Protesting the norm, the accepted, what is deemed credible will never be an easy task. Defenders of the status quo will defend their system with rationalizations that make sense to them and others in the system while dismissing outright, criticism and alternate points of view presented. This process of in-group/out-group friction is the being replayed throughout the world and across Canada. The protesters in Vancouver are being evicted after their case was heard by British Columbia’s Supreme Court.
“A man was arrested during an Occupy Vancouver march following a B.C. Supreme Court decision to grant an injunction, ordering an end to the five-week protest camp outside the city’s art gallery. Justice Anne Mackenzie granted the interim injunction sought by the city to have the campers’ tents removed from where they have been set up since Oct. 15.
MacKenzie set a 2 p.m. PT Monday deadline for the removal of the tents.
The ruling followed a three-day hearing in which city lawyers said the campers were trespassing, while lawyers for the Occupy movement invoked Charter rights of freedom of speech and assembly, and also said the camp was providing shelter for the homeless.”
The ruling in Victoria was more nuanced.
“Justice Terence Schultze said because of the protesters’ respect for the law and their recent good behaviour, police would be required to return to court on Monday for an enforcement order if any protesters refused to leave the site. The ruling comes after many protesters at the Victoria camp decided to pack up and leave voluntarily earlier this week, but protestor Anushka Radji still calls the ruling a victory ‘Not granting an injunction order goes to the fact that they recognize the peaceful nature of the assembly and criminalizing dissent, at this point, is not necessary,’ said Radji.”
Our courts are treading a fine line right now because they are making decisions that speak to our rights as citizens in our country. Dissent and protest are key parts of any democratic process and need to be safeguarded.
“The judge also said he was not allowed to consider constitutional arguments in the case and could only rule on local bylaw issues.”
So, so far no definitive constitutional judgment has been reached. The Occupy Canada movement still has life and a legal leg to stand on. Bringing attention to the disparities in our society is a herculean task, credit should be given to those who have found their voice and that have taken action to correct a growing problem in Canadian society.