Thursday, February 28, 2013

Home on the Range

The "range" at headingly was a strip of territory six or seven feet wide and perhaps sixty feet long. Where Cell Block 8 ended, Cell Block 7 began, separated by another set of bars. So you could talk to the guys in the next cell block and even slip lozzies back and forth, but you couldn't fight with them.

There were ten cells in our block, six of them with double-bunks and four singles. I don't know what you had to do to qualify for a private cell. My cellmate was a big man who didn't seem to appreciate having a cellmate.

In Remand, you had to return to your cell for lock-down every other hour, which wasn't so bad because you could relax in the privacy of your bunk and maybe read a book. Headingly was different. If you went back to your bunk you'd have to step on the other guys bunk to get there. You felt like you were intruding on his privacy: "Why don't you go hang out in the range?", you could feel him thinking at you. At least in Remand, they locked you both in your cell so you had no choice. Here in Headingly, having the "choice" of where you wanted to hang out was much worse than having no choice at all. Here I was "free" to wander up and down the range for sixteen hours a day.

My new friend Pierce, whom I introduced in the last entry, took an interest in my story. A new inmate is naturally the object of some curiosity, and Pierce and his friend Mohammed seemed to enjoy my story of being arrested for trespassing. I already told you how Pierce fixed me up with a pillow, so then I asked him about some of the other privileges I had enjoyed in Remand. What about the phones?

Yes, you had free phone calls, but you had to declare a set of ten phone numbers which was all you were allowed (including two laywers). The authorities would check out the phone numbers and then give you a PIN number which allowed you to call only those where were approved. You could change your list once a month. What if I needed to look up someone's phone number? Tough luck. They didn't give you a phone book.

And what about phone access? All day, every day. Except there was only one phone in the cell block, for twenty inmates, as opposed to five in Remand. You could generally get on in the daytime, but in the evening, the tough guys hogged the phones. If you needed to make a phone call in the evening, you could buy time with a "lozzy".

And what about free juice, like we had in Remand? A cloud passed over Pierce's face as he paused before answering me: "They have juice, but you can't get it unless you pay". It seems the tough guys exercised a monopoly on juice access. Since supper was coming up, Pierce offered to fix me up with a little juice from his private stash. I had saved my milk carton from the bag lunch I'd been given downstairs, and I watched as Pierce poured me out a small quantity of...syrup!

Syrup! That's how it worked! In Remand, they wheeled in a big caddy of juice, and there was plenty for everyone. I have no doubt there was just as much juice in Headingly, but it was served out in the form of syrup. So the big guys could get there first and walk away with an enormous quantity of juice in concentrated form.

The guards could have put an end to this cartel in an instant if they had only watered down the syrup before making it available to the inmates. There is no other conclusion possible than that they know what is going on, and they approve of it. "Prison isn't supposed to be some kind of luxury cruise's supposed to make you pay for your crimes". That's the kind of attitude that makes people laugh all those systemic indignities which are imposed on the inmates. What those people are ignoring is that as usual, it's the little guys who suffer.

In the meantime, word of the new arrival had spread, and someone wanted to challenge me to a game of chess. Undoubtedly I was recognized as being of the "intellectual" class, and worthy of a challegne. I accepted, and defeated my opponent without much difficulty. But the game had hardly ended when word came from Cell Block 8...Dave wanted to play me.

Dave was a tough opponent, who played systematically and logically. Fairly early in the game, he suckered me out of a bishop. Now, when you are up a man, you can grind him down on points, and Dave certainly knew this. He even had a chance to trade queens not long afterwards, but it seems he was enjoying the game and decided to let it play itself out on its merits. He declined to force the trade, and the game proceeded. As a result, I had the opportunity to pull a pretty slick number on him in the end, and was about to make my final move when suddenly I was called back to my cell on urgent business.

It seems Pierce had decided something needed to be done about my sleeping arrangements, and had brokered some kind of deal where I would bunk instead with his next-door-neighbor Derek, whose cellmate Mohammed was being released the next day. I quickly gathered up my clothes and pillow and moved them to my new bunk. I looked in vain for my juice carton, which I had left sitting on the bars because there was nowhere else to put it. I was intensely relieved to find that my list of phone numbers was still there under the mattress where I had stashed it.

Before long, supper trays were served. In remand, meals were pleasant enough. We could eat in our fact, we had to eat in our cells, where Dean and I could both sit comfortably on the floor. This was not an option in Headingly. The cells were much too small. I found a patch of floor near the showers, and sat down to a lonely meal.

Shortly after dinner, I was startled to hear my name being called out by the guards. I jumped up and was quickly escorted out of the cells by two guards to a holding area. Glancing over my shoulder, I caught sight of a third guard making the tell-tale sign of a twirling finger pointing to his right ear.

It seems that Ernest was going to the psych ward.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

In Which I Am Sent to Headingly

I still don't know why I was sent to Headingly. It happened suddenly, without warning. I was ordered to pack up my bedding and throw it in the laundry, and the next thing I knew I was being taken down the elevator with some other inmates. I brought nothing except my carefully-guarded list of outside phone numbers and my precious juice bottle. That was confiscated as soon as we got to the main floor. Wherever I was going, I was going to have to drink my juice out of milk cartons. But the worst of it was that I would have left it behind for Dean if I had known I wouldn't be allowed to keep it.

