MONTREAL — Lawyers for students, community groups and trade unions in Canada’s Quebec province asked a court Tuesday to suspend an emergency law regulating protests after months of rallies over tuition hikes.
Felix-Antoine Michaud, a lawyer for the petitioners, argued in Quebec Superior Court that the law effectively outlaws spontaneous protests and is unconstitutional.
“This is contrary in our opinion to freedom of expression, a fundamental freedom that is necessary for all other freedoms,” he said.
Special Law 78 was passed on May 18 in the wake of clashes between police and students fighting an 82 percent hike in tuition at universities in the French-speaking province of eight million people.
It requires organizers to give police at least eight hours advance warning of times and locations of protest marches, with hefty fines imposed for failing to do so.
Quebec Premier Jean Charest’s centrist government says the law protects the peace by simply outlining where and when protests may occur.
Opponents of the law however say it breaches their rights of assembly and free expression.
“If the Italians win a Euro (UEFA) football match, people who spontaneously pour onto the streets of the city’s Italian quarter to celebrate… would be guilty of a crime,” Michaud said.
Since the special measure was adopted, Quebecers have actually taken to the streets by the thousands each night, loudly hammering on pots and pans to express their distaste for the special law they say is draconian.
More than 1,000 protesters have been arrested — but police opted to apply municipal bylaws already on the books instead of the new emergency measure to stop people, wary that it could be overturned in court.
Michaud argued that Canada’s Criminal Code and other laws already provide police with the necessary tools to maintain peace and order.
“If the police are not applying this new law, it is because it’s unnecessary,” he said.
The court’s decision is expected within a few days. Another petition to quash the hugely controversial law is also to be considered in July.
Eventually, Canada’s Supreme Court could be asked to consider whether the law is constitutional.
Buttigieg blasts Trump ally: ‘I’m not going to be lectured on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh’
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg responded to two top Trump allies’ anti-gay hate this week by proudly defending his husband and his marriage.
“I’m not going to be lectured on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh or anybody who supports Donald J. Trump as the moral as well as the political leader of the United States,” the former South Bend, Indiana mayor told Fox News Sunday, after laughing them off.
“I am in a faithful, loving, committed marriage. I’m proud of my marriage. And I’m proud of my husband,” Buttigieg declared. “America has moved on and we should have a politics of belonging, that welcomes everybody – that’s what the American people are for.”
C-SPAN caller scorched by Muslim comedian for ignoring Jesus after she rants ‘gays are abomination to God’
Comedian Dean Obeidallah, who is Muslim, told a C-SPAN caller that Republicans are not following the teachings of Jesus Christ even though they may oppose abortion and other policies advocated by evangelicals.
"I am independent," Pam, who called from Arkansas, told Obeidallah. "I vote according to my conscience of who would Jesus vote for if he were here on Earth. And he would not vote a group of people who believe in murdering children in the womb, on gays, which is an abomination to God, on false gods from other countries."
Obeidallah replied with a lesson on the Christian savior.
Conservative drops mic on complicit press trying to maintain access to Trump: ‘He’s a raving lunatic … tell it like it is’
Appearing on MSNBC's "AM Joy" conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin excoriated members of the press who -- in the pursuit of appearing "objective" -- refuse to "tell it like it is" when reporting on President Donald Trump.
Speaking with host Joy Reid, Rubin -- one of the president's more avid critics -- got right to the point.
"I think there are two things, "Rubin began. "One, I think that this notion of objectivity of balance has been so inculcated into the media that they now don't call it like they see it at all because they are walking on eggshells."
"When the president had that out of control press conference if you could call it that, when he was rambling on and on, they were so restrained, they described it as a celebration," she continued. "No, he was a raving lunatic. You need to use the words, the verbs and correct description so you give the public a feel of how dangerous this guy is. That is not being biased -- that is being accurate and revealing the danger this guy poses."