On Friday July 24th, the Montreal Police (SPVM) suppressed a peaceful protest in solidarity with the Unist’ot’en camp and the recent victims of police brutality, by kidnapping protesters.
The situation at the Unist’ot’en camp in so-called British Columbia (B.C.) is moving toward an escalation point.
The RCMP have threatened the Unist’ot’en camp volunteers, while Chevron has ramped up its attempts to start building the Pacific Trails Pipeline on unceded Wet’suwet’en territories.
The Wet’suwet’en have clearly stated their opposition to this environmentally destructive project on their unceded territory, but the pipeline companies and the RCMP have turned a tin ear towards them.
Once again the SPVM agents were brutes, acting in a way that is less than human; more like animals acting like rabid dogs sent to attack their preys. Those forcefully handcuffed were mostly women, performing a peaceful act of civil disobedience by refusing to use the sidewalk as ordered by the SPVM to legally express their discontent, a right that is common to all Canadians, set forth by the Quebec and Canadian Charters of Human Rights.
The Montreal Police keeps committing a criminal offence, as per Article 180 of the Canadian Criminal Code by “obstructing the public in the exercise or enjoyment of any right that is common to all Canadians”.
The SPVM often forgets that driving is not a right that is common to all Canadians, it’s a regulated right based on permits. So can protesters legally obstruct traffic? In short, yes; it’s a protected right in a democratic society. However, democracy left the island of Montreal years ago.
The SPVM obstructed traffic for over 15 minutes by blocking the street in order to perform an act of political oppression. The protesters would simply have delayed traffic for a few seconds, so as to express themselves. Orange cones and unfinished construction zones on the island definitely obstructs traffic more than a protest.
The SPVM violates Human Rights
Matt D’Amours, a journalist who was live streaming for the Link newspaper and 99% Media, had his freedom of the press rights violated by the SPVM. They went as far as committing yet another criminal act (as per Article 430, of the Canadian Criminal Code), by forcefully ending his live stream. Thankfully, there was another live stream that captured what the SPVM didn’t want seen.
“430. (1) Every one commits mischief who wilfully (c) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property; or (d) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.”
This is a violation of both Canadian and Quebec charters, the SPVM keeps violating one’s freedom of the press. They violate local by-laws and violate the protesters’ freedom of expression on a regular basis.
5pm SPVM scanner archives – @ 46:30 minutes into this recording, we hear the protest “chatter” start and end. The Montreal Police then changed to channel 10, giving the order that if people do not use the sidewalk “you grab a gang and we issue tickets” (vous en (grabber) toute une gang pis on émet des billets).
Did the officer issuing such order see an infraction? Are the officers upholding the law? I would personally argue they are just tools, used by capitalists to uphold financial interest, not to uphold the law. The SPVM had already taken control of the streets and traffic, as 10 police vans were following 30 or so protesters, therefore no legal justification to invoke article 500.1 of the Highway Safety Code.
6pm scanner archives – @ 9:45 minutes into this recording, dispatch requests an update on the number of tickets issued and if there have been any arrests made and requests the info be sent via terminal; no info is sent over the air.
@ 14:05 – they keep watch on the 6 or so protesters left over, which they claim is 15 or so, who are on the sidewalk (I was one of the six who later waved at a “hidden” police car).
@ 15:00 – they inquire to see if they should stay next to the left over protesters or move away. @ 17 – they inquire again; @ 17:44 – an order is given to keep watch from a distance as other agents are on their way.
@ 19:37 – transport is refused, instructed to do it themselves; sending to CO (timing does not fit but what else could it be! odd but I included it anyways). Perhaps those arrested were held elsewhere in the vans that had taken them moments earlier!
The SPVM confirms only 1 arrest and 8 tickets, as per the Montreal Gazette.
One arrested, eight fined during anti-pipeline protest http://t.co/geDodr1k6B
At least 4 of the handcuffed protesters are not listed as “arrested”. Did the SPVM once again violate common law? A judgment once rendered against the City of Quebec, considered this abuse of power as there is no reason to handcuff someone who is being detained in order to issue them a ticket. Even less, moving them from one location to another.
As it can be seen in the live stream, 4 or 5 handcuffed protesters are loaded up in Police vans and driven away from the location. The SPVM claims only 1 arrest was made! – I would personally call this kidnapping if the SPVM doesn’t consider this as arrests.
Forget The Box reports that 6 were arrested and 3 received tickets.
The Montreal Police also violated one’s right to privacy by illegally searching the bags of those being detained.