I did leave an unintended present for Dean after all. The previous night I had finally gotten around to exercising one of the few privileges available to inmates...a privilege which I had earlier been told was not available to me. As a consequence I left behind a wadded-up ball of toilet paper, which in the rush to leave I did not remember to dispose of. I'm going to guess that Dean was not happy to find that thing lying there in the upper bunk.

I was told that transfers are simply routine procedure to deal with overcrowding, but I suspect there might have been another reason. It's possible that I was transferred to my own safety. The previous evening I had commited the faux pas of stepping onto an exercise machine down in the gym to which one of the alpha males was recognized to have priority. When he shoved me off the machine, I turned back to him and said, "Don't shove me." He didn't seem to like that. I didn't say anything to the guards, but word of the exchange might have gotten around.

The next day there was a more problematic incident. One of the tough guys had left a free phone  temporarily unattended, and I had just picked it up to make a call. He suddenly came back and told me to give up the phone. I said, "Back off, it's my turn." I might have gotten away with this but then I noticed a guard approaching from behind. Emboldened, I repeated: "Back off, it's my turn". That's when the guy noticed that a guard was right there, so he had to back down and let me use the phone. That was my mistake. You don't run to the guards for protection from the other guys, even when the guards just happen to wander into the middle of something.

For whatever reason, I found myself shackled hands and feet and being trundled off to the Headingly Correctional institute. At least I was going to experience a wide spectrum of the total prison experience. In fact, the guys in my holding cell told me it was a step up from Remand. You didn't have to go back into lockdown every were allowed out on the range all day until lights out. Headingly was all right, they assured me.

When one of the guards told me they had guitars available on the range, I figured I was golden. This wouldn't be so bad. Finally they took me up to the range and led me to my cell. It was tiny. Then they introduced me to my cellmate. He was huge. He was in the lower bunk. To get to the upper bunk, I had to step on his bunk. In remand there was a kind of ladder giving access to the upper bunk, but not here.

The cell was as long as a bunk plus another foot or so, which might or might not have been enough room to put a plastic bin the size of a recycle container, which is where I would have to keep my few possessions (change of socks etc.) Except they didn't give me a bin so I had to keep my stuff on the bunk. And unlike Remand, the bunk area didn't have an extra couple of square feet for storage. It was just a bunk. Juice bottle, left-over toast from breakfast...whatever I had, I would have to sleep with it.

The cell was tiny. The toilet was two feet away from my cellmate's head. If I had to get up at night to take a pee, he would be getting the splashback. The idea of taking a dump was unthinkable.

The "range" in Headingly was very different from the range in Remand, where you felt free to stroll around the mezzanine, up and down the half-flights of stairs, or sit in front of the TV. Here you had a row of ten cells. The front of the cells was all bars, with cement walls separating them. Six feet in front of the cells, there was another set of bars. That strip of territory, perhaps sixty feet long and six feet wide...was the range! If you walked up and down the range, like I was inclined to do, you had no choice but to pass by the same guys over and over again. They stared at you and you tried not to stare at them. If you looked inside someone else's cell...well, that was the last think you wanted to be caught doing. So you kept your eyes pointed straight ahead and slightly downwards. Or else.

At my lowest moment, I was befriended by an inmate who told me his name was Pierce. He could see I needed a little help getting settled in, and took it upon himself to help me out. The first thing I asked him was about pillows. My bunk didn't have a did I get one? "They don't really give you pillows. Maybe you can buy one from another inmate." Buy one??? How did that work? "Did you have any money when you came in?" Yes, I told him. "How much? asked an eavesdropper. "No, he doesn't have to tell us that", said Pierce. "Do you really have money? Maybe I'll sell you mine." How was I going to pay him? The answer: "Lozzies."

"Lozzies" are the de facto official currency of the prison system. Historically, cigarettes have always fulfilled that role, but in Manitoba prisoners are not allowed to smoke. Instead, they can buy nicotine lozenges from the prison canteen at nine dollars a pack. Pierce gave me his pillow on the undertaking that I would buy him a pack of lozzies when canteen came around. "But I need to know you'll come through", he said, "because I'm going to but some stuff right now, and I don't wanna be caught short later on." I assured him that I was good for it, and that was enough for him.

I don't know where Pierce was going to get another pillow for himself. But as events were to unfold, he probably didn't have to...

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Pecking Order

Life in remand wasn't so bad, once you got the hang of it. The alternating rhythm of one hour on the range/one hour in lockup helped make the time pass. You could pour yourself a coffee or a bottle of "juice" any time you wanted. You could stand by the window opposite the Law Courts Building and imagine the taste of freedom.   And while you were looking out the window, there was always the possibility that a Native girl would pass by on the sidewalk below and flash her breasts to give the guys a thrill.

The juice was a huge factor in terms of quality of life. It wasn't exactly Tropicana, but it was quite drinkable. I'd say it was somewhere in between Koolaid and Sunny D in terms of quality. Definitely good enough to wash down your ham on kaiser.

The food was generally quite OK. I already mentioned my bad experience with porridge the first day, but when they served Cream of Wheat a couple of days later, I made sure I had grabbed a handful of sugars from the coffee stand before heading back to my cell to eat. (You had to eat in your cell.) That made quite a difference. My biggest quibble would be with the egg salad. I guess they must have some dietician on staff who decides when you've had enough cholesterol and transfat in your diet, because whatever they used as an mayonnaise substitute in the egg salad had no taste at all. That kind of "we-know-what's-best-for-you" attitude that really pisses me off.

The other enormous benefit of life in remand was telephone access.  You could call whoever you wanted on the outside, whenever you were out on the range. There were five free phones on the floor, shared among twenty inmates. So in theory you had unlimited access to friends and theory. I will return to this point later.

Recreational activities were rather limited. You didn't have access to things like a guitar or a scrabble board, although there were playing cards available and a computer monitor that would play chess. Of course the internet was out of the question. There was a single TV with limited choice of channels, and since you were only on the range for an hour at a time you could never see a whole movie. I was really looking forward to going to the gym, which was 45 minutes three times a week; but when I got there I was dismayed to find that it was only a workout room geared towards body-building. It seems they used to have ping pong and a basketball hoop but a combination of overcrowding and gang violence led them to cut out those activities.

On the whole I did not feel especially threatened by my fellow inmates, although there were a few hard cases in the group. There was a lot of talk about man-on-man sex but it was mostly harmless banter. One of the very disturbing things about the whole "get-tough-on-crime" attitude, especially in the United States, is the way people smirk at the idea of male rape as an accepted fact of prison life. Late-night comedians treat it as though it's something to joke about, as though it's not enough to deprive you of your freedom without also subjecting you to horrible indignities to drive home the point. Fortunately in Remand there was very little opportunity for real violence because you were almost always within eyesight of the guards in the "pod". Mind you, I was cautioned by a couple of the guys to be careful when I went into the shower area. And I should also note that the fourth floor was probably the most civilized of the cell-blocks. Eighth floor was "suicidals", and a couple of floors were reserved for gang members that had to be isolated from rival gangs...I don't know what all the other floors were for, although I suppose one of them was the female ward.

And yet there seems to be some kind of unavoidable law of social organization which decrees that in any society, there must be a pecking order. Even when you are stripped of all individuality and personal possesions, it turns out that some members of the group must assert their dominance over others. The question is: how? It turns out that this dominance must be asserted by whatever means available, no matter how scanty. Newspaper access was a case in point. Prisoners were given one newspaper to share among twenty inmates. The Winnipeg Sun would start its rounds with the trustees, and then pass from hand to hand according to a strict order. On my second day I commited the faux pas of leaning over a senior inmate's shoulder to glance at the Sunshine Girl. Without looking at me, he wordlessly turned the page to hide the picture until I went away. I got the paper in my turn, but the Sunshine Girl had already been clipped out by then. Other guys took the  Sudoku, the crossword puzzle, the horoscopes...well, at the end of the line you were just satisfied that you still got a paper to read.

It wasn't so much the deprivation as the indignity of it. The guards could easily have put an end to this system by giving out two or three copies of the paper; but the cure might have been worse than the disease. It seems that in a social group, you need to have some means of establishing dominance, and this nonsense with the newspapers probably fulfilled a useful purpose in that regard.

But even that wasn't quite enough. The alpha males had one other way they exercised their dominance: the telephones. With five phones for twenty inmates access should not have been a problem. But as soon as we got out of our cells at the top of the hour, the tough guys would be on the phones. It looked to me like it was more trouble than it was worth on their part; in any case, by the end of the hour you could pretty much count on being able to walk up to a free phone and dial out. But sometimes they would hog the phones to the very end, just to show who was boss.

Four days into this idyllic existence my life was suddenly turned upside down. Without warning, I was taken from my cell and told I was being transferred. The story will continue when we return.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

In Which I Am Sent to Remand

The story of my legal battles with the University, on both the civil and criminal fronts, is thoroughly chronicled on the pages of this blog. For the next couple of days, however, I'm going to concentrate on the purely human aspect of my prison experience. Over the course of nine days I did time in three different cell blocks, starting with the Winnipeg Remand Center, across the street from the Law Courts Building on Kennedy and York.

After spending most of Thursday in the Public Safety Building downtown, I was finally checked in to the Fourth Floor of Remand around six in the evening. I had earlier turned down the chance to get bail from a magistrate, who would have seen me that same afternoon, in favor of a bail hearing the next morning before a judge. My theory was that a magistrate would be inclined to accept whatever bail conditions the police requested, whereas a judge would be more inclined to listen to my arguments.

That meant my only meal on Thursday was a bag lunch for supper, consisting of a baloney sandwich (no mustard, no mayo, just a slab of meat on bread) and a half-pint of milk. It would turn out that prison meals were generally better than this, but I didn't know that yet. My first breakfast in Remand didn't give me much hope for improvement, however: it consisted of a very bland porridge with no sugar, and two pieces of toast with butter and jam. I put the butter and jam in my porridge but it didn't help much.

Lunch was a corned beef sandwich on a kaiser bun, with a half-pint of milk and an apple for dessert. Condiments were provided on the side, so it was much better than the bag lunch of the previous evening. I still found it impossible to wash down a meat sandwich with nothing but milk. That's when my cellmate clued me in to one of the most important benefits of life in remand: free juice.

I noticed that there was a coffee station for the inmates when they let us out of our cells on Friday morning. I watched the other inmates serve themselves but I couldn't find any cups when it was my turn. Later I learned that cups were not provided. People would buy instant noodle soup from the canteen and then save their styrofoam cups for coffee later. In the meantime I would have to save my milk cartons if I wanted coffee. In the end I decided that prison coffee wasn't likely to be all that good for my digestive system, so I went without it altogether.

Juice was another question altogether. Supper came around and it was roast chicken on rice, with lemon pudding for dessert. This was actually first rate...but after picking up my supper tray and returning to my cell, I was dismayed to realize that I was locked in with no access to the juice. I realized that I had to make sure I filled up my juice container before they brought out the dinner trays. Once I caught on to the system, all of my subsequent meals were quite enjoyable....almost.

I still had to learn one more lesson about meals: they just didn't give you much time to enjoy your food. If you didn't tuck right in and start bolting it down, there was the prospect that you'd be called on to return your trays before you'd really finished. That only had to happen to me once; after that, I learned not to linger to long, and I was OK after that.

Life in remand on the whole was quite tolerable. Our cell block consisted of two levels, upper and lower, of ten cells each level, with each cell housing two inmates, and a common area consisting of a mezzanine and a TV lounge, and a shower area. I shared my cell with Dean, a nice guy who was picked up on a "breach". He'd been in a fight with his girlfriend had previously been released on conditions not to have contact with her. She ended up coming over a few weeks later, they both got to drinking, a fight ensued, neighbors called the cops...yada yada yada. Most of the guys in jail are guys like Dean...decent guys who are just trapped in a lifestyle which puts them constantly on the edge, always in danger of falling astray of the law. The system makes no distinction between guys like Dean and dangerous SOB's who are a menace to society. What people don't understand is that when the Conservatives make a big deal of how they're going to get "tough on crime", what they are really doing is getting tough on guys like Dean. The "hardened criminals" are basically facing the same conditions either way. Like everything else, it's the little guys who suffer.

The upper and lower level cell block inmates shared the common area ("the range") on alternate hours. They'd let the upper level out for an hour, and then they'd send us back to our cells while the lower level guys got out. So you'd never really get to meet the lower level guys except if you went to the gym...they'd take both levels downstairs together for gym time. (But only ten or twelve guys might choose to go for gym.) So with our cell block being not quite full, I met altogether about twenty guys while I was in Remand.

The alternating hours actually made the time pass pretty quickly. When I was out, I could walk around the range...there were stairs at each end of the mezzanine, so I could wander around a long circle to pass the time. Then when they'd send us back to our cells, I could pick up a book from the collection of worn-out paperbacks and relax in my upper bunk, which was like a little private sanctuary. Dean was a perfect roommate: he clued me in on things like the etiquette of the shared toilet and other details of prison life with which he was familiar from previous stints.

Dean and the other guys could tell right away that I was a rookie. The first morning I sat down at a table with some of the guys and one of them let on that he'd just been caught by the guards...well, you know...jerking off. I was shocked to learn that you're not allowed to do that in jail. This was an outrage. I promised the guys I would bring it to the attention of the judge when I had my bail hearing. Fortunately, I made a point of doing a little research before hand, the results of which were inconclusive. So I didn't bring it up at my bail hearing. The next day, still skeptical, the guys insisted I ask one of the guards. "Come here," they called to the guard, "this guy wants to ask you a question".
In response to my query, I was told: "You can do whatever you want in here as long as you don't hurt the other guys." Everyone had a pretty good laugh over that. The guard pointed to my grey prison sweater and his blue uniform: "Listen to blue, not to gray".

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Paper Trail Thickens

When I started this blog, I chose the name I've been in a fight or two in the past, and I know how important it can be to get the facts on the record. But that's only half of it. Even more important is to get the other side to put down their "version" of the facts. In the last month, I've made some pretty good headway in that regard.

It started in January when I was about to go ahead with my examination of the University...that's called the "discovery" process of the trial. I had named the former VP John Corlett as the University's designate, as is my right under the Queen's Bench Rules. Corlett had been deeply involved in the proceedings to expel me, and had in the meantime left the university on not the best of terms. It may be a slight exaggeration to say that he was frog-marched to the sidewalk on his last day, but not by much. I was days away from examining Corlett when the University, desperate to prevent Corlett from spilling any embarrassing information,  pulled a "hail-mary" play on me...they filed a motion for Summary Judgement, which could delay the proceedings for as much as a year.

The motion has little chance of success, but in order to give it some meat they filed an affidavit by Colin Morrison in which he goes through the details of the Non-Academic Misconduct proceedings against me. It's hard for me to understand where they're going with this: my lawsuit has nothing to do with the misconduct hearings. I'm suing them for removing me from the practicum at Gordon Bell.

