THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
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Opening comments: More at the end.
The CANCER on Democracy Developing in City halls - BANNING those who are
Toronto Star June 15, 2006 - Political Notebook - with files from Mike Funston.
Activist charged in assault
Self-styled citizen advocate Donald Barber went to Mississauga Council last week to raise objections to a proposed housing development and wound up in the slammer.
Barber was arrested by Peel Region police on two assault charges, for allegedly pushing a female security guard and stepping on her foot and for allegedly causing a disturbance. He was released the following day and will appear in court June 30.
The incident began when Barber was told he couldn't speak at public question period unless the subject was on that day's agenda, which it wasn't.
This represented a change in a long-standing practice of Mayor Hazel McCallion, who allowed citizens to speak on any subject at public question period.
There had been no formal announcement of the change, so Barber and another citizen in attendance, Roy Willis, were trying to get an explanation as to why they couldn't speak.
It was explained to them but an ensuing argument resulted in Barber and Willis being ejected by security guards.
Barber left the building and was arrested later that day by police.
[COMMENTS BY DON B. - ]
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