An anti-lockdown Canadian pastor who was arrested earlier this month for preaching to Canadian truckers in Coutts, Alberta, has reportedly been thrown in solitary confinement where he has been on a hunger strike for two weeks.
Pastor Artur Pawlowski was arrested on February 8, before he left his house to perform a church service for the truckers who had set up a blockade on the Alberta-Montana border to protest vaccine passports. He has been charged with mischief over $5,000, aiding and abetting the blocking of critical infrastructure, and for breaching the bail condition for “not keeping the peace,” stemming from a previous arrest.
The pastor, who has been arrested multiple times throughout the pandemic for opposing restrictions, remained quiet for most of the arrest while his brother Dawid hurled blistering invectives at the arresting officers.
“I do not cooperate with Nazis,” Pawlowski said after the cops complained that he wouldn’t stand up.
Pastor Pawlowski called Calgary Chief of Police Mark Neufeld a “disgrace to the uniform” and blasted Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in a phone call with the the Christian Post from prison.
“Pawlowski accused Kenney of hypocrisy for not abiding by the coronavirus restrictions he imposed on the people of Alberta,” the outlet reported.
Dawid read a statement from his brother on Feb. 10 describing the abusive conditions of the jail.
“He was strip searched twice and checked for contraband,” Dawid began.
He was forced to go to the bathroom with an officer present and watching. They locked him twice in a small cage resembling a dog kennel with no air circulation, suffocating him for many hours, all without water to drink. After that, he was subjugated to a hard bench three times for hours on end all without any water to drink. When they took him back to his cell, his room was all upside down, flipped and searched for contraband. His bible was confiscated, and his narrated letter that was written to his lawyer was also confiscated.
“The totalitarian regime here in Canada is cracking down on any and all political opposition,” said Pawlowski’s son Nathan said on Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast on Monday. The younger Pawlowski said his father has been fasting since he was put in jail two weeks ago.
During a 20 minute speech to the truckers on February 3, Pastor Pawlowski urged them to hold the line and stand their ground without resorting to violence.
“Because of that speech, the government is claiming that he is responsible for the continuation of the trucker blockade down on the border,” Nathan said, going on to explain that his father was arrested at home before he could address the protesters again.
“An undercover minivan staked out our house, and they got him—they arrested him,” Nathan told Bannon. “He has been behind bars, in solitary confinement 23 hours a day with only one hour to contact family and friends and lawyers—for doing his job and practicing his constitutional rights.”
Nathan said his father has been denied bail twice.
Lethbridge Judge Erin Olsen on Feb. 17 agreed with the government’s concerns that the pastor “will re-offend and undermine the public’s confidence in the administration of justice, if he is released,” the Lethbridge Herald reported.
“There is a substantial likelihood that the accused will, if released from custody, commit a criminal offence or interfere with the administration of justice,” Olsen said. “The accused’s pattern of behaviour speaks volumes about his willful commission of offences and/or violations of court and public health orders.”
Indeed, Pawlowski has butted heads with Canadian authorities repeatedly throughout the pandemic. He has been arrested for holding a church services in violation of worship restrictions and for protesting outside the home of Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping.
A video of Pawlowski calling local police Nazis and Gestapo for entering his church on Easter Sunday to enforce coronavirus restrictions went viral last year.
Pawlowski and Dawid were arrested on New Year’s Day 2022 for allegedly breaking a court order.
The brothers were arrested on their way home from a protest against COVID rules and jab mandates that was held outside of the house of Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping.
“I guess in a kind of new Iron Curtain of Chinada you’re not allowed to voice your dissatisfaction with the wicked, evil, lying, deceiving, corrupted government official,” Pawlowski told Rebel News from jail after the Jan. 1 arrest. “I was handcuffed, arrested for breach, for mischief, and for obstruction, for whatever reason, I don’t really know, but those are the charges that I am facing.”
Artur and his brother Dawid emigrated to Canada from Poland, and the pastor become known for comparing the actions of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to what he saw growing up behind the Iron Curtain.
Rebel News publisher Ezra Levant said on his talk show that the latest arrest of the Christian pastor was an example of how “authoritarian Canada” has become a virtual police state. “This was clearly an attempt to stop him from expressing himself politically to these truckers,” Levant said.
Nathan Pawlowski told Bannon that Trudeau’s government now has a “vendetta” against his father and he’s become a “political prisoner.”
“They keep denying him bail because I believe the charges are trumped up—they’re made up charges, and they know they’re not going to stick,” Nathan said. “So the only way they can get revenge on him—because he embarrassed them and exposed them on a global level—is by keeping him behind bars and denying him bail.”
Cindy Chafian, the executive director of Moms For America Action, said told Bannon that Pastor Pawlowski has been an inspiration to Canadians throughout the pandemic, encouraging them to stand up for their rights, and because of this, Trudeau’s government has “imprisoned him to keep him silent.”