But the interesting thing is the documentation that Morrison included with his affidavit. I made huge efforts to get disclosure last year while I was fighting my way through the internal process, and in the end I got nothing but dribs and drabs. The Freedom of Information Act was a joke. The FIPPA investigators in the Ombudsman's office are patsies who were willing to give the University any excuse to withold disclosure, and in the end, after six months of appeals, FIPPA ended up releasing to me exactly the same documents that I had already wheedled out of the University on my own. But Morrison's latest Affidavit gives me a wealth of new material to work with. I hope to elaborate on this in the near future.

But that's just the beginnings. The whole affair with the criminal charges and the illegal incarceration has had the unexpected side effect of bringing all kinds of new information to light. In particular, their are three new documents that I am in the process of getting:

1.  The police report of the alleged home invasion on January 11th which was the impetus for the renewal of the trespassing order and the subsequent criminal charges.

2.  The transcript of my bail hearing. Normally these hearings are a mere formality, but in my case I insisted on disputing the bail conditions, even though the judge was willing to free me on my own recognisance. Everyone said I was crazy (call me Ernest!) but as a result, the Crown Attorney had to make quite a detailed submission in which he catalogued my sins before the judge. That's going to be an interesting transcript when I get ahold of it.

3. In the course of his arguments, the Crown revealed the astonishing fact that the University had already been to court to try and get a restraining order against me! They were turned down, but I'm dying to find out what grounds they argued in their submission to the Court. Just one more set of transcripts for me to get my hands on.

Why am I so excited about getting all these documents? Because in the end, I expect the University's case to collapse amongst its own lies. The more I get on paper, the closer I get to this goal. Shakespeare said it best when he wrote:

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive".

The University's case was built on lies from the get go, and their day of reckoning is coming.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Who Is Neil Schipper Anyways?

I just got out of prison 12 hours ago and finally had a chance to check out my blog and see what Neil's been up to. Nice job, Neil! I knew you could write. I especially liked the way you linked up Lloyd Axworthy's sanctimonious bleatings about human rights with the way he got me thrown in jail for giving out leaflets on campus. Well done.

Anyhow, Neil, I'm sure our readers are wondering just who you are, so I dug this up from the Math with Marty archives. Enjoy...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Application Dismissed

In the last post, I mentioned that I didn't know the date of the failed university application for a protection order against Marty. Well, a savvy commenter demonstrated that it's easy to learn: you just go to, and search by name. Nice!

The date is January 18, that is, three weeks less one day before Marty's arrest.

But there's more! The search results show that on that day, not one, but two such applications were made, and both were dismissed:



We can only imagine the disappointment of professors Bush and Metz, as well as that of the university's legal team, that these requests for protection were deemed inadequate.

The University Asks for a Restraining Order

As I recentlwrote, Marty went before a judge last Friday. That's when he learned the charges against him.

What I haven't yet written about the hearing (as relayed to me) is how the crown prosecutor, in arguing that Marty poses a threat to the university, disclosed that the university had earlier tried to obtain a restraining order against Marty.

Now, getting a restraining order (actually called a 'protection order' in MB), while not an onerous affair, is neither a trivial one. One government source says:

Anyone applying will have to provide evidence under oath about the stalking or domestic violence.
Another document describes the process of requesting a hearing, filling out an application, and finally going before a hearing court where a Judicial Justice of the Peace:
will review your application, affidavit and any verbal evidence given, and make a decision.
And here's the thing: they tried, and failed.

Yes, the university, all lawyered up as befits a major public institution, went to the courts, made their case (presumably consisting of claims that Marty poses a danger to them), and were rejected.

Now I don't have a date on that application, but as I said above, last Friday, the prosecutor disclosed it while arguing for Marty's continued incarceration.

And the judge did not consider this rejection relevant enough to be exculpatory. The judge essentially treated the trespassing order that was in effect as if it had the legal force of a protection (aka restraining) order.

Marty told the judge that, in finding against him, the court was giving the university '"for free" what they failed to get through normal avenues, bypassing his right to due process.

To no avail.

Today is the eighth day of Marty's imprisonment.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Charges Laid

So what are the charges Marty is facing?

First, a recap:
  1. A week before his incarceration on Thursday, Marty made very clear his intention to continue peaceably challenging the university's demand that he stay off campus, Marty finding such a demand contrary to his rights.
  2. After several arrests resulting in tickets for trespassing (a summary offence), including one occasion on which he was held for six hours, and another that included rough handling by city police, Marty offered terms of engagement that would de-escalate the character of these encounters: upon being requested to leave the campus, he would do so, and would stay away for the remainder of that day; and, police could send him a ticket, thereby reducing time and expense incurred by all parties: his own, campus security, and city police.
  3. The university responded to this offer by threatening to charge him with the "Criminal Code offence of mischief instead of an offence under the Petty Trespass Act" if he returns. (That's a direct quote, and note the phrase instead of.)
When Marty went before the judge the day after his arrest, he learned that he was facing three charges:
  1. Trespassing
  2. (Criminal) Mischief
  3. (Criminal) Forcible Entry
So, unlike recent well-known acts of protest, acts which resulted in delays or rerouting of highway traffic and which did not elicit any arrest, Marty is now facing criminal charges.

