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Monday, September 20, 2010

Little Eichmann of the Day

I'm proposing a new feature for the progressive Canadian blogosphere: Little Eichmann of the Day, awarded to the functionary / cog in the apparatus of repression whose actions best combine bureaucratic compliance with an utter lack of any moral sense.

Just to be clear: you don't need to be wearing swastikas, goose-stepping, or perpetrating genocide to exhibit these qualities, and I'm not saying these people are Nazis.

Today's nominee: the B.C. Attorney-General's Office.

Alison has posted this horrifying story about Betty Krawczyk at the Galloping Beaver and at Creekside; I urge you to read it. She is a grandmother in her 80s. While she has never harmed another human being, nor has she even damaged a single piece of logging or construction equipment, she has been hit with eight jail sentences. Now the Crown wants to argue that she suffers from a personality disorder or mental illness and use that as an excuse to lock her up for the rest of her life.

The money passage (link here): 
Her real crime in the eyes of the courts is that she challenges the legitimacy of the judicial system to criminalize dissent, to punish protesting:
"I won’t do community service should that be part of my sentence. I have done community service all of my life and I have done it for love. I refuse to have community service imposed on me as a punishment. And I won’t pay a fine or allow anyone else to pay a fine for me. I won’t accept any part of electronic monitoring as I would consider that an enforced internalization of a guilt I don’t feel and don’t accept and I refuse to internalize this court’s opinion of me by policing myself."
Back to jail for Betty K.
After serving out her last sentence in full, Betty appealed it on the grounds that the squelching of protest inconvenient to corporations and governments is an illegitimate use of the legal system.
The Attorney General's response to her appeal has been to recommend the court re-sentence her under the rules of "accumulated convictions", designate her a chronic offender, and lock her up for life!
I'm sure Michael Brundrett is just following orders.

Update: Cliff at Rusty Idols has beaten me to it, as has Chet Scoville, but yes, it's the old Soviet model: redefine dissent and opposition to the State as a form of mental illness and then you can incarcerate people indefinitely. For their own good, of course. 


  1. THANK YOU for this excellent post, Orwell! I hope everyone shares this with all their friends, and also writes an email in support of Betty & against this Police State mentality to the BC Attorney General,
    Michael de Jong: mike.dejong.mla@leg.bc.ca
    AND to the actual Crown Prosecutor,
    Michael Brudrett
    And why not cc Gordon Campbell, & B.C. opposition leaders

  2. Also, here's Betty's OWN blog on this insanity: