Canadian pastor Artur Pawlowski, who says he has lost count of the criminal charges against him, was released from his most recent bout in prison on March 30 after spending 51 days in confinement.
“I will continue, continue to stand up for rights and do what’s right and will continue to fight against tyranny,” said Pawlowski, in a Facebook video posted Wednesday showing him arriving home after being released.
Pawlowski, who is pastor of Street Church in Calgary, Alberta, was arrested on Feb. 7 on charges of inciting mischief over $5,000 and interrupting the operation of essential infrastructure in a manner that renders it inoperative. Both Pawlowski and his lawyer allege he was kept in solitary confinement during his stay in prison.
Artur Pawlowski: ‘What God Told Us To Do’
Artur Pawlowski’s most recent arrest and charges relate to a rally he joined outside Milk River, Alberta, and a speech he gave in Coutts, Alberta, on Feb. 3. Beginning Jan. 29, protesters had put up a blockade in Coutts, which borders the U.S. north of Montana.
The Coutts blockade was one of several other similar protests taking place across Canada in response to federal mandates requiring all truckers traveling across borders to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The protests became a way of seeking to end all pandemic restrictions in the country, and they disrupted trade for weeks, particularly in Ottawa, Canada’s capital.
Prosecutor Steven Johnston said Pawlowski incited violence in his February speech at Coutts and that the truckers had agreed to end the blockade before the pastor encouraged them to stay.
There were multiple times during his speech when Pastor Artur Pawlowski emphasized that the protests should be peaceful, not violent, and should not involve guns or swords. However, he also made statements such as, “it’s about time for Canadians to rise up and start roaring” and it’s “time to take what’s rightfully ours.”
The pastor repeatedly urged his listeners not to give in, but to take a stand against the government, saying that they will far outnumber the members of the army or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who could stand against them.
Pawlowski also called civil authorities “Kenney’s mafia,” referring to Alberta’s premier, Jason Kenney. It was time for citizens to give Kenney an ultimatum to end pandemic restrictions, said Pawlowski, adding if the premier does not, he should “be very careful because you have never seen an angry Albertan yet.” Pawlowski immediately then said, “And again I’m not talking about violence, I’m not talking about swords and guns and all that stuff.” It was not clear, however, what Pawlowski was talking about beyond taking a “stand.”