It's been no secret that since the start of the pandemic Canada has been among the most stringent enforcers of lockdown and strict "stay at home" policies on its population, which has resulted in many Canadians literally having to "sneak around" to simply visit relatives or friends, often under the dark of night lest they get ticketed and receive a steep fine. In many cases churches and synagogues, especially in major cities, have also been shut or at least severely limited in terms of numbers of congregants that can assemble.
Over Easter weekend, one pastor in Alberta had enough, and his filmed standoff with police as they sought entry into his church has now gone viral...
BREAKING: A Polish pastor just threw out the police who tried to shut down his church in Calgary pic.twitter.com/QjoNx1W47y— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) April 4, 2021
Pastor Artur Pawlowski had shared the full, nearly five minute-long video, to his Facebook page:
"Please get out, get out of this property, immediately get out," Pawlowski yelled as no less than six police officers planted themselves at the entrance to his church. "Get out of this property immediately."
The hesitant police acted as if they weren't used to encountering resistance to their seeking to shut down a religious assembly:
"I don’t want to hear a word," he told the officers. "Out! Out! Out of this property immediately until you come back with a warrant, out."
When the officers continue standing there and do not leave, Pawlowski continues to shout "out!" several times.
"Immediately go out and don’t come back," he shouted. When a police officer tries to speak to him, Pawlowski tells her "I don’t want to talk to you, not a word. Out of this property."
Eventually the officers retreated out the door and through the lawn as the pastor become more irate.
“I don’t care what you have to say, out!” the pastor repeated. "Out of this property you Nazis. Out! Gestapo is not allowed here."
Attentive viewers will recognize that Christian pastor as Artur Pawlowski. He was the very first client of our civil liberties project. @CalgaryPolice thugs fined him $1,200 for feeding the homeless. I'm not kidding -- here's the video: https://t.co/eKbFVrbrg8— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@ezralevant) April 4, 2021
"Do you understand English? Get out of this property," he added as they departed.
According to Fox News, the pastor had been repeatedly harassed by police related to "Covid violations":
The Calgary Herald reported that Pawlowski has been fined multiple times over COVID-19 violations. The paper pointed out that churches there can hold services, but have to keep their attendances below 15% and follow guidelines like wearing masks.
The CTV News report identified the officials in the video as members of the police service, Alberta Health Services and City of Calgary Bylaw Services.
"Our inspectors have an important job to do and we ask that business owners and organizations treat them with respect," the health service said. "We stand by all of our public health inspectors who are doing an incredible job in trying and challenging circumstances."
The church where the confrontation occurred:
“We do not wish to disrupt anyone’s holidays or religious or spiritual events, however, we must support our partner agencies when called upon to help ensure everyone can safely celebrate these occasions.” https://t.co/WPNDDbROF2— Global Calgary (@GlobalCalgary) April 4, 2021
It wasn't the first such example of police trying to shut down services from the holiday weekend; however, it certainly was a rare instance of the pastor appearing to be victorious over police and their draconian 'Covid crackdown' measures.