Montreal police arrest young woman for instagramming photo of anti-police mural

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66 Responses to “Montreal police arrest young woman for instagramming photo of anti-police mural”

  1. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Christ, quels connards!

    • class_enemy says:

      And this is more acceptable than Sarah Palin’s PAC posting “target” icons on a map of the US because . . . . . . . . . well, because Sarah Palin, right???

      http://boingboing.net/2011/01/08/congresswoman-gabrie.html

      • Ender Wiggin says:

        i don’t know anyone except fox news who’ve ever claimed anything palins said or done is acceptable.  strawmanish.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        You do understand the difference between creating something and taking a picture of it? Apparently not.

        • Stooge says:

          If the photographer shares the creator’s intent, then the difference is trivially small.
          If one of my hobbies were photographing homophobic graffiti and uncritically publishing it on the web, I suspect you would give short shrift to the argument that I was merely taking pictures.

      • Pag says:

        Palin didn’t have to go to court over this. It’s one thing to say the photo was in poor taste, it’s another to arrest someone over it.

      • wysinwyg says:

        Was she questioned by the police on suspicion of incitement to violence over that?

        The political intimidation by the police is what makes this unacceptable.  Sarah Palin’s political opinions aren’t really in any danger of being suppressed.

        • class_enemy says:

           If I posted an image of Barack Obama with a bullet hole in his head, could I expect a visit from the secret service, and would that visit be appropriate or not?

  2. mtdna says:

    Incredibly, the victim seems to agree with what the police did, except that they should have gone after the original artist:

    “I think the person behind the artwork should be in my place … all I did was take a photo,” she said.

    • Stooge says:

      What’s the world coming to when people think you should get arrested for a simple death threat, eh?

      • Ender Wiggin says:

        how do you get a threat from art?  brandishing a knife while telling someone “i’m going to cut your balls off and make you eat them”  that’s a threat.   

        • Stooge says:

          Are you saying that all it takes to stop a threat being actionable is to make it rhyme or put it to music? How about it if I cut the letters out of magazines and stick them to a sheet of paper before posting? Maybe a hand-drawn smiley in a corner is enough to protect the whole page from prosecution?

          • TheOven says:

             If you put your ransom letter in a gallery or stuck it to a wall, yes, it would not be a threat – it would be art. If you mailed it to someone, then it ceases to be art and becomes a threat.

            See how that works?

            That’s not to say you might not feel threatened by the art, but that’s all you.

          • Stooge says:

            Art is not alchemy. When something acquires the status of art, it doesn’t magically lose any qualities it previously had: a banana on a pedestal in a gallery can still be eaten.

          • TheOven says:

             “Art is not alchemy.”

            I’d say it is. Infact, that’s a great way to look at it.

            I was going to quote Warhol, and say that “Art is anything you can get away with”, but I like your Art/Alchemy idea even more.

            In your example the ransom letter magically becomes art when placed in the concept of a gallery. Just as a Brillo box became art when Warhol placed it in Stable Gallery in ’68.

          • Stooge says:

            You’re evidently having trouble getting your head around the notion that labelling something as art doesn’t require it to lose any of the labels it had previously. Good luck with that.

          • Ender Wiggin says:

            to answer all of that crap at once, i think that thought crimes are bullshit, and that if you don’t have a knife in hand that it shouldn’t be actionable.  i think that the creeping criminalization of victimless crimes is an abomination that has caused America to hold 25% of the worlds total prison population, and led to the destruction of millions of lives.   So basically i find your entire worldview and underlying assumptions disgusting.

        • Hanging a depiction of someone in effigy and burning it is a threat. How is art outside of this same possibility?

      • So making a movie where the president is assassinated is a death threat against the president?

        • Stooge says:

          Is that a compound logical fallacy in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?

          • wysinwyg says:

             Suppose an anarchist director makes a movie in which the president (a portrayal of the actual sitting president) is assassinated and it turns out to be a good thing for society.  How is that appreciably different from the sentiment in the poster?

          • Stooge says:

            Suppose you ask me what I think of a film that doesn’t exist solely in your head as part of a circular argument.

  3. Will Holz says:

    Wait, they aren’t arresting the person who owns the wall that the paint was on?  Because that makes just as much sense.

