The BC Civil Liberties Association is heading north to host a workshop aimed at teaching protesters their rights.
BCCLA’s Laura Track is leading the workshop, and says it is to insure that people know how to keep themselves safe when they’re participating in a protest, and so that they know their legal rights.
“99% of the time, protests go really well,” Track said. “Everything is just fine, everything is safe, the police are there keeping people safe. But everyone once in a while, things go sideways, and the contact protesters have with police can turn negative.”
Track says the Peace Valley Landowners Association invited the BCCLA up to Fort St. John, having done the workshop in various communities across BC before.
One thing that protesters should be wary of is legal boundaries. Criminal contempt of court for disobeying a court order is one, as seen on Burnaby Mountain last fall. Protesters can also be charged with obstructing a police officer if they don’t stand back, she says.
But protesting is also a protected right in Canada, and it is lawful to take photos, and video of the protest and police officers.
Track says that the BCCLA has a neutral position on the issues that protesters are vocal about, and wishes to team them their rights so they can stay safe during a protest.
The workshop will be held in Room 202 at Northern Lights College (9820 120 Avenue, Fort St. John) on September 16th, from 7-9 PM.