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Calgary Police on Saturday arrested the Polish pastor who made international headlines last month for twice refusing to allow police and public health officials to disrupt his church service.
Pastor Artur Pawlowski and his brother, Dawid Pawlowski, were stopped on their way home from church by a motorcade of heavily armed police vehicles. Informed they were under arrest for allegedly violating Alberta’s Public Health Act, the two were removed from their car, placed on the wet ground in the middle of the highway, handcuffed, and dragged into police vans, according to video of the incident.
“You are Nazis!” Pawlowski yelled as they cuffed him. “You are Nazis! You Gestapo psychopaths! Gestapo psychopaths you are! Gestapo!”
A passerby heckled the police as they drove off, calling them “Nazi cowards” for how they were treating the pastor and his brother. “Go get your paycheck, you losers!”
A heavily-armed SWAT team just took down a Christian pastor heading home from church. Police say he’s charged with “inciting” people to go to church. This is the second pastor jailed this year. We’re crowdfunding his lawyers at https://t.co/bMwAj1iNfP pic.twitter.com/RZ913cQns3
— Ezra Levant 🍁🚛 (@ezralevant) May 8, 2021
The officers had showed up earlier at Pawlowski’s church, but they were ejected by a large group who had gathered in support of Pawlowski and his congregation.
— Adam Soos ⳩ (@ATSoos) May 8, 2021
“We All Must Comply”
Calgary Police said in a statement that both Pawlowskis were charged with organizing an illegal in-person gathering, as well as “requesting, inciting or inviting others” to join them. The statement also said in part:
On Thursday, May 6, 2021, AHS obtained a Court of Queen’s Bench Order that applies to gatherings including protests, demonstrations and rallies. This order imposes new restrictions on organizers of protests and demonstrations requiring compliance with public health orders including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits.
Earlier this morning, CPS lawfully enforced this order by proactively serving an organizer of a church service with the court order in an effort to ensure that citizens attending the Saturday service were abiding by the current COVID-19 public health orders. The order was served prior to the church service, and CPS did not enter the church during the service.
The service organizer acknowledged the injunction, but chose to ignore requirements for social distancing, mask wearing and reduced capacity limits for attendees, and continued with the event.
It is important to understand that law enforcement recognizes people’s desire to participate in faith-based gatherings as well as the right to protest. However, as we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, we all must comply with public health orders in order to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing.
Pawlowski had been expecting an arrest for weeks after he drew international attention for forcefully driving out an Alberta health inspector and armed police who entered his The Fortress (Cave) of Adullam church during an Easter worship service. When they returned weeks later to serve him a court order, he kicked them out again.
As The Daily Wire reported, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice David Gates authorized police and health officials on April 23 “to use such reasonable force as they deem appropriate to gain access” to the church building, according to a copy of the court order obtained by Rebel News.
The court order also forbid Pawlowski or anyone else from interfering with officials attempting to enter his church and, if he resists, permitted law enforcement “to do anything necessary” to arrest him, imprison him, and drag him before a judge.
In response to the recalcitrant owner of the Whistle Stop Café in the tiny central Alberta hamlet of Mirror, Alberta Health Services (AHS) obtained another court injunction on Thursday that allowed them to clamp down not just on the café owner, but “against all other organizers of advertised illegal gatherings and rallies breaching COVID-19 public health orders.”
“AHS has taken this step after repeated failed compliance of the Public Health Act, Executive Officer Orders, and CMOH Orders,” the agency said in a press release. “AHS strongly condemns the intentional disobeying of COVID-19 public health restrictions. It is extremely disappointing that people would knowingly put their fellow Albertans at risk by ignoring the current rules, particularly with increasing cases and the growing pressure on our healthcare system.”
Of the more than 4.4 million residents of Alberta, there have been approximately 207,000 cases of COVID-19 and 2,108 deaths, according to the latest statistics.
“That’s Why Walmart Is Not Shut Down”
Pawlowski, who grew up under the jackboot of the Soviets behind the Iron Curtain in Poland, has been sounding the alarm regarding what he perceives to be growing state tyranny in Western countries under the guise of public health.
During a recent interview with Canadian politician Maxime Bernier, Pawlowski explained his belief that forces are using the COVID-19 pandemic to destroy the middle class, leaving behind just the very rich and the very poor, who are easily controlled.
“You know, people are asking me a question, why they’re doing this? What is happening?” he said. “In order to control a society — and remember, you’re talking to a guy who grew up in a country like this — in order to control a society, you have to impoverish. So you have to take the money away from the people. Then you have to make them so busy that the only thing they can do is go to work just to provide for a loaf of bread. So what they are doing right now is they’re eliminating the middle class.”
“Middle-class people are highly educated and well-traveled. They’ve seen places, they’ve been places, so you cannot fool them. … Also, they’re eliminating small and medium businesses because small and medium businesses are the driving force of [an] economy in any country.”
Explaining how the financially independent, intergenerational nature of small and medium businesses is not conducive to elite control, Pawlowski said, “That’s why Walmart is not shut down. That’s why Costco is not shut down. That’s why the mega corporations are not shut down. That’s why. Because they want only extremely rich and extremely poor. Poland, under communism, had only two categories of people: extremely powerful and rich, and extremely poor. The powerful were 50,000 communists, and then 36 million slaves.”
“When Will They Come For You?”
Pawlowski is not the first pastor to be arrested for allegedly violating Alberta’s public health order. In February, Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church near Edmonton was arrested and jailed in a maximum security prison for more than a month after continuing to hold church services.
A court later ruled that Coates would not be allowed to challenge the constitutional validity of Alberta’s Public Health Act during his trial on May 3 and 4, and that the government were not required to offer scientific evidence justifying the public health order. The judge also reportedly allowed Coates’ prosecutor to remain anonymous.
This is bizarre. The Christian pastor in Edmonton, Canada, who was imprisoned for 35 days for not closing his church is on trial again. But the prosecutor insists that she remain secret & the judge has gone along with it. A secret prosecutor? Who is she & what is she hiding? https://t.co/DeAQMFcqff
— Ezra Levant 🍁🚛 (@ezralevant) May 4, 2021
Canadian MP Derek Sloan of Ontario, who has publicly supported both Coates and Pawlowski in their battles with the Alberta government, excoriated the Calgary Police for their behavior, tweeting, “They came for Pastor Artur Powlowski yesterday, just as they came for Pastor James Coates 3 months ago. He’s been charged with ‘inciting’ people to worship God. Who will they come for next? And when will they come for you?”
They came for Pastor Artur Powlowski yesterday, just as they came for Pastor James Coates 3 months ago. He's been charged with “inciting” people to worship God. Who will they come for next? And when will they come for you?#cdnpoli #EndTheLockdowns https://t.co/f5EDScfzOL
— Derek Sloan (@TrueDerekSloan) May 9, 2021