Well, as you know, our first client in our project called Fight The Fines was Pastor Artur Pawlowski. It was very early in the pandemic, March or April 2020, I can't remember which. We saw this video of Artur, who does what he does. He feeds the hungry, homeless on the streets of Calgary. It was very early in the year, because it was snowing.
So these people were cold and hungry, and Artur was doing what he does — and then the police aggressively accosted him, pushed him. What really bothered me, is the cop pushed him and said stay six feet away. And then he moved closed and pushed against him, like the cop was being a bully.
And you know, no one likes a bully. But you're bullying a man who is feeding the hungry homeless. I can't tell you the feeling of anger that washed over me. But I knew what we could do, and my idea was that we would crowdfund a lawyer for Pastor Artur.
I phoned him up, we were casual acquaintances. I said, here's my plan. He said sure — I mean, what does he have to lose? That's how Pastor Artur became client number one in Fight The Fines.
Client number two, you've heard his name also. Another pastor, Derek Reimer, who was arrested and ticketed for doing the exact same thing three years ago. Feeding the hungry, homeless in Calgary.
We had 10 cases; and then 50. And I realized that fighting the civil liberties battles during the pandemic would be as large a business as running the news organization called Rebel News Network.
And so allies applied to the Canada Revenue Agency, setting up The Democracy Fund. I'm not a director and I'm not a staffer of The Democracy Fund; it's an arm's length from Rebel News.
But allies applied for charitable status for a civil liberties project to promote and defend constitutional rights like freedom of association, freedom of mobility. Rights like those that were infringed upon during the lockdown.
And so allies applied to the Canada Revenue Agency. I myself am not a director and I'm not a staffer of the Democracy Fund. It's an arm's length from rebel news. But allies applied for charitable status for a civil liberties project to promote and defend constitutional rights like freedom of association, freedom of mobility, things like that that were infringed during the lockdown.
So would you believe it when I say that The Democracy Fund has taken 2,100 cases in the two years since it debuted? In fact, it just turned two years old this month; 2,100 cases, not all of them as spectacular as Pastor Artur's, but some of them have been.
Well, we're out of the worst of the pandemic and the lockdowns, although I still see people on the street wearing masks and I still see doctors on the news peddling panic and fear.
It's still extremely difficult to get into the United States if you are unvaccinated. It's possible, but difficult. And there remain universities and other workplaces in Canada where they insist on a jab to their disgrace. But the intensity of the moment has passed. And thank God we're out of that. And Justin Trudeau's martial law.
But what about the 2,100 people who got charged?
Some of them, it was like a ticket. Some of them it was a criminal charge, some of them very complicated matters indeed.
What happened to those 2,100 cases picked up by The Democracy Fund? Well, the answer is that those cases continue, that the long arm of the authoritarian law continues to prosecute those people. And I thought it would be a good time to sit down for a half an hour with the lead litigator of The Democracy Fund.
The director of litigation is a friend of mine named Alan Horner, you might recognize him from his appearances before the Public Order Emergency Commission or in an occasional Rebel News video.
But the man who's in the trenches every day is our guest today. We have an army of paralegals; we have three staff lawyers. We have other lawyers across the country. When I say “we,” I mean The Democracy Fund; I'm a donor.
But Adam Blake-Gallipeau has been fighting the good fight every day. And I thought, well, let's bring the lad in now to get an update straight from the horse's mouth.