P-6 BYLAW: QUÉBEC SUPERIOR COURT INVALIDATES THE PROVISION ON MASKS AND RECOGNIZES THE RIGHT FOR SPONTANEOUS PROTESTS TO NOT DISCLOSE AN ITINERARY (Press Release)

By: Julien Villeneuve, Standing Committee for the Support of Demonstrators (SCSD)
Originally published on: June 22 2016
Original French text here: https://www.facebook.com/Anarchopanda/posts/885912131520663

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Montreal, June 22 2016

P-6 BYLAW: QUÉBEC SUPERIOR COURT INVALIDATES THE PROVISION ON MASKS AND RECOGNIZES THE RIGHT FOR SPONTANEOUS PROTESTS TO NOT DISCLOSE AN ITINERARY

This ruling (see link) has landed four years after Anarchopanda pour la gratuité scolaire filed an application for unconstitutionality, following the Tremblay administration’s amendments to the P-6 bylaw at the height of the student protests of 2012, presumably the result of a political order by Jean Charest’s Liberal government.

The ruling confirms article 3.2 of the bylaw, which prevents face-covering by any participant in an assembly, gathering or march in the public space “without reasonable cause”, as being “excessive, unreasonable and arbitrary”. It has also been deemed unconstitutional according to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as it infringes freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly.

As for article 2.1, which prevents anyone from assembling, gathering or marching in the public space without having provided officials with an itinerary, the ruling limits its application to protests that impede automobile traffic on public roads. Furthermore, even in such cases, the Court stated the article as being ineffective in cases of spontaneous protests.

Following this ruling, we are calling for all pending charges relative to the P-6 bylaw to be dropped, and hope for an overhaul of the SPVM’s practices in order to better guarantee the respect of the constitutional rights of protestors.

Anarchopanda pour la gratuité scolaire was represented in this case by Ms Sibel Ataogul and Ms Marie-Claude St-Amant of the firm of Melancon, Marceau, Grenier and Sciortino. They also serve on the Board of the Association des juristes progressistes.

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Contact: Julien Villeneuve, Standing Committee for the Support of Demonstrators, 438-228-6632 (leave a message and your call will be returned within the hour).

Translated from the original French by Language and Dissent, a collectively-run blog supporting the anti-austerity struggle in Quebec. These are amateur translations written by volunteers; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may have their flaws. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us via email (languageanddissent [at] gmail [dot] com). Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.

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