As this video was being shot yesterday, our reporter Yanky Pollak was in court, in Montreal. He has been charged with 15 counts, and if he's convicted, he faces fanes of up to $15,000. Yanky is on trial for reporting on Quebec's lockdowns, and especially on their curfew.
He was virtually the only reporter in the whole province to shine a light of scrutiny on the lockdowns — and they’re punishing him for that. We’ve got to help him. You can find out more at LockdownReports.com.
In fact, our reporter Alexa Lavoie was there at the court covering Yanky's trial. You can see all of her updates of the trial there at LockdownReports.com, and if you feel moved to help cover Yanky's legal fees, you can do that right there, too.
It's hard to even believe, but for months, Quebecers were literally banned from leaving their homes. Whether you were sick or health; whether you were vaccinated or unvaccinated; everyone was sentenced to a form of house arrest. For a while there, they even banned people from leaving their homes to walk their dogs — which, if you have a dog, you know is code for letting them out to go to the bathroom.
Imagine, in the name of public health, ordering people to have their dogs do their business in their hoses. So gross. And yet the corporate, mainstream media in Quebec was completely supportive, 100% supportive. Just absolutely obedient.
Except for Yanky Pollak.
We hired Yanky a few years ago to help us with our social media — not to be an on-camera reporter. He just happened to be based in Montreal. So when he was done his “real” job with us, he'd take his cellphone and step outside and document what the curfew was like in Montreal.
It was riveting — and no one else was doing it. You'd think it would be a worldwide story. Indeed it was, but the Quebec media was not only submissive, they were supportive. They loved the lockdowns, they cheered for them, just like they cheered Trudeau's invocation of martial law.
And the police kept harassing and ticketing Yanky, and being assholes about it, to be frank.
“Media juif”? That means Jew media. Yanky happens to be a Jew. And I am too. But I don’t think any other Rebel News reporters in Canada are Jewish. We’re of different races and religions — what we have in common is a belief in freedom. Yanky wasn’t Jew media — Rebel News isn’t Jew media. We talk about things that we all have in common, like our civil rights.
It was a bizarre thing for police to say — and to say repeatedly, by the way. What a weird, gross thing to say, while harassing Yanky. I’m slow to accuse people of being antisemitic — I’m not woke, I’m not always accusing people of racism for nothing.
But really: what’s up with that?
Of course the religious slur was just words; what truly bugged me was that they kept arresting him, or at least detaining him while ticketing him. And yet he did absolutely nothing wrong. Yanky faces 15 different tickets and charges, totalling $15,000 in fines and penalties if he’s convicted. There’s no way he could possibly afford that; there’s no way he could afford the lawyers to fight these — obviously we’re covering the cost for him.
But here’s my point: Yanky didn’t break the law. Because the curfew had specific exemptions. Obviously police and firemen and ambulance drivers could go out at night. And obviously people who had night shift jobs. You can think of obvious exemptions. And one of the exemptions, believe it or not, was for journalists.
I say believe it or not, because no journalists did. None that I saw. They stayed at home. They loved the lockdowns. They supported them. But it was absolutely an official exemption to be a journalist.
I know this because we asked. Yanky himself asked — he asked the police. And they wrote back to him explaining the process — just have your ID, have a letter from your publisher (that’s me) and fill out a form you can find online. And we did all those things.
We also had our lawyers write to the police chief in advance, letting them know what we were up to — so the police wouldn’t be surprised that we were actually going to be doing journalism.
We complied with the rules, 100%. In fact, more than 100% — the rules didn’t require you to literally write to the police chief telling him who you were sending to report in the streets, and to respect our rights. We did that just out of an abundance of caution.
Like I say: 100% legal, 100% by the book, 100% in compliance with the police instructions. And yet, not only did the police harass and detain Yanky, but they charged and ticketed him 15 times, with 15 grand in punishments.
But maybe that’s the police, in the moment, not having all the info at their fingertips, using their discretion, but using it poorly. I don’t buy that; they knew who Yanky was after the first few times — they called him by name; they called him Jew media.
But even so; police are police; they have one tool: charge you with an offence. So they did. As you know, it’s up to police to lay charges; but it’s up to the provinces’ prosecutors to decide whether or not it is in the public interest to proceed with those charges, and if there’s a reasonable likelihood of conviction.
And that’s the gross part. The police bullying of Yanky and our other reporters who went to Quebec was atrocious. You can see a reminder of how we were treated over at DefendJournalists.com.
But that’s the cops. And Montreal has a notoriously corrupt, bullying police force. One of the worst in the country. Who is prosecuting Yanky today? Prosecutors. Who have calmly reviewed the files for nearly two years. Who have decided that this is a justice priority for Quebec.
But again: Yanky wasn’t breaking the law. He was following the law — he was clearly in an exempted class. The police told him so. So they’re suing him not for anything he did. They’re suing him for who he is. An independent journalist who dared to shine a light of public scrutiny on their abusive curfew and their brutal enforcement of it.
This isn’t like a normal charge against someone for not wearing a mask, or not keeping six feet away from someone. Those are absurd and mean-spirited. You bet they are. But that’s not really what’s happening to Yanky. Those are just the outward appearances of what they’re doing to him.
They’re censoring him. They’re punishing him for being the one journalist in Montreal who went out at night to document the bullying of the citizens, night after night.
They want to punish Yanky, by putting him on these show trials — 15 charges, spread out over days and days — $15,000 in fines. It’s lose-lose — if the prosecution wins, that’s a huge fine. But even if we win, we have days and days of trial to pay for — that will surely be $15,000 too.
2023 is the year of censorship. Of course the government of Quebec is coming for Rebel News — or Jew media, as they call us. It’s only the second week of January. Expect a lot more of this to come.
If you want to see Yanky’s updates from court, and our reporter Alexa’s coverage of this story, you can go to LockdownReports.com. And if you want to chip in to help us pay for Yanky’s lawyers, you can do that there, too. Thanks.