Lawyer assails Surrey mayor Dianne Watts on George W. Bush and international law

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      A Vancouver-based lawyer who wants former U.S. president George W. Bush arrested for war crimes has slammed Surrey mayor Dianne Watts for suggesting the international courts can take care of the issue.

      “As you know, we can’t take George Bush to the International Criminal Court, except for offences committed on the territory of states that are party to the International Criminal Court—such as extraordinary rendition in Europe—because the United States isn’t a party in the court,” Gail Davidson of the group Lawyers Against the War, told the Straight during a media scrum on the street outside the Sheraton in Guildford today (October 20).

      Earlier today, Watts told the Straight, “I absolutely support freedom of speech, and we’ve got some passionate people out there, that are really passionate about their cause, and I applaud that.

      Watts said, “We do have an international court. I think, through that process, if someone is charged, tried and arrested, sentenced, then that’s that process that that goes through. So I would just leave it at that.”

      Later on, outside the venue, DJ Ball from the Vancouver branch of the group We are Change asserted there had been “many attempts to convey the legal ramifications” of Bush’s visit to the Surrey mayor.

      “We’ve been working for months providing her with the documents of the laws that she’s breaking in hosting this confessed torturer,” he said.

      A crowd of protesters gathered today outside the Surrey Regional Economic Summit, where Bush made a speaking appearance with former president Bill Clinton.

      Watts was the city-organized conference’s honorary chair.


      Surrey mayor Dianne Watts talks about George W. Bush at the Surrey Regional Economic Summit.

      Comments

      12 Comments

      Elizabeth King

      Oct 20, 2011 at 4:25pm

      How about focusing on the point Dianne Watts makes that this summit is an attempt to bring a diverse group of people together to discuss how to create change. I admire her patience with the torturous questions asked by the interviewer. Instead of being part of the future and creating change these questions were specious and focused on perceived past wrongs.

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      DJBALL604

      Oct 20, 2011 at 4:36pm

      Next year Dianne will get Willy Pickton to speak at the Summit. He's replacing Clifford Olson.
      Besides murdering and torturing human beings only makes good business sense.

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      Lawson1945

      Oct 20, 2011 at 6:32pm

      We know these lawyers are half baked in the first place just trying to may a name for themselves for their personal political reasons, not fo you!

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      T. P. Snyders

      Oct 20, 2011 at 7:53pm

      Why should the rule of law not serve to protect the powerless from the powerful?
      Why should we obey the basic principles our leaders flout?
      Why shouldn't I torture someone - maybe they're an evil-doer, too and deserve it just as much?
      Serious questions for serious times, said with acid and tongue in cheek.

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      George B

      Oct 20, 2011 at 10:01pm

      I live in Surrey and there's no way I'm voting for this woman. She's brought shame for Canada.

      Today I was ashamed to be Canadian. Canada is increasingly becoming a safe haven for war criminals.

      Bye bye Diane Watts!

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      Allison Turner

      Oct 21, 2011 at 12:06pm

      It's not that Watts knows nothing about international law, it's that she doesn't care. Ignoring violations of the convention against torture suggests that she views her meeting as more important.

      People like Bush will only be held to account for their actions when countries show courage and do what's right, without people like Watts in a position of power.

      This will only happen when governments consistently uphold internationally-recognized human rights, which is becoming less and less the case in Canada.

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      Purple Crow

      Oct 21, 2011 at 12:52pm

      Anyone associated with torture to the degree Bush is speaks volumes about who his friends are and about those who support him.

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      DJBALL604

      Oct 21, 2011 at 1:12pm

      Diane Watts , The Harper Clownshow at Immigration and Surrey RCMP sent a loud message to the scumbags around the world.
      Canada is a safe haven for torturers and open for business.

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      james green

      Oct 23, 2011 at 12:26pm

      I really like Watts and believe she is a good mayor. Yet I wonder why she brought Bush ,a president who chalked up one of the biggest debts in US history to a summit on the economy. Was he there to speak about how not to run an economy. If so she was right inviting him.
      To be clear Bush's war in Irag has cost the country over $800 billion to date. DId he talk about this and is he expert enough to inspired and give Surrey away to build a strong economy?
      Diane, I am confused.

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      Trevor

      Oct 23, 2011 at 5:53pm

      I feel for Dianne. lol. Not her job tho, she's right. Even Canada's job? Still, get real fellow citizens....you and what army will HOLD him against the wishes of America? 30,000,000 vs 330,000,000???? Ya right....they are our brothers.....stop driving for blood oil cars before you start slamming your fellow man.

      I can understand the needs of the many is a great responsibility. I hope one day we get iVote ap to vote alongside our leaders but am thankful they take the tough jobs to take good care of us as best as they can.

      You can't start crap about this, it's suicidal to even think so. Loved the line up of police keeping the line held and order upheld.

      I might not agree with the order but go vote....and if voting is so important, it should be done DAILY alongside our leaders on municipal, provincial, and federal decisions alongside our leaders....hell, even a paid iVote, 1 dollar per vote towards goals in diff areas...(like how Red Cross has a Japan relief earthquake fund set up, Pay Pal, the works, but going towards roads, bridges w/o tolls, transit, upgrades out of citizen pocket but in great numbers, can make awesome things alongside our leaders...)

      But of a rant here. Forgive the man for doing what had to be done. I have. Enjoy your ride to work tomorrow....I'm gonna bike in and one day upgrade the bike to an electric engine one....650 @ Rocky Cycle, 72 & KG for one....150/month for insurance....it'll pay for itself!

      ...then carry on ranting about how the Govt is evil....I'm just glad it's TOP Evil! ;)

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