Woman Arrested for Handing Out Copies of B.C. Anti-Protest Law Wins George Orwell Free Speech Award
VICTORIA. October 15, 2011. The 26th annual George Orwell Free Speech Dinner held here tonight honoured right-to-life supporter Cecilia von Dehn and also marked host Douglas H. Christie's 40th anniversary of practising law.
The standing room only crowd which flocked in from Victoria, points north on Vancouver Island and from Vancouver and other parts of Canada.
Cecilia ("Sissy") von Dehn is a soft spoken Vancouver woman who is a long-time right-to-life campaigner. Brituh Columbia passed Bill C-48, which creates a bubble zone around abortion clinics and outlaws anti-abortion protests within the 50 yard zone. Miss Von Dehn. She and a companion hit upon the original idea of handing out copies of the act within the bubble zone.
Twice she and her friend displayed a sign offering copies of the free speech restricting Bill C-48 and handed out copies of the legislation to interested parties. Watchful police said she was doing nothing wrong. Her sign didn't even mention abortion. The third foray, June 19, 2010, however, ended in her being handcuffed, tossed into a squad car and jailed overnight.
Donald Spratt, who was also arrested with von Dehn, was the co-recipient of the George Orwell Free Speech Award.
Spratt and Von Dehn were protesting athe bubble zone that, in essence, suspends the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for any person who walks through one. These zones only occur in a 50-metre area around abortion clinics in B. C.
"Canada's politically correct have a bizarre notion of morality. They have elevated a woman's decision to snuff out the life of her unborn child to a sacred 'right'. Meanwhile, they criminalize the free speech rights of people who wish to peacefully protest abortion," says Paul Fromm, Director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression who introduced Doug Christie, who presented the awards.
Mr.Fromm hailed the "Battling Barrister" for representing many free speech victims whom no lawyer would help. "If we're beginning to roll back the forces of censorship in Canada, it is because of the tireless efforts and courage of Doug Christie," he said. He pointed out the media's double standard in vilifying Mr. Christie for defending alleged "hatemongers" like James Keegstra, yet praising lawyers who defend notorious killers like Richard Picton or Paul Bernardo.
Doug Christie hailed the tireless behind-the-scenes work of Keltie Zubko who publishes the Friends of Freedom Newsletter.
He also warned that constitutions and Charters of Freedom are not enough. We can't rely on constitutions to protect our freedoms. We must be prepared to stand up for victims of censorship and to fight for freedom "so that we can pass on the precious legacy we inherited from our forefathers to our children and grandchildren,".he said.
238.jpgIn accepting the George Orwell Free Speech Award, Donald Spratt quoted Orwell, the courageous British author of the prophetic novel 1984, which foreshadowed the modern politicallu correct all-controlling state: " In times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."