    • NelC says:

       Not unless the owner of the wall took part in mass demonstrations. Then owning the wall probably would be sufficient reason to detain him. (In police logic, not in my opinion, I hasten to add.)

  4. SedanChair says:

    The police say that there are secret reasons they detained her, beyond taking a picture of graffiti and posting it, but they won’t say what they are.

    How very first-world

    • morcheeba says:

      How very third-worldly, in a banana republic type way.

    • pineapplecharm says:

      I’m reminded of a Viz article about “Man arrested for EATING CRISPS!” which had an entire page devoted to an anti-nanny state diatribe about how you can’t even eat in public any more without being pounced upon by over-zealous plod.  It ended with a lone police quote, “We detained Mr Brown on Thursday evening on suspicion of a number of public indecency and sexual assault offences.  What he happened to be eating at the time is immaterial.”

  5. There’s nothing “secret” about the other charges, it’s normal for police not to divulge certain things when an investigation is still underway, as the police spokesperson said.

  6. pimlottc says:

    Looks more like a wheat paste poster.

  7. Flashman says:

    As usual with Boing Boing stories, it’s not quite as simple and outrageous as the headline suggests.  She did a bit more than Instagram this piece of graffiti. According to the Globe and Mail:

    “While the picture of the graffiti portraying Mr. Lafrenière is receiving most of the attention, Ms. Pawluck, an activist who was involved in many of Quebec’s protests over the past year, also posted photos of other messages. She distributed a photo of a bullet several weeks ago with the caption “we’re going to kill” along with another piece of graffiti that said “one cop, one bullet.” A photo posted on the eve of her arrest showed graffiti with the message “Death to cops.” Ms. Pawluck posted the photos on Instagram under her handle,
    anarcommie.”

    I’m not a fan of the police, and I’ve been personally hassled by Montreal cops twice in the past, but I can see how they might be a bit concerned about this woman

    • spacedmonkey says:

      And here is where you see the difference in free speech protections between America and Canada.  In America “Death to Pigs”    (I suppose equivalent in Quebec would be “Mort au Vaches”)   is clearly protected political speech, unless uttered at the scene of an ongoing riot where it could be interpreted as an immediate threat of violence to the pigs right there, right now, rather than a general political opinion that maybe its time to shoot some of those fuckers and install some less corrupt and violent ones in their place. 

      • lafave says:

         “where it could be interpreted as an immediate threat of violence”
        it’s a 2-part test:
        1. is there intent to produce  imminent lawless action
        and
        2. likely to produce such action

        also see, Hess v. Indiana for a discussion of “imminent”

    • Colin Curry says:

      Flashman, if she’s trying to plot the assassination of police officers, she’s going about it the wrong way. People in North American protests chant “death to capitalism”, they walk around with effigies of Bush/Harper/Obama hanging from a noose – it doesn’t mean they are calling for the outright murder of a public figure, or executives of big companies. If she was faxing death threats to Lafrenière’s office, that’s a different story. Naive as it may sound, the message behind her instagrams is more about resisting authority than murder. I’m not sure I even agree with her political goals, but the response is heavy-handed compared to any perceived sleight.

    • TheOven says:

       Concern is fine but she hasn’t actually done anything illegal yet.

      • My guess is the initial charge (which does seem flimsy imo) led to a search where they may have found evidence to support other, unrelated charges, yet to come. 

        • That sounds like poisonous fruit. But the justice system in an of itself is sometimes used as punishment. Sure, evidence from the search might eventually get tossed out, but only after several thousand dollars is spent on a defence lawyer.

  8. HubrisSonic says:

    I blame Instagram… and Obama.

  9. Look at her instagram and decide for yourself if you think she fits the picture of cop-kill inciter painted by the Globe and Mail…

    http://instagram.com/anarcommie

     

  10. spacedmonkey says:

    So I don’t understand how they can make her appear in court if she hasn’t been charged.  Is that one of those Brit things?

  11. Sirkowski says:

    It’s a lot easier to go after peaceful protesters than to go after the Italian Mafia that actually controls Montréal.

