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"People become good by doing good:
it is rare that a person is good by nature alone.
Goodness does not exist so one can make use of it.
Goodness does not flow from a place of weakness but one of power."
~ Robert Dziekanski

It was a beautiful morning in Kamloops yesterday [Saturday, November 17, 2007] as hundreds of local, national and international citizens and media came to honour, mourn and witness at the funeral for Robert Dziekanski, the Polish man police tasered to death at Vancouver's International Airport.

Amazingly I happen to live in the very city Robert was planning to make his new home in Canada - the city where his mother Zofia Cisowski has lived for seven years and in which she had prepared for him to join her.

It is also amazing that the cause of Robert's death - tasering by police - is an issue I have been writing and warning about for the entire seven-year existence of my ORWELL TODAY website. It was the very issue of police use of tasers - along with cameras and helicopters - that had resulted in my being escorted out of Kamloops City Hall seven years ago by five police officers who the mayor had called to "shut me down", and about which I have written in COP CAMERAS & TASER GUNS and ODE TO FRUITLOOPS and now today I've scanned the newspaper coverage in TASER-TALK NO-NO.

With the death of Robert Dziekanski by police taser - just one of hundreds of others around the world but unique in that it was caught on camera - the issue was literally "brought home" to me, and that gave me a personal connection to this latest tragedy.

I believe that Robert's death represents a fork in the road, or a turning point for Canada.

If, as a nation, we allow the police to get away with what they did to Robert - in effect, holding them above the law - there will be no stopping them, and we will have unleashed the dogs of war, and the war will be against we, the people.

In other words, Canada will have devolved into a Police State - no different than those of the Soviet Union and Communist China and every other nation in the world run by such inhumane systems as Orwell so tellingly described in "1984".

It is now or never for freedom in Canada.

If our government holds the police accountable and punishes them for their criminal acts, there is hope for our future as a free nation. If NOT, we are doomed.

Therefore, I believe that Robert Dziekanski will go down in history as a person God chose to use as an instrument of His peace at this particular juncture in time, as a trumpet-call to us all.

For the benefit of the millions of people around the world who have been jolted into awareness by Robert Dziekanski's death - but were unable to attend the memorial service - I'm sharing the photos below followed by news articles covering the event. ~ Jackie Jura

Funeral Home

Flowers & Pews

Video Wall Music Quartet Flowers Cross

Consul Poland                  Polish Congress              Mother Bagnell
(Consul General of Poland)          (Pres Polish Cdn Congress)         (Mother of Robert Bagnell)

Photo Display

Photos 1 Photos 2 Photos 3

Mourners eulogize man, express outrage
by Jennifer Saltman, CanWest News, Sunday, November 18, 2007

KAMLOOPS -- As her son's 40 years played out before her in photos and song, Zofia Cisowski told mourners the story of Robert Dziekanski's life at his funeral yesterday. "This is at home. ... This is my brother's wife. ... Robert was a godfather," she explained in a strong but tear-choked voice. Friends had worried the grief-stricken mother wouldn't be able to attend the funeral, but she sat in the front row, flanked and supported by friends and family.

Dziekanski died after he was Tasered and restrained by four RCMP officers at Vancouver International Airport on Oct. 14.

Speakers shared stories about his life and expressed their frustration, anger and outrage over how he died. Dziekanski was born an only child in Bielawa, a town of 30,000 in southwest Poland near the Czech border. His voyage to Kamloops to live with his mother was the first time Dziekanski had left his country. He arrived in Canada with only three suitcases. In one, he packed clothing and gifts. The other two were filled with geography books, atlases and Polish geography magazines. "I have it on good authority that he knew more about Canada than most of us that live here," said Father Nicholas Forde. Dziekanski read voraciously, and North America and Canada were his favourite subjects.

Cisowski's friend Jurek Baltakis said Dziekanski spent more than nine hours at the airport before his death, "lost, confused, thirsty and hungry, and ignored by all." Baltakis' disbelief and anger were echoed by other speakers.

"We all share similar sentiments regarding the manner in which his life came to a catastrophic and abrupt end. After seven years of waiting, Dziekanski arrived to his utopia, Vancouver. Ten hours later, he was dead.," said the Polish consul-general, Maciej Krych.

"We support institutions, we defend them, but they are not always just. They failed Robert", Father Waldemar Karciarz told the mourners. "What happened the other day to that lovely son of yours was brought about by a whole slew of misunderstandings, ordinances that added up to nothing, that read well on a piece of paper but put into practice were just foolish", Father Nicholas Forde echoed.

