In 1988, the iconoclastic Charles Roach launched a battle against the Canadian government to remove the oath to the Queen as a condition of Canadian citizenship. In 1992, the Court of Appeal threw his case out, but in 2012 Roach, battling a life threatening illness, launched a similar suit: “I cannot see myself taking the oath to a symbol that is racist…. It is against fundamental freedoms.” Roach’s fight for fundamental freedoms and his moral outrage at the notion of having to pledge allegiance to a British monarcha figure who for him represented colonization and slaverytypified the life’s work of one of Canada’s most important Civil Rights activists and champions.

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