Now, I have to say that in regard to conventional non-criminal mischief, there's not a lot of people I've met that might reasonably be accused of it more -- in a court of public opinion, and on a thousand different occasions -- than Marty Green of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

But he was leafletting.

And Forcible Entry? Say, what? Did the university lawyers confer with the university physicists to establish that some minimal Newtons of force must have been applied to the campus door in pushing it open (at 10 a.m. on a normal class day)? But, wait! Aren't they electric doors? OK, well, then his actions resulted in a magnetic force.

It's still a force. And it was used for entry. Criminally.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Axworthy on Human Rigthts

We're going to call attention to three things. Readers should consider any possible connections or disconnections.

1  In May of 2011, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the presidents of two organizations. According to the official announcement, the M.O.U.
will see their organizations work jointly to fulfill their common goals of promoting human rights education and encouraging people to take action for human rights.

“The goals of The University of Winnipeg and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights are very similar – providing human rights education and empowering people to take action – it is a natural fit to be working together,” said Dr. Axworthy.

2  Last December, there was a conference held at the University of Winnipeg called “Learning to Change our World Together”. As the announcement  indicates,
participants will discuss topics and develop action plans for change based on the following themes: Identity, Diversity and Worldviews, Liberty and Equality and Freedom of Expression and Opinion.
Following the conference, UNESCO, the sponsoring organization, included in its report:
Together, students, teachers and invited guests addressed the following sub-themes:  Identity, Diversity and Worldview; Liberty and Equality; Freedom of Expression and Opinion.

3  Last Thursday, a man went to the University of Winnipeg, started distributing leaflets, and was promptly arrested by police. Here's what the leaflet said:

Last year when I was a student in the Teacher Certification program, I was accused by Professor Lauralyn Cantor of insulting and ridiculing an ASL interpreter who had been invited to the class as a guest. This complaint became a centerpiece of the University’s misconduct proceedings against me. The University refused to disclose the details of her complaint to me until after I was expelled, and I was never given the opportunity to answer it.

I am presently suing the University and I need witnesses who were present in the class to testify as to what actually happened. The University has banned me from the property so I have no opportunity to meet and talk to my former classmates. If you remember the incident differently than the way Professor Cantor described it, I urge you to get in touch with me.

Marty Green

At the time of this writing, three days following the arrest, Marty remains in prison.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Ernest Goes to Jail

Here's a near-verbatim update by phone from downtown:
The guys in my cell block were asking me what happened when I went before the judge this morning, so I told them she offered to release me if I agreed to stay away from the U of W. Then I told them that I didn't agree to her terms. And one of the guys says, "Wh'the fuck are you? Ernest goes to Jail?"
(Photo credit: "Sinclairissa", Source:

UPDATE: After nine days in three different cell blocks, I finally got out. But the "Ernest" rap followed me everywhere I went. They called me the same thing in the Alpha cell block in Headingly. I can't for the life of me figure out why.

Marty is Arrested

Yesterday at around 10 a.m. Marty was arrested at the University of Winnipeg.

Marty is being held at the Remand Center downtown. He reports that he is "facing multiple charges" and that he is "waiting for a chance to go before a judge to argue my bail conditions".

Anyone familiar with the arrest is encouraged to comment.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The University Takes it Up A Notch

I've been telling the story of my trespassing battle back to front over the last few days, and now we're pretty much caught up to the present. I was on campus five times last week, and I was apprehended and charged twice with trespassing. (A third time I just made it out the doors before they caught up with me.) The last time I was arrested they held me six hours before they got around to writing me a ticket. I thought that was a little much so this week I wrote the Chief of Security as follows:
Dear Mr. Grainger:

I wonder if we could come to some kind of understanding as to how we are going to proceed in the future with the trespassing issue? If you choose to continue to enforce the order, I understand you have the right to detain me for as long as reasonably necessary in order to process the charges. However, since you have my name and address on record, and since I am prepared to go on record as undertaking to leave the campus whenever requested and not return on the same day (and I am willing to post a bond to that effect if necessary), I see no reason for the police to be called each time I am apprehended on campus. Can you not phone in the complaint and have them mail me a ticket? It seems to me this is the most sensible way to proceed.

I want to make it clear that I have no problem with the way I have been treated by you or your security staff, who have been courteous and respectful to me throughout. I cannot say the same for your night
superivisor, who thought it appropriate to gloat over the fact of my
extended detention (six hours) and brag that he could keep me there as long as he wanted if the police didn't come. Please remind your staff that your powers to detain are based strictly on the reasonable necessity of processing charges, and are not to be used as a means of extra-judicial punishment or intimidation.

Marty Green

The University of Winnipeg didn't think much of that. In fact, they decided they were no longer satisfied to issue me with the equivalent of traffic tickets at $113 a pop...they were now going to step it up to the Criminal Code:

Mr. Green the University will continue to proceed as we have. Should you attend the University and are apprehended you will be held pending the arrival of the Police. Whether you are apprehended or not, on advice from a Crown Attorney, the University will now request that the Police proceed with the Criminal Code offence of mischief instead of an offence under the Petty Trespass Act.