Ludwik Tokarczuk, president of the Polish-Canadian Kongres of B.C., promised that the people responsible for Dziekanski's death will be brought to justice. His wife, Danuta, called the actions of airport customs officials and RCMP officers inexcusable. "I'm appalled that such a simple procedure ... would end up in such a tragic way," she said. "Somebody died, and it shouldn't happen. I'm angry."

After the service, a red-eyed and unsteady Zofia Cisowski spoke briefly to the media. "I just like to thank you all who came today to Robert's ceremony. I hope that everyone will remember my son Robert as a good, loving boy, a good, loving human being. My family loved him so much they cry all the time. "I love him so much." Half of Dziekanski's ashes will be laid to rest in Kamloops. His mother will take the other half to be buried in Poland.

"The Polish community and the community at large are expecting some answers and demanding that the agencies involved will admit that what happened was wrong, and also to make sure that this will not occur in the future."

Trudy Dirk, formerly of the Kamloops Immigrant Society, said she was sad that Canada let down a woman who was so devoted to her adopted country. "Robert was her shining light," she said. "A day that should have been one of the happiest of her life turned into a terrible, heartbreaking tragedy. "I'm appalled by the events that led to Robert's death."

Ricki Bagnall, also spoke at the memorial service. Her son Robert died after being tasered by police in a Vancouver hotel room in 2004. "The deaths of our son has become a focal point in an international anti-Taser campaign. People all over the world are taking note of the brutal side effects of this supposedly less-than-lethal form of subjugation," Bagnall said.

After the service, a red-eyed and unsteady Zofia Cisowski spoke briefly to the media. "I just like to thank you all who came today to Robert's ceremony. I hope that everyone will remember my son Robert as a good, loving boy, a good, loving human being. My family loved him so much they cry all the time. "I love him so much." Half of Dziekanski's ashes will be laid to rest in Kamloops. His mother will take the other half to be buried in Poland.


1.Winston's Diary (...He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear. But so long as he uttered it, in some obscure way the continuity was not broken. It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage....)


Canada cop-taser victim recalled fondly in Polish hometown. Vancouver Sun, Jul 20, 2008

Taser Mom. Stun-gun probe upsets victim's mom ('cops trying to discredit his reputation'). CanCom/AOL, May 10, 2008

Canada cops taser 82-yr-old patient ("corporal said to guys 'Ok, get him', then bang, bang, bang 3 times"). CBC, May 10, 2008. Go to CANADA'S COPS UNLEASHED & ANIMAL FARM DOGS

Taser Oxygen Cops taser patient on oxygen tank (spark could have blown sky-high). Canada Press, May 9, 2008

Taser parties a growing USA trend (cops selling stun-guns to women). BBC, May 10, 2008. Go to SHOCKING STUN GUN CIVILIANS & 40.Electric Shock Brainwashing

Vancouver cops buy 70 more tasers (so each can have own stun gun). Canadian Press, Nov 19, 2007

Hundreds mourn Robert Dziekanski. Vancouver Sun, Nov 18, 2007
When Robert Dziekanski's mother saw him for the last time before he was cremated, she placed on his body two National Geographic magazine covers. One depicted Poland, his home of 40 years. The other, British Columbia, the paradise where he dreamed of joining his mother, Zofia Cisowski, to start a new life. That new life had only just begun when it was over. Shortly after passing through immigration, Dziekanski was dead, having been Tasered twice, then restrained by RCMP officers at Vancouver International Airport. The tragic nature of his death - captured in graphic video released last week by Victoria resident Paul Pritchard - drew nearly 600 total strangers to a memorial service at Kamloops Funeral Home Saturday, and hundreds more to a vigil at Vancouver's airport. It was only through photographs and second-hand stories that the standing-room-only crowd in Kamloops was able to piece together a picture of a man they never got to meet. Dziekanski's ashes sat at the front of the chapel in a small box adorned with his image, upon which stood a photograph of Pope John Paul II. Cisowski is saving up to return to Poland to bury a portion of her son's ashes...