  12. Luther Blissett says:

    From globeandmail:

    Ms. Pawluck was arrested
    several times during the protests that have paralyzed parts of downtown Montreal
    dozens of times over the past year, including twice in March when she was given
    tickets for illegal protest. The harassment charge sworn against Ms. Pawluck is a summary offence, so the
    maximum penalty is six months in jail. Ms. Pawluck has no prior criminal
    record.

    I will not say that hate-speech should not be taken seriously, but this seems a little… alien to me. Calling my home planet to verify that free speech is *that* relative.

    I’m not sure if this has a system to it, but others have suggested that already. From yesterday’s GUARDIAN comments:

    First they came for the students. Now they’ve come for the rest of us, who will speak out?

    Meanwhile, in Germany, state investigators in Saxonia are sueing a pastor who is an outspoken antifascist (and has been persecuted by the Stasi) be cause of alleged hate-speech against the police during a Anti-Nazi demonstration in Dresden in 2011. (Specifically, they claim breach of public peace.)

    Pastors, in the former GDR, were often considered suspicious elements, and subject to legal harassment. And, in fact, some of them played an important role in toppling over the old system.

  13. gtronsistem says:

    What I love is how the Moderators here will ‘disallow’/block/censor commentors they don’t like the opinion of (yes it happened to me, but somehow I’m back – more timid mind you…), but they don’t see the irony in saying the cops should allow free speech in any form, as you seem to suggest here. Yes, it’s your sandbox. Just as they perceive the societal norms are expected to be kept in their sandbox.

    orif an unknown hater of you drew this image of you with a bullet in your head on the wall across from your house, how would you feel?if another person then took that picture and posted that online, in your community where folks would see it, how would you feel?safe? relaxed? no, you’d be either shitbake scared, or you’d go looking for them with your own form of vengeance (or with a turning of your other cheek, if you were Jesus).So why is it you expect the societal lawmakers (not the cops, but the lawmakers, which theoretically includes you, as a member of said society), to simply let it go, a re-distributed picture (by a self-proclaimed ‘anar-commie – whatever the hell that means) of a piece of art that suggests death to one of its officers?Even if the guy is a complete arsehole, the reaction is normal.Do you expect that anyone can grafitti ANY message anywhere and then further broadcast it without impunity?

    • spacedmonkey says:

      First off, I’ve pissed off the moderators here once or twice  (including a couple days ago) and I’m still around.    Second, as far as I know, none of the moderators here has ever gone to somebody’s house, kidnapped them, and interrogated them over a post, much less for quoting somebody else’s post, which would be a closer parallel.   If I’m wrong about that, please let me know. Otherwise, this is the most egregious false equivalence I’ve seen in weeks (and that’s saying a lot, since I regularly read things on the internet.) They are not even saying that the person arrested is the one who graffitied it.

      • Felton / Moderator says:

        none of the moderators here has ever gone to somebody’s house, kidnapped them, and interrogated them over a post

        Only because we don’t get a travel stipend.

    • TheOven says:

      “So why is it you expect the societal lawmakers (not the cops, but the lawmakers, which theoretically includes you, as a member of said society), to simply let it go, a re-distributed picture (by a self-proclaimed ‘anar-commie – whatever the hell that means) of a piece of art that suggests death to one of its officers?”

      First of all, maybe it’s just a painting of the officer with a tattoo of a bullet hole in his head. Who can say for sure? Only the artist and he ain’t here.

      But yes, I do expect them to “just let it go”. I expect it because they are in a position public service. I expect them to be held to a higher standard of behaviour because they have a higher level of power. If they’re get scared every time someone makes a painting of them, then they don’t deserve that power and are likely to abuse it because apparently they’re wittle cwy babies who are scared of the big bad student protesters.

      “Do you expect that anyone can grafitti ANY message anywhere and then further broadcast it without impunity?”

      Pretty much, yeah. If the artist got away with it, then it’s done. People shouldn’t get in shit just for documenting little bits of cultural zeitgeist, eh. Certainly when it comes to taking photographs.

    • wysinwyg says:

       The moderators let a lot of opinions that they disagree with through (and sometimes even respond to those comments).  I would suggest that if you expressed your dissenting opinion in a less-than-temperate way that the mods most likely deleted, edited, or otherwise censored your comment because of the intemperance, not the dissent.  They do try to prevent flame wars.  I’ve been deleted and disemvoweled before for getting caught up in flame wars here and usually I’m kinda grateful for it because it forces me to reflect on the reasons why the mods did so.

