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NEWS: Man ejected from Parliament Hill for wearing Council of Canadians pin

The ‘partisan’ Council of Canadians ‘War is not the answer’ pin.

The Ottawa Citizen reports, “Peace activist Terry Stavnyck told an Ottawa court Tuesday that he felt like a rag doll being tossed about by brawny Parliament Hill security guards on the day he was barred from attending a committee hearing on Afghan detainees.”

“(Stavnyck) arrived at Centre Block on Dec. 9 (2009) and, as he proceeded through security, was told by a guard he could not enter wearing a pin on his baseball cap that said, ‘War is not the answer’. Stavnyck asked why and said the guard told him that no partisan buttons were allowed on the Hill. At that point, he pointed out that a woman had just entered the building with a button promoting then-Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff. …He said (in court that the pin) had sentimental value to him because he received it from noted activist Maude Barlow.”

“(Then Stavnyck) learned the committee hearing was occurring in East Block that day. He then walked to East Block, handed over his identification and was being processed when, he testified, a guard intervened, telling him he would not be admitted to the building.”

“Despite being frightened, Stavnyck said he persisted, asking the guards to explain why he couldn’t attend a hearing that was open to the public. He eventually moved to a corner and sat down, telling the court he did so because he was feeling unsteady on his feet (he has multiple sclerosis). …The two guards then picked him up, forced him onto the floor facedown, handcuffed him and dragged him out of the building backwards, leaning him up against a pillar once outside of the building. …Stavnyck was then handed over to the RCMP who held him until the Ottawa police arrived to take him into custody for 12 hours.”

The incident happened “two days after Greenpeace activists unfurled a large banner from the roof of West Block. …(Stavnyck) says guards mistook him as a member of Greenpeace, whose brazen stunt days before had deeply embarrassed the RCMP and Hill security.”

“Stavnyck has pleaded not guilty to assault and causing a disturbance… The trial continues.”