activist defense

on the intersection of activism and legal systems

Tag: bylaw p-6

police detain hundreds of people during annual march against police brutality in montréal

Police detained and ticketed 288 protesters yesterday, at $638 apiece, for participating in a march against police brutality. The march apparently violated Montréal’s bylaw P-6, because no one provided the route to police for approval 24 hours in advance. According today’s Montréal Gazette article,

Police gave protesters at the annual demonstration against police brutality just minutes before the riot squad encircled the crowd and detained 288 people on Saturday. … The protesters were charged under municipal bylaw P-6, which requires organizers of a protest to provide their itinerary to police. … The 288 people detained under bylaw P-6 will receive a ticket for participating in an illegal protest.

First introduced in 2001, a new version of bylaw P-6 went into effect in May 2012. Montréal police have consistently used it against protesters. For example, police ticketed approximately 300 protesters on April 5 and 447 protesters on May 1. In addition to prohibiting masks and blunt objects, bylaw P-6 stipulates that any demonstration can be declared illegal if police have reasonable grounds to believe it will cause a “commotion” or endanger public order.

hundreds of people ticketed on may day for violating montréal’s anti-protest law

Montréal police ticketed 447 protesters yesterday, at $634 apiece, for participating in a May Day march. The march violated Montréal’s P-6 municipal bylaw, because no one provided the route to police for approval 24 hours in advance. According to the Montréal Gazette,

The city’s Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC), which organized the International Workers’ Day march, said it does not file march routes with authorities as a matter of principle. In a news release, it said P-6 represses civil liberties, and is “only the latest instance of the repressive tendencies of the political elite.”

First introduced in 2001, a new version of bylaw P-6 went into effect in May 2012. Police have consistently used it against protesters. In addition to prohibiting masks and blunt objects, it stipulates that any demonstration can be declared illegal if police have reasonable grounds to believe it will cause a “commotion” or endanger public order.

québec’s first female premier promptly repeals controversial anti-protest law

The punitive sections of Special Law 12, also known also Bill 78, officially came off the books today. Adopted as an emergency measure in mid-May to control the student strike in Québec, the Special Law disallowed demonstrations too close to universities, imposed fines on people who stopped students from attending classes, required that police receive demonstration routes 8 hours in advance (if more than 50 people would be participating), and gave police discretion to change those routes for security reasons.

A new version of Montréal’s bylaw P–6 also went into effect in May and has yet to be abrogated. Police have consistently used bylaw P–6 against demonstrators, as opposed to the more widely-publicized Special Law. As CrimethInc. explains,

Bylaw P–6 was first introduced in 2001, and it stipulates that any demonstration can be declared illegal at the discretion of the police if they have reasonable grounds to believe that it will cause “a commotion” or otherwise endanger public order. It also forbids anyone from bringing blunt objects to demos, naming baseball bats as well as hockey sticks—famously used during the 2001 Québec City anti-FTAA demonstrations to knock tear gas canisters back at police.

Though intended to control demonstrations, Special Law 12 revived them due to its unpopularity. (Should we therefore mourn its abrogation?) In any event, political repression does not wax and wane with the passage and repeal of individual anti-protest laws, as shown by how police used bylaw P–6 even when the Special Law was in effect. If bylaw P–6 was also to be repealed, there would still be countless other laws available to police for use against dissidents – for example, widely violated laws that lend themselves to selective enforcement.