News / Halifax

Halifax protesters take aim at federal government’s anti terrorism law

People of all ages gathered at Victoria Park in Halifax on Saturday to protest against proposed Bill C-51, known by some as “the anti-terrorism act.”

Guest speakers included Halifax NDP MP Megan Leslie and Brynn Nheiley of the Green Party.

“You know you are not alone in this fight,” Leslie told the crowd of about 100. “Every human rights expert in the country is with you.”

Protesters chanted phrases such as, “C-51 has got to go” and “flush the Tories down the toilet.”

The wide-ranging bill, which was introduced in January of this year, would give police much broader powers and allow them to detain terror suspects and give new powers to Canada's spy agency.

Critics say the bill, if enacted as law, will infringe upon Canadians' civil liberties and right to privacy, especially online.

Mikhail Gardner, one of many protesters, said he was “appalled” when he read the details of the law.

“The sheer amount of weasel words and overly broad statements in this bill is insane,” he said. “You can’t leave your house without falling under this bill.”

The protest also included musical performances by Rad Rhythms and SolidariGLEE.

Similar rallies took place 11 other cities across the country on Saturday. Toronto, Montreal, Saskatoon, and Calgary were a few of the examples in a protest dubbed ``Defend our Freedom.''

Krista Simon, who organized the protest, said she hopes the protests will push a national dialogue against Bill C-51.

“I sincerely want people to have this at the forefront of what we think about talk about every day,” she said. - with files from The Canadian Press

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