Street preacher given trespassing ticket for City Hall demonstration

January 31, 2012 6:12 PM

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Activist pastor Art Pawlowski (pointing) returned to City Hall on Tuesday to protest his one-year ban from the building. Police handed him a trespassing ticket. Photograph by: Jason Markusoff

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Street preacher Art Pawlowski signs a form outside the mayor’s office Monday. He demanded to see Mayor Naheed Nenshi, whom he brands as anti-Christian. the mayor is Muslim. Photograph by: Jason Markusoff  

CALGARY — In what has become a Tuesday noontime spectacle, street preacher Art Pawlowski and his followers once again held a service in the atrium of City Hall and decried perceived persecution by police and security officials.

Pawlowski was not arrested by officers even after refusing to leave during an hour of prayer and singing, and then pushing his way past city security personnel as he marched toward the mayor’s office.

Instead, he and his followers hung around outside the mayor’s office for 10 minutes and then left, with Pawlowski saying he wanted a meeting with Mayor Naheed Nenshi within a week.

Pawlowski and his brother were issued tickets for trespassing.

Last week, the preacher was banned from City Hall for a year following a similar gathering.

Pawlowski has refused to seek a permit to hold gatherings at City Hall, a rule by which all other groups, religious or otherwise, must abide.

He accuses Nenshi of being against the Christian faith.

Nenshi, a Muslim, is noted for routinely attending and supporting Christian services and meetings.

Pawlowski has had previous run-ins with city officials, over his use of loudspeakers when street preaching.

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