Canadian pastor Artur Pawlowski was arrested on Saturday for committing the crime of holding a church service, which violated Alberta's public health orders.
Pawlowski, who went viral last month for the video of him kicking Canadian police and a health official out of his church while calling them "gestapo," held church service on Saturday in Alberta where "dozens were congregating without masks, with no regard for physical distancing," according to the Calgary Herald.
BREAKING: Less than an hour after Pastor Artur Pawlowski hosted this “illegal” church service in Calgary, he was sw… https://t.co/IfbiW755q3— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@Ezra Levant 🍁) 1620503404.0
Video shows supporters of Pawlowski scream at Calgary Police as they leave the church.
Artur Pawlowski's supporters have ejected Calgary Police from the church. We expect they will return in force.… https://t.co/h20Z8OEjmA— Adam Soos ⳩ (@Adam Soos ⳩) 1620493535.0
However, less than an hour after the church service, Pawlowski was arrested by police, who he famously labeled as "Nazis" the last time authorities came to his church to serve him court papers. The car that Pawlowski was traveling in was pulled over on a highway by at least six police vehicles. The Calgary Police informed Pawlowski and his brother Dawid Pawlowski that they were being arrested for violating the public health orders for gatherings because of Saturday's church service.
An onlooker yellsed at police, "Shame on you guys, this is not Communist China. Don't you have family and kids? Whatever happened to 'Canada, God keep our land glorious and free?'"
A heavily-armed SWAT team just took down a Christian pastor heading home from church. Police say he’s charged with… https://t.co/d4xDiLKiQf— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@Ezra Levant 🍁) 1620516112.0
Earlier this afternoon, my fellow pastor Artur Pawlowski was arrested in Calgary for the crime of holding a church… https://t.co/eAl2XeZ3FI— Pastor Henry Hildebrandt (@Pastor Henry Hildebrandt) 1620511193.0
The city of Calgary issued a statement on the arrest of Pawlowski and his brother by the Calgary Police Services:
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.
The arrests come after the Alberta Health Services obtained a Court of Queen's Bench Order on Thursday that cracks down on all gatherings, protests, and rallies in the name of public health during the coronavirus pandemic. The order imposes new coronavirus-related restrictions on gatherings, and requires the use of face masks, social distancing, and attendance limits.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police issued a statement about enforcing the order.
"Law enforcement agencies can act immediately under this injunction, without the necessity of Alberta Health Services attendance," the RCMP said. "There are a variety of ways to enforce this order, including the ability to issue tickets, fines and criminal charges to individuals who are breaking public health orders by organizing and/or attending these events. This can include arrest and removal any person who has notice of this Order and chooses to act in violation of it."
Artur and Dawid Pawlowski were both arrested for breaching the Queen's Bench Order for holding Saturday's church service, and charged with organizing an illegal in-person gathering, including requesting, inciting or inviting others to attend an illegal public gathering, promoting and attending an illegal public gathering.
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