Pubdate: Wed, 16 Jun 2010
Source: Oakville Beaver (CN ON)
Copyright: 2010, Oakville Beaver
Author: Angela Blackburn


The Free Marc Emery (also known as the Prince of Pot) Campaign came to
Oakville Tuesday and one arrest followed.

Emery is a Canadian, who was recently extradited - with the
co-operation of the Canadian federal government - to await sentencing
in the United States for selling marijuana seeds online. Emery is due
for sentencing in September and faces five years in prison stateside.

The campaign has seen protesters take over numerous offices of members
of the Conservative government of Canada, including Prime Minister
Stephen Harper, to demand the return to Canada of the imprisoned
marijuana activist.

About 20 Free Marc protesters arrived at Oakville MP Terence Young's
Constituency Office on Kerr Street mid Tuesday afternoon and moved
into the office for a sit-in.

The protesters refused to leave the office until just before its
regular closing time.

Its leader, Jacob Hunter, of Vancouver, at one point enjoyed some
medicinal marijuana at the scene.

Constituency office staff called the Halton Regional Police and a
young woman from British Columbia was ultimately arrested for

"We were called to keep the peace. One female was charged for
trespassing," reported Halton Regional Police Sgt. Brian Carr.

Nicole Seguin, 24, of British Columbia was arrested for trespassing.
She was taken into custody by police and later released.

According to Hunter, protesters had told police they would leave just
before closing time - in keeping with their Constitutional rights to
stage a protest.

However, Hunter said police, after a telephone discussion with Young,
moved to close the office early.

Young, who has been in Ottawa this week, including the day of the
protest, told the Beaver he came out of Question Period and called his
constituency office.

Upon speaking to police at the scene, he said he was advised to close
the office early and so he agreed.

"We were closed today, too," he said on Wednesday from

A report on the Oakville protest was filed by Jeremiah Vandermeer and
published in the online magazine Cannabis Culture, which follows the
Free Marc campaign.

According to that report, Seguin was the third Free Marc activist
arrested in less than a week during the Conservative MP office
occupation campaign.

The report describes Seguin as a Vancouver drug policy reform activist
and member of the Free Marc Emery campaign.

"We did not pre-announce our location, as the Conservative Party has a
bad habit of closing early (proroguing if you will) to avoid protest,"
said Hunter.

The protest caused a stir on Kerr Street where it became noisy and
drew public attention.

One woman working in a nearby office called the Beaver to report the
protest, saying she couldn't see it, but could hear it from her workplace.

It left Young's Constituency office staff calling in police. Nearly a
dozen officers, including some tactical unit officers, monitored the
protest. Seguin was ultimately arrested after she did not leave the
premises when it was closed.

A video of the protest was posted on YouTube and linked to the
magazine website.

The magazine report states that Seguin  refused to leave "in a display
of civil disobedience."

"Police arrived with more than 10, heavily armed SWAT members (in
addition to the five or more regular duty officers) to respond to a
peaceful protest. At no point in our campaign has such blatant police
intimidation been applied," said Hunter.

According to Young, it was disruptive to the constituency office and
its staff.

"It was disruptive. The staff couldn't get any work done. It was in
your face. It was unpleasant. I was told they were sitting in my
office, there was shouting and chanting and they were taking pictures
of the staff," said Young.

The office remained closed the following day, as Young said the
protesters had said they'd return.

The group is one of many who are gathering at conservative MP offices
across the country.

"Our goal is simple, we are demonstrating to the Conservative Party
that we will go to any riding, anywhere in Canada, to ensure they are
defeated during the next federal election. We will protest at all of
their events, we will volunteer for their opponents, we will not rest
until this government is defeated and Marc Emery is brought back to
Canada; a country he never left and that refused to charge him," said
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D