The Globe & Mail is reporting today that a Liberal MP from Newfoundland and Labrador is questioning whether yesterday's "pie-ing" of Federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea should be considered a "terrorist activity". She is calling for an investigation into whether PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) should be listed as a "terrorist organization" in Canada, as a result of this recent "attack".
Now, far be it from me to defend the actions of PETA. I dislike this organization's publicity stunts in the extreme, including their over-the-top capitalization on the slaying of the young man on a Greyhound bus last year (they had questioning why Canadians should care about that one act of violence, given the massive number of violent acts committed against animals every day-- their point about animals is valid, but their exploitation of that tragedy was way, way over the top). Also, I'm not a big fan of hurling pies at Ministers of the Crown.
However, take the Liberal Member's argument to it's logical conclusion. If tossing a pie becomes a terrorist action, and can therefore be compared to bombing an airliner, where will we draw the line on terrorist activities? If you belong to an organization which protests a government action or policy, and you somehow "intimidate" a member of the government, or perhaps the police, or even the public, would you then be considered a terrorist? That sounds ludicrous, of course, but...
But how far are we willing to go? Remember, terrorists don't actually have to carry out an action in this country to be arrested. The gang in Toronto were only PLANNING on blowing up buildings and cutting of the head of the Prime Minister, and they found themselves in terrible hot water (as in "years in prison"). If attacking a Minister of the Crown with a pie is a terrorist activity, perhaps so too would be planning on attacking a Minister of the Crown.
We need to remain vigilant when these sorts of arguments are brought forward in the name of Security. I'm appalled that a Liberal MP wants to equate this latest action with an act of terrorism, and to list PETA as a terrorist organization as a result. It is a very slippery slope. Perhaps, in the future, attending a rally like many of us did this past weekend, protesting an action of the government, may be considered an act of terrorism or treason against the State. Far fetched? I hope so. But so is equating a pie to a bomb, yet here we are today.
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