Taser death was murder: Widow. National Post, Nov 19, 2007
GLIWICE, POLAND - The widow of a Polish immigrant who died after an altercation with police at Vancouver airport last month said Robert Dziekanski kept a Canadian flag above the door to their tiny bedroom, but gave it to a friend before leaving to join his mother in British Columbia. "When Robert left he told me, 'Ella, if I go to the Rocky Mountains, and if I see a grizzly bear, I will walk up to it and kiss it," said Elzbieta Dubon in an interview. Ms. Dubon, grief-stricken throughout her first interview with the Canadian media, managed a faint smile when asked what Canada meant to her common-law husband of eight years. "Make sure he knows that I am smiling," Ms. Dubon, 46, said to a Polish interpreter while she nodded to a Canadian journalist. The smile was brief. Then she stood, pulled the interpreter and journalist to her and moaned incomprehensible words of sorrow into their chests. Four Mounties using Tasers subdued an agitated Mr. Dziekanski at the Vancouver airport in October. Mr. Dziekanski died soon after being shocked with the weapons. The officers' actions, she said, can't be explained: "They are murderers." Ms. Dubon described Mr. Dziekanski, 40, as a "great man" and an animal lover who adored his mother, was respected by friends and had a "fanatic" passion for geography. She said the police asked Mr. Dziekanski's mother why his suitcase was packed with geography books and atlases. "It was because those textbooks were his life," Ms. Dubon said....

Safety Minister refuses to comment over use of Taser. CRFA Ottawa, Nov 18, 2007
Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day refuses to comment over the use of a Taser on a man who died at the Vancouver Airport last month. But Day says he wishes Canadians were as outraged over impaired driving deaths as they are over the death of a Polish immigrant shot with a Taser by the RCMP. Day told a crowd in BC this weekend that the death of Robert Dziekanski was tragic and it was right that the nation was aghast because he died needlessly. But he points out drunk driving accidents also claims countless lives and no one seems shocked.


BC Premier hasn't seen taser video yet (just watched part of it). CBC, Nov 15, 2007
Premier Gordon Campbell says a video recording released Wednesday shows there is room for improvement in the way police use Tasers. "I've seen part of the tape," Campbell said Thursday. "I haven't had a chance to see the whole tape. Obviously it's very disturbing to me and to others who have seen it, and obviously we can learn from it and do much better." Campbell was one of several politicians commenting Thursday on a video recording of Robert Dziekanski dying at Vancouver International Airport after being stunned by RCMP with at least two hits from a Taser during the early morning hours on Oct. 14. B.C. Solicitor General John Les said Tasers are not as lethal as a service revolver, and they have been used consistently over the past years with just two fatalities associated with them in B.C. since 2005. Six people have died in police Taser-related incidents in B.C. since 2003...It is up to the Criminal Justice Branch, headed by B.C. Attorney General Wally Oppal, to appoint a special prosecutor. Special prosecutors are non-government lawyers who are appointed to oversee cases that may place Crown prosecutors in a conflict of interest. Oppal, who is meeting with other provincial justice ministers in Winnipeg, said Thursday he wants to hear the police side of the story before making any decisions. He said that like anyone else, he was shocked by the video of Robert Dziekanski's death Oct. 14 at the Vancouver airport, but he is not considering a moratorium on Taser use. Other provincial justice ministers said they're not rushing to judge the use of Tasers, despite the number of people who have died after being zapped by the guns. At least eighteen people have died in Taser-related incidents across Canada since 2003. Manitoba Justice Minister Dave Chomiak said there is no conclusive evidence that proves Tasers cause death....

Use of tasers up 57% in Canada. Van Sun, Nov 17, 2007
Municipal police forces in B.C.'s Lower Mainland have dramatically increased their use of the Taser over the past two years, deploying it 57 per cent more often in 2006 than in 2005, according to statistics compiled by the provincial government. The figures come as Kamloops prepared for the funeral today of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski, who died Oct. 14 after being shocked several times with the weapon by four RCMP officers at Vancouver airport. Dziekanski's mother lives in Kamloops. Video of Dziekanski's death, which was released this week to the media, sparked worldwide attention on the use of the stun weapons. In 2006, the Lower Mainland's six municipal forces - not including the RCMP - deployed the Taser a total of 152 times, according to figures collected by the Police Services Division. That's up from 97 deployments in 2005, a 57 per cent increase....When police in B.C. first began using the device in 2000, they argued it would serve as an alternative to their firearm - stunning dangerous criminals who might otherwise be shot. Instead, said Mollard, police seem to often rely on the Taser to subdue non-dangerous suspects who could be dealt with in other ways - such as Robert Dziekanski. "It's clear that we've drifted," he said. "Instead of an option of last resort, the Taser has become an option of almost first resort."

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~