Protesters tape mouths shut to show opposition to anti-terror bill
Hundreds of protesters marched against the Harper government’s proposed anti-terror legislation in Montreal Saturday afternoon.
Organizers asked participants to tape their mouths shut, a move to signify what they believe will be the muzzling of certain groups under the law.
The wide-ranging bill, introduced in January, would give police much broader powers and allow them to detain terror suspects and give new powers to Canada's spy agency.
Environmentalists and Anonymous were among the groups that showed up to the Montreal march Saturday.
"The wording in this bill is so vague you can't target one particular person. Everyone is a target," said Natasha Totino, Anonymous Quebec spokesperson. "The fact that you can put in one sentence pipeline protesters and terrorism makes absolutely no sense."
Demonstrations took place in dozens of cities across the country in an event dubbed "Defend our Freedom."
Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney has said the bill does not threaten the freedoms of citizens, but rather it is essential to ensure the safety of Canadians.
In front of the Standing Committee on public safety this past week, Blaney defended the government's initiative, arguing that the bill was balanced between the powers granted to ensure safety and protection of individual freedoms.
Blaney reiterated that Canada needs more tools to fight against the threat of groups such as ISIS.
The Montreal protesters marched from Jarry Park to Justin Trudeau’s office on Jarry St. E. Trudeau has criticized the bill, but said the Liberals will support it.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair was present at the march and implied Trudeau's position doesn't make sense.
"It's very dififcult how the Liberals can stand and claim to be opposed to it and yet at the same time say they're going to vote and support it. Those two things can't be done at the same time. The NDP is opposed to the bill which means we're going to be voting against it," he said.
-- with files from The Canadian Press