Martin Grainger
Director, Security Services and Emergency Preparedness
The University of Winnipeg

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The University Renews Its Trespassing Order

During the proceedings against me last winter, the University at one point imposed a trespassing order barring me from the University Campus effective January 11th, 2012. The order was to expire after one year. Accordingly, on the 12th of January 2013, I went back on campus, and subsequently visited several more times.

A few days later, the Chief of Security for the U of W, Martin Grainger, appeared at my front door and handed a notice to my son. It was a new trespassing order, and this time there was no expiry date. So the following Monday I wrote to the University as follows:


It has come to my attention that the University is considering the  renewal of the trespassing order that was imposed on me last year. I wish to  go  on record as stating that I would consider such a move to be an abuse of  the powers granted you by the Petty Trespassing Act, and I would urge  you not to proceed in that direction.

If it is your considered opinion that this is what you want to do, I would ask you to serve me official notice in accordance with the Court of  Queen's Bench Rules for Personal Service, and then we can proceed  accordingly. You may contact me to arrange service and I will cooperate. I have no  interest in attempting to evade proper service.

Until then, I will consider myself to be governed by the terms of the original order of January 2011.


Marty Green

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

This isn't my first fight.

The battle with the U of W continues to heat up, with several fronts burning at the same time right now. I had to interrupt the story of my grade appeal to tell you about my trespassing fight, but that's not the half of it. In the meantime, I have some old battle tales that I've been meaning to post, but I just haven't been able to squeeze them in with all the excitement. So I though I'd put them up instead of my physics blog, "Why I Hate Physics". You can check them out here.

Tomorrow I'll continue with the story of my trespassing fight.

Why Don't They Just Get a Restraining Order?

On Tuesday January 22nd I received the following notification:

Please be informed that arising from your involvement in an incident involving a faculty member in respect of which the police attended, a Barring Notice issued against you and was served at your residence (copy attached). As stated in the Notice, you are barred from all University of Winnipeg property, leased or owned. Failure to comply will result in the Winnipeg Police Service being contacted and a charge being laid under the Petty Trespass Act of Manitoba.

Martin Grainger
Director, Campus Security/ Emergency Preparedness

So they planned to charge me if I showed up on campus. Well, I don't know about that. I thought I might give them some advice on how they might otherwise handle things, so I wrote back:

Mr. Grainger has advised me that the new trespassing order has been instituted in response to a complaint by Prof. Bush about an incident at his home. I would urge the University to reconsider its position in this  matter.

The University should know that if Prof. Bush feels he has any reason  to fear me, he may apply for a Protection Order from a Justice of the Peace. As you can verify from the Manitoba Government Website this can be done "quickly, simply and inexpensively" and without the need to notify the respondent (that would be me). Unlike the University's barring notice, a Protection Order would keep me away not only from the University but also from Prof. Bush's home. (See ).

In the circumstances I believe a Protection Order would be a much more appropriate course of action the the Barring Order, which I consider to be an abuse of the University's powers under the Petty Trespassing Act.  In the meantime I will continue to govern myself according to the terms of the original Barring Order of January 2012. If, despite my advice, the University still wishes to assert its right to bar me under the Petty Trespassing Act, I would again request that they serve me in  accordance with the Queen's Bench Rules for Personal Service

Needless to say, the University did not follow my advice.

Monday, February 4, 2013

In Which I Ask for a Retraction

On Wednesday, January 23rd, I received the following email from the university's General Counsel:

Good morning, Mr. Green.
It is our understanding you may have filed a claim against Professor George Bush and that you are seeking to effect service of the document on Professor Bush.
As was the case in respect of your previous claim involving the University and the named Education Professors, we could arrange for service at the campus Security Office (Centennial Hall) 11:30 AM Tuesday January 29, 2013. Alternatively, you could effect service through a process server as is ordinarily the case, or you could consider effecting service as provided for in the Queen's Bench Rules at Rule 16.03 (registered/ certified mail or ordinary mail with acknowledgment of receipt form attached).
Please advise by not later than Thursday noon whether we should make arrangements to have Professor Bush present on the 29th at the campus Security Office, and for you to be permitted on campus for that purpose. If we do not hear from you by then, we will inform Professor Bush he does not need to be present at that time.
Thank you.
Apparently it had come to their attention that I wished to serve papers on Professor Bush, and they wanted to help me. I wrote them back:

I will be glad to accept the University's assistance in this matter if Prof. Bush will withdraw the complaint which led to the present trespassing order. Otherwise I will resume my efforts to effect personal service on Prof. Bush after I have completed the amendments to the claim which I am presently working on.
It seems that my conditions were unacceptable to the University, because they quickly responded:

Good morning, Mr. Green.
Based on your response, we will therefore not make arrangements for service on Professor Bush.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Notice of Intent

On Friday, the 25th of January, I sent the following email to the University of Winnipeg:

From: "Marty Green" <>
To: "Colin Morrison" <>; "John Anchan" <>; "Lloyd Axworthy" <>; "Martin Grainger" <>
Cc: <>; "George Bush" <>; <>
Subject: Notice of Intent
Date: January-25-13 5:12 AM

