Citizen Action Monitor

Once again Harper’s bullies in Parliament and press resort to vicious personal attacks on opponents

Canadian peace activist relates how he and his supporters were victims of pro-Harper smear campaign

No 935 Posted by fw, December 17, 2013

“It was the most difficult television interview I have ever given. And I had to really stay calm . . . yet inside I was so very angry. Angry over the way the pro-Harper SUN TV network attacked my friends, you, me and each person who supports peace in Canada. The intolerable behaviour was too much . . . a smear campaign . . . bullying students . . . I had to do something!”Steven Staples, founder of Ceasefire.ca

When I read Steven’s story, reposted in part below, I recalled a December day three years ago when Harper MP Jeff Watson threatened to throw me, a senior citizen, out of his constituency office for daring to ask questions about climate change – questions that he didn’t like.

As related in Steven’s story, Harper’s gang continues to employ vicious bullying tactics to intimidate opposing voices. Carried to such extremes, the appalling attacks described below are tearing this nation apart, pitting Canadian against Canadian. Is this the kind of country we want?

To read the complete version of Staples’ narrative, click on the following linked title. Or read an abridged version below.

What did Harper try to keep secret from the United Nations? by Steven Staples, Ceasefire.ca, December 16, 2013

It was the most difficult television interview I have ever given.

And I had to really stay calm . . . yet inside I was so very angry. Angry over the way the pro-Harper SUN TV network attacked my friends, you, me and each person who supports peace in Canada.

The intolerable behaviour was too much . . . a smear campaign . . . bullying students . . . I had to do something!

And you know . . . our effectiveness has not gone unnoticed by Stephen Harper’s war lobby. They are targeting us and our peace movement like never before — in Parliament, through the media, and on the Internet.

We teamed up with students in Ottawa who wanted to remember Canada’s fallen and to promote a peace message on Remembrance Day.

Together, we created 2,500 lapel pins to hand out with the beautiful slogan “I remember for peace” emblazoned over an image of a white poppy — it’s a traditional symbol of peace and remembrance going back to the 1930s.

But Harper’s pro-war supporters bullied the students savagely for being unpatriotic and “defacing” the poppy with a peace message.

Let me tell you more about my interview with Harper’s right-wing pro-war TV network, SUN TV. SUN TV outright lied about what the students said, just to rile up their viewers, then encouraged them to attack peace groups on the Internet, blasting awful, hate-filled comments on Facebook and Twitter.

It was despicable.

It was the kind of smear campaign that has driven some vulnerable teenagers to terrible acts of desperation . . . but these shameful comments were not being made by high school kids . . . it was coming straight from Harper’s pro-war backers — adults, grown-up adults! It was appalling.

Live, on the air, I told the SUN TV host that I came on the show so they would stop bullying the students, and “pick on someone their own size,” like me.

Then I challenged SUN TV for backing Stephen Harper instead of veterans by not challenging the Conservative government’s terrible treatment of Afghanistan vets.

Shamelessly, Harper’s hard-right conservative Members of Parliament joined in, using their position in the House of Commons to deflect attention away from Harper’s terrible treatment of vets. They ranted in Parliament about the “glorious red” poppy, calling peace supporters, like me and you, “extremists.” But they did not stand up for the health of veterans.

Harper’s rich CEO friends and political backers signed up for the attack on peace supporters, too.

Can you believe, one businessman in Alberta warned me that I have angered “some VERY wealthy and influential people.” Then he added, “I have emailed the prime Minister, to who[sic], I am a major supporter.”

As we know — it’s rarely the sons and daughters of wealthy and political families like these old boys who go and die in wars. It is mostly people from working families and poor regions of Canada who are sent to fight and then left to fend for themselves and their families by the old generals and politicians.

The pro-war boosters need to be reminded that it was the peace movement in Canada that saved hundreds of soldiers’ lives by opposing Canada’s joining Bush’s criminal invasion of Iraq.

We should never forget that!

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog, Citizen Action Monitor, may contain copyrighted material that may not have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I claim no ownership of such materials. Such material, published without profit, is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues. It is published in accordance with the provisions of the 2004 Supreme Court of Canada ruling and its six principle criteria for evaluating fair dealing.

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