Canadian pastor Artur Pawlowski, who expelled police from his church after trying to shut down a worship service during Holy Week, and his brother, Dawid Pawlowski, have been arrested for holding an ‘illegal’ in-person gathering according to COVID -19 limits set by new court order.
Referring to the Pawlowskis of Street Church in Calgary, Alta., the Calgary Police Department said in a statement that its officers had “legally enforced” the court order by arresting the two men after the church.
Video posted to YouTube shows the Calgary Police Department dispatched at least five police vehicles to arrest the two on the street. The brothers knelt in the road and refused to walk alone during the arrest.
A voice can be heard telling the officers, “Shame on you guys, it’s not Communist China. You don’t have family and children? What happened to ‘Canada, God keep our land glorious and free?’ »
In its statement, the Calgary Police Department said it “proactively” served “an organizer of a religious service with the court order to ensure that citizens attending the Saturday service complied with the orders of current public health of COVID-19”.
“This order imposes new restrictions on organizers of demonstrations and protests requiring compliance with public health orders, including masking, physical distancing and limits on attendance,” he said.
The Pawlowski brothers “have both been arrested and charged with arranging an unlawful assembly in person, including requesting, inducing or inviting others to attend an unlawful public assembly, promoting and attending a unlawful public gathering,” he added.
The Calgary Police Service said law enforcement ‘recognizes people’s desire to participate in faith-based gatherings as well as the right to protest’ but seeks ‘to ensure the safety and well-being of each one”.
Artur Pawlowski, who was born in Poland and lived under Soviet rule for part of his childhood, shared a video documenting the police visit to his church last month.
In this video, Pawlowski can be seen calmly greeting officials at the front door. The public health official presented Pawlowski with a warrant, perhaps hoping to avoid the type of confrontation that unfolded three weeks ago during Holy Week. He told them not to come back without a warrant.
While recording the encounter, one of the police officers accompanying the public health officer told Pawlowski, “You don’t have to enter his personal space,” as he tried to zoom in on the paperwork with his phone.
“You are in my personal space,” Pawlowski replied.
When the public health worker asked to “explain” why she was there, Pawlowski remarked that he was “not really interested in what you have to say.” He agreed, however, to re-read the documents she had given him.
“What we want to do is make sure we’re not going to disrupt any church services,” she said. She expressed a desire to “explain the order, serve the order and then we can stand in the back”.
“No no No No No No! You can contact my lawyer,” he replied. “My lawyer is on it. I’m not interested in listening to any word you have to say. I’m not cooperating with the Gestapo. I’m not talking to the Nazis. You came in uniform like thugs. That’s what you are.”
Pawlowski also called the officials “brownshirts” and “Nazi Gestapo communist fascists”, reiterating that “I don’t cooperate with the Nazis”.
The Calgary Police Department released a statement at the time suggesting their attendance at the church was warranted due to a concern that “those in attendance were not adhering to the government’s COVID-19 public health orders, which are in place to ensure everyone’s safety.
In the earlier video, which showed police attempting to shut down the church during Holy Week, Pawlowski received applause from people around the world for his actions in forcefully ordering law enforcement – including a policeman and a public health officer – to leave church property after their hiatus. an Easter Mass.
the video documenting his encounter with local law enforcement has gone viral, receiving over 3 million views.
Throughout the video, Pawlowski is seen telling law enforcement officials to “get out.” He also ordered that they “not return without a warrant” and called them “Gestapo” and “Nazi psychopaths”. About a minute into the video, they began to leave the property.