Since January 11th, because of a complaint from Professor Bush about an
alleged incident at his home.  I have been barred from the University of
Winnipeg campus under threat of being charged with trespassing.  I believe
the University is aware that Professor Bush's allegations against me are
false and malicious, and yet they refuse to give me the opportunity to
refute those allegations. Indeed, their implementation of the Petty
Trespassing Act against me does nothing to protect the safety of Prof. Bush;
it only serves to publicize and add credibility to his defamatory claims. I
consider this to be a serious abuse of the University's powers under that

Having exhausted all other remedies available to me, I therefore find that I
have no choice but to assert my rights by presenting myself in person on the
University Campus. Unless the University can suggest any other legal avenue
of redress for me, I intend to do so at the earliest possible opportunity. I
will make use of any spaces and facilities which are normally available on
campus to members of the general public, and I can assure the University
that my presence will be peaceful and non-disruptive. If I am asked to leave
I will do so peacefully, but not until I am officially charged with

A copy of this correspondence is being sent to the Winnipeg Police Services.

Marty Green

Saturday, February 2, 2013

In Which Colin Morrison Gives Me Some Advice

This would be the final communication I would receive before taking things to the next level. In it, Counsel for the University gives me some advice on how I ought to proceed. Here is what he told me:

Mr. Green, you are currently barred from all University of Winnipeg property.

If you deliberately trespass notwithstanding, we have the authority to apprehend you and have you removed from our property.

We will initiate proceedings against you under the Petty Trespass Act.

We are not eager to see any of this take place, however, and so in response to your request as to how else this might be dealt with, it is certainly open to you to obtain legal counsel and for you and your counsel to explore whether your intent to dispute the legitimacy of our actions might most appropriately be dealt with:

(i) under the provisions of the provincial Human Rights Code, or

(ii) by initiating legal proceedings based on administrative law principles and the remedies available in respect of breach of the laws of natural justice or fairness as may apply to your circumstances.

This does not constitute legal advice nor does the University in any way suggest any such action would be appropriate or successful; however, you and your legal counsel could consider those or other alternatives and make an informed decision as to your best choice.
Concerning the new proceeding we understand you intend to file and serve on Professor George Bush, we will retain Mr. Meronek at D'Arcy & Deacon to represent Professor Bush and for purposes of service you may serve Mr. Chris Bowler at that office in Mr. Meronek's absence.

Under no circumstances are you to attempt to serve Mr. Bush yourself or attend at his residence for that purpose or the police will be called again.

In the circumstances, clearly the most prudent thing for you to consider is retaining legal counsel.

Where you are required to effect service, you should do so only through a process server or by contacting Mr. Bowler to arrange a convenient time for service of the document.
This will allow for the issues in dispute to be dealt with civilly and directly and not sidetracked in the criminal justice system, which I do not believe serves anyone's interests, least of all yours.

Colin Morrison
General Counsel & University Secretary
University of Winnipeg
Why was Colin Morrison giving me what he openly concedes was not "legal advice"? We'll see that in a way I asked for it. As for hiring a lawyer to defend Professor Bush, that's a story for another day. And as for the warning that "police will be called" if I attempt to effect personal service on Mr Bush in accordance with the Queen's Bench Rules...well, people can call the police all day long if they want, that doesn't mean I'm not allowed to serve papers.

If Professor Bush doesn't want me to serve papers on him, let him go to a judge and ask for a restraining order. We'll see how well that works out for him.

In which I test the waters

It was now or never. I had been warned by Colin Morrison, in-house lawyer for the University, that I would be charged with trespassing if I came back on campus, and he had suggested I pursue my grievance through more conventional channels. I did not find his suggestions helpful, and I told him so in the following words:

Dear Mr. Morrison:
Thank you for your helpful suggestions; however, I feel I will have little chance of success in pursuing my grievance unless I know exactly what Professor Bush told the security officer when he called to report on me. If you can provide me with this information I will agree to abide by the present trespassing order.
Marty Green

 I clicked "SEND" and later that afternoon headed off to the university. I entered by the rear doors on Ellice Avenue and walked up to the fourth floor "buffeteria", as they used to call it. After passing through it, I did a short tour of the campus, going here and there, and then decided maybe I'd done enough for one day. I was just heading for the rear doors when I saw a security guard coming my way. As calmly as I could, I just kept walking til we were almost abreast. Then, I don't know why, something got into me...without turning my head, I winked at him. I swear he almost jumped out of his boots. As he spun around and saw the "MATH WITH MARTY" logo emblazoned in fluorescent yellow on the back of my jacket, I heard him calling on his radio: "Code 210! Code 210!". By then I was out the door, and I just walked on down the street without looking back.

When I came back on Tuesday, they had beefed up the security detail. Again I entered and made my rounds. Fourth floor, third floor, second floor...I was greeted by one of my former classmates, and I told him I was about to get arrested. But so far I was still in the clear. I headed for the back door and made it out into the cold winter air. That's when I saw my other classmate having a smoke break on the back steps. I stopped to chat, and that's when security caught up with me.