We tend to take our rights for granted until we lose them. My blog is about to be crushed by the full weight of the law. A Father’s Story blog has been banned by the courts. Why? I’m not sure myself.
The blog ban was slipped into a routine visitation order. I’m not sure if the judge even read it before he signed away my civil rights with the stroke of a pen. There was no discussion in court, so I never had a chance to respond to the suspension of my rights. I am open to removing parts of this blog if they offend. I never had the chance to make that offer. Now it’s all banned.
Let’s call it what it is, a gag order. Freedom of speech is suspended. The state requires me to shut up, it’s in the national interest to silence this blog.
I am critical of the legal profession and the Family Courts, but I don’t think that’s why I am banned. I blame it on a lack of an everyday recognition of the importance of individual rights. Freedom of Speech needs to be defended everyday, not just on the battlefield.
I was shocked at how casually my rights were stripped from me. Jane Hoffman, my wife’s lawyer just included a clause banning this blog. Very sneaky, but Jane was just doing her job. I have to wonder if Jane had included a clause banning The Calgary Herald, if the judge would have signed that? Probably not, any judge signing that order would be anticipating an army of Calgary Herald lawyers descending on his or her court. No lawyer army in my case, but the principle is the same, loss of Freedom of Speech. It’s precious, it needs to be guarded.
A casual banning my blog and removal of my free speech leads to the erosion of everybody’s rights not just mine. It’s dangerous because it is cumulative, ban me today, ban you tomorrow. Once the rot starts, it is hard to reverse. The Nazi in the 1930′s started slowly, infringing the rights of minorities, until they gradually had the whole population in their grip. I’m not suggesting anybody is a Nazi, but the opportunity for a society to succumb is still there. Freedom requires diligence.
I want to keep this blog going. The emotional emails, the comments from men looking for sanity in an insane and cruel justice system, their pain is real. The Family Court system is unfriendly to men, in so many ways. Men express their thanks to me for showing them they are not alone. Seeing my experience starts a discussion around the web, to encourage other men share their emotional journey through Family Court.
Mine is not the only story of men in the Family Justice System, but it is one of few online.
To have one of the few websites helping men go dim is sad. It make me angry, I suppose that’s why this site is still up, as I wait for state retribution.
The price of Freedom of Speech? It doesn’t matter. I’ll pay it.
CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.