      As for your hypothetical, the guy in question is a public figure.  I’ve seen a lot of posters of Obama with a Hitler mustache around — I could certainly understand why Mr. Obama would be less than pleased by such portrayals but note that no one is rounding up Larouchebags and subjecting them to police interrogations for their portrayal.

      Whether or not a graphic portrayal of violence against a public figure constitutes a threat is a more difficult question.  It could be taken as a sort of incitement to violence which would be illegal, though the criminal in that case would be the original artist, not necessarily people who shared photographs of the art in question (what if someone shares the photo with the caption “disgusting”?  Certainly you’d allow negative criticism of the sentiment…how about “right idea, wrong method”?  What kind of disclaimer would someone have to make to be allowed to share this without threat of police interrogation?).  However, it’s pretty clear that it’s not a direct threat since assassins usually aren’t keen on letting their victims know their intentions.  It’s a little harder to pull off an assassination when everyone including the victim knows they’re being targeted.

      Anarcho communists, anarcho syndicalists, anarchists, and some kinds of communists think that society should be run “bottom-up” instead of “top-down” just to give you a vague idea of what “anarcommie” would mean. 

      Finally, consider the notion that this is being used as an excuse to try to suppress legitimate political dissent.  Surely you can relate to having your legitimate dissent being suppressed since you start your comment by complaining about BB moderators doing so to you.  Do you think it’s appropriate for the police to engage in the same sort of behavior that you object to so strongly on the part of moderators?  What sort of limitations do you think should be imposed such that the police aren’t allowed to arbitrarily suppress political opinions with which they disagree?

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Well, I for one, am glad to hear that you love it.

  14. gtronsistem says:

    oh, and this sotry will help a bit:
    “Judge Douglas Agnew sentenced Darrel Donald Stupnikoff to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to possessing and sharing child pornography.When arrested by police, Stupnikoff emphasized that he never did physically harm children, the Star Phoenix reports. Agnew said he has encountered this sentiment often and referenced [university professor] Flanagan’s controversial statement that watching child pornography doesn’t hurt anyone.”The idea that viewing child pornography is a harmless matter would be laughable, were it not so tragically harmful and wrong,” said Agnew, Star Phoenix added.”The flesh of these children is being torn apart, their blood is being spilt, because Mr. Stupnikoff and his ilk enjoy watching it,” said Agnew, CBC reports.Flanagan, a former adviser to [Prime Minister] Stephen Harper, caused an uproar in February when a video of him saying that child pornography does “not harm another person” went viral.”I certainly have no sympathy for child molesters, but I do have some grave doubts about putting people in jail because of their taste in pictures,” Flanagan said. “I don’t look at these pictures.”

    • Happeh says:

      “The flesh of these children is being torn apart, their blood is being spilt, because Mr. Stupnikoff and his ilk enjoy watching it,”

      Bullshit. It happens because the people who do it enjoy it.

      Filming it and making money off of it is a secondary concern.

      Jailing people looking at those products is about money, control, and fear.

      We humans are animals that have been having sex with our children since we existed, just like those animals they show on TV having sex with their children.

      Everyone says homosexuality is OK because animals having homosexual sex is OK, so why isn’t it OK to have sex with children if animals have sex with children too?

      The only people who should be jailed for child sex crimes are those who kidnap or brutalize children, or force them against their will.

      Those who have sex with children whose hormones are changing their lives, and who want and need sex to help them change into adults, should not be punished for what evolution set up our species to do.

      • wysinwyg says:

         

        We humans are animals that have been having sex with our children since
        we existed, just like those animals they show on TV having sex with
        their children.

        Citation please.  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any scientific study on the incidence of pedophilia in prehistoric societies.

        Everyone says homosexuality is OK because animals having homosexual sex
        is OK, so why isn’t it OK to have sex with children if animals have sex
        with children too?

        Actually, no one makes that argument.  When anti-gay activists say homosexuality is “unnatural” and “a choice” people sometimes point out that homosexual sex occurs among animals besides humans, but they usually also acknowledge that the reasons are different.  Homosexual sex between consenting adults is considered OK because there is no harm being done to anyone, not because “other animals do it too”.

