London Police Act Like Political Police, Free Speech Group Charges
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London, Ontario
N6A 4K9
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Police in London, Ontario are acting way outside their mandate and are behaving like a political police force, the Canadian Association for Free Expression charges.

The Toronto-based civil liberties group took aim at a November 1 letter from Detective Superintendent David R. Lucio of the London Police Force's criminal investigation division. The letter was addressed to seven members of the Northern Alliance, a conservative youth group.

The letter demanded their presence at a November 21 meeting at London Police Headquarters.

The letter said, in part: "The London Police Service has identified you and several others as members of the Northern Alliance, an organization which holds extreme right wing beliefs. As an identified member, we require you to attend London Police Headquarters ... on Sunday, November 21, 1999 at 2:00 p.m. ... We believe it is our responsibility to inform and educate the community with respect to the Northern Alliance and its connection to other extremist groups. Before releasing any information, the London Police Service has organized a meeting with you and other members of the Northern Alliance to allow you to express your point of view."

See and read the letter for yourself sent by London's POLITICAL POLICE

"The letter is outrageous. Heads should roll," said Paul Fromm, Director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression. "The police have no right to require people to attend police headquarters. They were obviously trying to take advantage the youth of the Northern Alliance and their perceived inexperience," he charged.

"The Northern Alliance has never been charged with unlawful activity. Their actions and beliefs should be no concern of the London Police. The police have no right 'educating' the public about the Northern Alliance," said Fromm. "Political advocacy and dissent are legal and should be no concern of the police."

"Canada does not need a political police. If a group is not involved in violence, its views s are not a police matter," said Fromm.

"The intimidating letter sent to seven Northern Alliance members is a disturbing sign of the politicization of many Canadian police forces," Fromm complained.

The Northern Alliance has held weekly meetings and published a bi-monthly newsletter. It garnered considerable publicity last July 13 with a peaceful Straight Pride Parade to counter the annual gay pride events. The Straight Pride Parade was promoted with flyers, radio ads, and a phone line and attracted about 200 peaceful participants. "I did 8 or 9 radio interviews from Toronto to Windsor," said Northern Alliance leader Raphael Bergmann.