1. outside the ordinary course of legal proceedings2. outside the usual procedure of justice; legally unwarranted.
Sadly the story was largely dismissed and mostly ignored because most of us have little sympathy or use for this dedicated anarchist.
It's too bad, I always thought that the hallmark of a great democracy was the commitment of the majority to support and defend those wronged, notwithstanding their political opinions and actions which may be in direct opposition to popular opinion.
"Katie Nelson is a twenty-one year old Anarcho-Syndicalist, insurrectionist, and anti-fascist, organizing against neo-nazism and combating Police repression. She was raised on the Mexican Border in Texas, moved back to Alberta at eight years old, and last year moved to Montreal to support the student strike and never left. To date she has racked up almost $6,000 in fines, almost all to do with peaceful participation in protests." LinkIt seems that Nelson started a Facebook page documenting what she and others deemed to be police brutality during the student protest last Spring and published photos of 'offending' individual officers as well as some contact information.
As you can imagine, the police didn't take kindly to the publicity and embarked on a campaign of pure harassment and intimidation in a juvenile act of reprisal.
"Katie Nelson says she’s been ticketed so many times, Montreal police have stopped asking for her address when handing her a citation. They know it by heart. The 21-year-old Concordia student racked up over $6,500 in fines during the 2012 student protests. The litany of charges include jaywalking, swearing, spitting on the ground, flicking cigarette ashes and “emitting a noise” in public.There are those of you reading this blog who might say good on the police because she deserved a little payback.
One ticket reads: “for having professed insults in a park.” That $146 fine came after Nelson apparently said “bastard” in Émilie-Gamelin Park.
At first, Nelson found her predicament funny.
“I actually hung (the tickets) up on the fridge at my apartment. It was kind of a joke,” Nelson told The Gazette. “Eventually we ran out of room on the fridge.”
Nelson isn’t laughing anymore.
Now she’s busy looking for a lawyer willing to work her case pro-bono and attempting to work out a schedule that won’t involve her having to go to court hundreds of times over the next few years. On Wednesday, the 21-year-old was in court to contest her spitting charge and she’ll appear before a judge on Aug. 23 to fight another citation.
Read more and watch a video news story : Meet the Montreal protester with $6,500 in fines after she outed cops for misconduct
If you believe that you should be ashamed.
Katie Nelson is in fact an avowed anti-'everything' and has crossed the line more often than not. I don't agree with just about everything she stands for, but as the quotation inaccurately attributed to Voltaire goes;
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
As I researched Ms. Nelson across the net, I was saddened to learn of the poor state of mind of this obsessive-compulsive activist. It's hard to comprehend such a young, brilliant, articulate and energetic sole descending into such a dark and forbidding place.
Read this disturbing article written by her, to get a limited understanding of what she is about.
"Letter from a young activist on her 21st birthday
I want to thank the people who have supported me this past year. It is for your courage and trust that I am grateful today. I didn't think I would ever live to be twenty-one. For me, this is an unbelievably impossible day, one that five years ago, I didn't think I would ever see and that a month ago I didn't think I would live to experience. But despite every dark hour and every night that I got close, I am here. And for now, I'm not going anywhere.To get her point of view, read this; Eyewitness account of Montreal police repression of monthly bike ride
So if I don't live for the twenty-second birthday, remember my only request: What you are fighting is the most honest and amazing thing, and no matter how many people tell you different, you are doing the right thing. So take this system by the balls and burn the mother fucking city to the ground.
In love and in rage, -Katie." Read the entire piece
Now I want to preface this next part with a defence of the Montreal police for their actions in relation to the student street actions in opposition to tuition hikes.
It is true that the police crossed the line, using methods like 'kettling' and preemptive arrest and over-exuberant arrests, but harsh times call for harsh measures.
The students were determined to cause mayhem, for no other reason but because they could.
There was a distinct possibility that the police would 'lose' the streets and that would have brought on even more repression with authorities forced to invoke Martial law, akin to what happened in the October crisis.
The students didn't get what they deserved, they got what they wanted, violent confrontation.
So I'm not going to take police to task over their harsh methods in putting down the student insurrection and as for the students, including Ms. Nelson, I've no sympathy for the bruises, bumps, fines and tickets they incurred in the act of rioting or demonstrating illegally.
That being said, this current campaign of harassment against Ms. Nelson is completely unwarranted, immoral and patently illegal.
There is no 'greater good' to be argued and the police action against her should be seen for what it is, an illegal action of intimidation and harassment.
I would hope that the police chief of Montreal would rein in his activist cops, but alas, every Montreal police chief in the last twenty years has been held hostage by the policeman's union, who actually rule the roost.
Now that the story of this harassment has become public it remains to be seem what remedial action will be taken.
I would hope the Quebec Justice Minister, looking down from his office in Quebec City will call the Montreal police to order and demand a return to the strict rule of law.
The extrajudicial punishment meted out by Montreal cops, tolerated and perhaps encouraged by superiors cannot be acceptable in a truly democratic and free society.
Last week a Montreal man was given a $147 ticket for sitting under a tree in a Montreal park, which is supposedly forbidden.
The policeman explained that since ticketing was a standard operating procedure for keeping vagrants from sleeping in the park, it was only fair to ticket 'regular' people once in a while... Link
And so Montreal police have an arsenal of 'ticket' weapons to be used against those they don't like.
Spitting, swearing in public, sitting on the grass and jaywalking are but a few nonsensical offences used by police to harass those they don't like.
If all else fails, our glorious police will stop and search people based only on their skin colour, as every Black Montrealer can attest.
Montreal remains one of the few cities where 'driving while Black' is automatic probable cause for an identification check. All of this, completely reprehensible and entirely illegal.
I don't see many people sympathetic to the likes of Katie Nelson, but we should be.
Tolerating this type of extrajudicial behaviour by our police diminishes us all.
An ex-assistant director of the SPVM once told me that the public has no problem when police use extrajudicial force on criminals and as long as those measures are used against those who 'deserve it,'
well, ....nudge, nudge, wink, wink, let's all pretend we didn't see it or know about it.
A heinous dereliction of civic and social duty.
I hope Katie Nelson finds a sympathetic lawyer to take her case and sues the pants off the Montreal police. She might get a big payday.
While police spokesmen stonewall us and tell us with a straight face that nothing untoward is going on or that they can't comment on the case, that baloney won't stand up in court in front of a judge who has heard this type of bullshit before.
Any judge worth his salt will see the situation for what it is and will no doubt come down hard on the police.
Judges generally don't like the police using the courts as a weapon against its own citizens and actually consider themselves guardians of the justice system.
Read some of my previous posts on the Montreal Police;
Montreal Police Harass Entire Black Community
Montreal Police Go Beyond Racial Profiling
Montreal Police Get the Respect They Deserve
And so I defend Katie Nelson on principle and I hope you do too.
Why?...... Because I am reminded and live by this quote;
The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing