Saturday’s protest in Swan River is raising questions about what is and isn’t legal in Canada. In a video a member from the Swan River RCMP tells people they are protesting illegally. When asked if there is a law against protesting the officer said it was illegal. He went on to say that the criminal code and the provincial statues were what made protesting illegal.
Then, the same officer attempted to grab a cell phone that was near him. When he missed the phone he went after the protestor claiming that the protestor had touched the officer. The video clearly shows the protestor did not touch the officer. It does not clearly show if the officer assaulted the protestor as has been claimed.
The officer threatened to arrest a different protestor who was demanding his badge number. The officer called for backup. Then, the officer explained to the group that “you guys are what is ruining this country”.
RCMP have issued the following statement on the matter:
On May 7, 2022, at approximately 3:00 pm, a convoy of vehicles were honking their horns and driving on Main Street, in Swan River. The vehicles were driving slowly and impeding traffic. Officers attended and advised the demonstrators that they were impeding the safe flow of traffic and they would have to move along. No fines or tickets were issued. The RCMP respects the right of everyone to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. The RCMP also recognizes the rights of the general public, all road users, local residents and businesses to a safe environment. Our role is to ensure public safety and to keep the peace. We have been, and will continue to speak with parties involved to resolve misgivings on this matter.