        The only people who should be jailed for child sex crimes are those who
        kidnap or brutalize children, or force them against their will.

        As a society, we’ve decided that children do not have the mental competence to consent to sexual relationships with adults.  I believe this is fair and that it also makes sense to jail adults for consensual sex with children given the opportunities for manipulation and exploitation in such relationships (in other words, statutory rape laws make perfect sense).

        Those who have sex with children whose hormones are changing their
        lives, and who want and need sex to help them change into adults, should
        not be punished for what evolution set up our species to do.

        This assumes a particular cause for pedophilia.  Can you cite some research that suggests you’re correct about this?  Otherwise this would seem to be mere opinion.

        “Evolution” doesn’t set people up to have sex with pre-pubescent children.  Such desires would be an evolutionary dead-end.  Furthermore, it seems to me that such desires are (fortunately) fairly infrequent in terms of the general population and thus quite plausibly not a part of our genetic heritage as human beings.

        • Happeh says:

          “Citation please.”

          Thanks for the belly laugh!

          ”  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any scientific study on the incidence of pedophilia in prehistoric societies.”

          And I doubt if you ever will unless someone invents a time machine.

          “As a society, we’ve decided that children do not have the mental competence to consent to sexual relationships with adults. ”

          You lie. If what you say is true, there would be no one arrested for sex with children.

          What you really mean is that some small subset of society who is not averse to committing violence to force others to live according to their world views, has decided that sex with children is etc etc etc.

          “Can you cite some research that suggests you’re correct about this?”

          Such research would provide a reason to allow sex with children, which is not allowed for political reasons, so if such research did exist, it would not be allowed to be published.

          “Evolution” doesn’t set people up to have sex with pre-pubescent children.”

          Sure it does. Why not just admit “I do not understand why or how evolution set up animals so that sex with children by adults helps the children mature into adults themselves.

          “Such desires would be an evolutionary dead-end”

          Why?

          “Furthermore, it seems to me that such desires are (fortunately) fairly infrequent in terms of the general population”

          If that was true, there would not be a story every few weeks detailing how the police are crowing about how they arrested 50 men for being victimized by police stings involving sex with children.

          Those statistics alone support my contention that the animals called “human beings” have a natural instinctive drive to have sex with children.

          • wysinwyg says:

            Thanks for the belly laugh!

            “Me,  Happeh, support my opinion with verifiable facts!  Laughable!”  Yes, your position is laughable.  Always good to be able to laugh at yourself.

            You lie. If what you say is true, there would be no one arrested for sex with children.

            What you really mean is that some small subset of society who is not
            averse to committing violence to force others to live according to their
            world views, has decided that sex with children is etc etc etc.

            Actually, it seems to me that a large subset of society would be willing to commit violence against those that think that adults having sex with children is hunky dory. 

            If you think having sex with children is good or acceptable then I’ll just flat out say it: you are a terrible person and you should be locked up for the good of everyone around you.  Sorry to break it to you.

            Such research would provide a reason to allow sex with children, which
            is not allowed for political reasons, so if such research did exist, it
            would not be allowed to be published.

            Are you sure they’re political reasons?  At any rate, this argument is terribly convenient for your position.  You’re apparently allowed to present your opinion as fact because research is not allowed by some oppressive anti-pedophilia conspiracy.  I’m asking you to support your position with evidence.  If you can’t I’ll simply dismiss your opinions for what they very much seem to be.

            Why?

            Because pre-pubsescent children are not physiologically suited to reproduction.  Sexual attraction to things that aren’t good at helping you reproduce is not a good evolutionary strategy.  That doesn’t mean it’s immoral — sex with children is immoral for other reasons.

            If that was true, there would not be a story every few weeks detailing
            how the police are crowing about how they arrested 50 men for being
            victimized by police stings involving sex with children.

            Well, yes they could.  There are 7 billion people in the world.  52 weeks in the year times 50 people is 2500 people total.  That would be about 0.00000036%.  Not very good at stats, are you?

  15. TheOven says:

    Also, this is the same province where they arrested and dragged a man through the courts because his home-made horror movie was too realistic. They charged him with Corrupting Morals, if you can believe that.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/2012/12/22/montreal-sfx-artist-acquitted.html

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