the water before finally tipping over and sinking.

Most on board were unable to escape because they were locked below deck on the trawler's lower two levels. Hundreds more were squeezed on the upper deck.

"The survivors said that the person who was steering the boat, their smuggler, was navigating badly, and he did a bad move that made it crash against the bigger ship," UNHCR spokeswoman Carlotta Sami said in Sicily. "This obviously created a problem because the people on the lower decks couldn't get out and the boat destabilized, until it capsized."

She praised the merchant ship, the King Jacob, for its response, noting it had participated in previous rescues. These included saving about 100 migrants, including children and pregnant women, in the Strait of Sicily just five days earlier, ship officials said.

The weekend deaths have jolted the European Union onto emergency footing to combat the crisis, with Italy demanding that it not be left alone to shoulder the burden of rescues and that the EU focus on preventing boats from leaving Libya.

Combatting the traffickers by arresting ringleaders and destroying their boats has emerged as the centerpiece of a 10-point proposal to be discussed at an emergency EU summit Thursday in Brussels. Italy has arrested more than 1,000 smugglers - most of them boat navigators, not the masterminds of the smuggling operations - and says it needs help.

On Monday, the Gregoretti brought the 24 bodies to Malta for burial, before continuing to Sicily with 27 of the survivors. One survivor, a 32-year-old Bangladeshi, had been flown Sunday to Catania, his statements giving authorities the first hint of the tragedy's scale.

The remaining survivors were brought Tuesday to a migrant holding center in Catania and were "very tired, very shocked, silent," according to Flavio Di Giacomo of the IOM.

The survivors were all men, including four teenagers; Sami described them as "very confused, fragile and scared."

For most, the ordeal began well before stepping aboard the doomed boat. They included 350 Eritreans, many of them young men fleeing forced conscription, as well as people from war-torn Syria and Somalia, in addition to migrants from Sierra Leone, Mali, Senegal, Gambia, Ivory Coast and Ethiopia.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that some had been held for as long as 30 days on a farm near where the boat was docked before being transported in groups of about 30 in trucks to the embarking point.

"In one instance, one of the migrants was allegedly struck with a club because he stepped away" to go to the bathroom, they said in a statement.

Save the Children said witness statements indicated that 60 children and adolescents were on board the ship, only four of whom survived. It said if current trends continue, 2,500 children could die this year, calling on European leaders to restart rescue operations.

The children surviving the journeys are `'exhausted and traumatized not only from the ordeal but also during their long and dangerous land journeys," said Gemma Parkin, a Save the Children spokeswoman in Sicily.

"But they also tell us they are grateful to be alive and in a safe place - they know they are the lucky ones."


Monday, April 20, 2015

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Black Women Models


Friday, April 17, 2015

Philadelphia Front Page News/Canada Special Opinion Piece and Topics: A United Canada without the Monarchy by Jeffrey J. Cunningham, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Philadelphia Front Page News/Canada Special Opinion Piece and Topics: A United Canada without the Monarchy by Jeffrey J. Cunningham, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada



















Above: An image of the French speaking community in Canada.
The French/British colonization of Canada has been the topic of discussion
in Canada since the 16th Century.
  

Jeffrey Cunningham, a Canadian who has submitted his opinion article in response to current affairs in Canada, is a resident of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  He graduated from Los Angeles City College in 1989 with Honors. And Cunningham’s dream is a United, Strong and Separatist-free Canadian Republic.

Mr. Cunningham would like his opinion to reach the considerable number of Canadians who live in Pennsylvania, New York State, and also those American citizens who are interested in Canadian affairs and matters. 


In Jeffrey Cunningham’s opinion the article deals with the separatist movement in Quebec and offers a solution.  The solution is in the title of the article. Jeffrey considers Canada to be the U.S. greatest ally. And it is a great idea if Canada also became a republic. To contact Jeffery Cunningham [P] 1-604-676-1594 or [E] jeffrey@transtelcorporation.com.


A United Canada without the Monarchy


Canada and England would fit seamlessly into the international community without the Monarchy!

It is not accidental that the great majority of nations are republics.  It has been the result of humanity’s long groping in the dark, tribulations and sacrifices.

Its first and greatest benefit for Canada is that it will deliver a forceful disincentive to the separatist movement in Quebec because after the disposal of the Monarchy, everyone across the land will take the oath of allegiance to Canada itself.  We will pledge allegiance to one another and that per se will awaken a great sense of commitment, responsibility, and belonging in all of us.

Let us for the duration of time that it takes to read this article set aside the fact of the Aboriginals’ existence on this continent from time immemorial and state another fact that the French came here before the English and later on lost the colonial war to England and England unilaterally declared sovereignty over the entire land and dumped the Monarchy on it.  Wars are not any different from sports in the sense that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose and to take the oath of allegiance to the English Monarch simply does not bring out the best in our French Canadians; it only perpetuates the feeling of a past loss.

France is a major world power and several generations ago with its Revolution of 1789 it abolished the monarchy and the parasitism that went with it, ended the ancien regime (old system), and became the source of inspiration for the rest of the world.  Now, what does it mean to a “free French citizen” to come all the way to Canada for a new life only to be labeled as “the subject” of the English Monarch?  Who is anyone else to decide for our French Canadians how they should feel about taking the oath of allegiance to the English Monarch?

As humanity’s experience has shown, monarchy has never been a marketable system.  Monarchies have been crumbling one after the other and, very fortunately, it is impossible to convince a republic to convert its system to a monarchy.

What are we waiting for here in Canada?  Are we waiting for the English to arouse from their coma to dispose of the Monarchy before we decide to become a republic?  The Monarchy has always worked for Canadian politicians.  One prime minister after the other has sought the highest office only for the sake of becoming the prime minister and the rest was to deal with the day-to-day routines of the office and at the end to collect a fat retirement pay cheque!


We must salute Australia for moving in the direction of a republican system.  Its former prime minister, Julia Gillard, had the courage to make it her political platform during her campaign to end the Monarchy in Australia and when the Queen visited Australia, she had the courage of her convictions and delivered the message by standing tall and graceful and refusing to curtsy. 

What a great and unforgettable moment it was for a nation moving towards a republican system!  Unfortunately, a coterie of misguided and sexist politicians did everything they could to bring her down, but they cannot stop Australia from moving forward.















 
Above from left to right: Julia Gillard, former Australia Prime Minister,
and Queen Elizabeth II Alexandra Mary of Great Britain.


English Canada is satisfied to think that the separatist movement will go away on its own while the Monarchy is firmly in place, but the hard facts indicate that it is alive and well and only simmers down from time to time.  Since Rene Levesque, the founder of the separatist party, Parti Quebecois, and the first Quebec Premier from that party, resigned from politics in late 1985 (premier: November 25, 1976 to October 3, 1985) to this date we have had five more Parti Quebecois premiers in Quebec and there will be more in the years to come.

This leads us to the fair conclusion that it now only takes a great and charismatic French Canadian leader to rise to power and sweep them off their feet and give at least the majority of the voters, if not all of them, enough get-up-and-go to say yes to “sovereignty”!  The dire consequences are that the cost to all of us will be astronomically high and unbearable and still worse is the fact that after the break-up the rest of Canada will become a bird’s nest on the ground for the U.S.


Time is marching on very fast and we must act decisively.  We must stop once and for all falsely and complacently pointing fingers at our French Canadians.  Instead, we must train our eyes and our united efforts towards removing the actual cause, which is the Monarchy and its divisive effect on our lives in Canada.









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