BC logging company says rule of law should apply to ongoing protests in Fairy Creek | Energeticcity.ca
“This appeal is about whether the court will uphold the rule of law in the face of a campaign of illegal blockades,” Dalke said at the hearing. “This is because Teal Cedar, the innocent victim of these illegal blockades, was denied an appeal in the lower court. “
Lawyers for the protest group known as the Rainforest Flying Squad are due to present their arguments in court on Tuesday.
British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Douglas Thompson refused to extend the injunction that was due to expire in September, saying police enforcement has resulted in serious breaches of civil liberties, including a infringement of press freedom.
The injunction remains in effect after Judge Sunni Stromberg-Stein granted a temporary stay last month to allow Teal Cedar to appeal the lower court’s decision.
Dalke told the appeals court on Monday that the protesters mounted a long campaign of interference before an injunction was granted last April and have continued since.
“It became the largest civil disobedience campaign in Canadian history,” he said.
He said the lower court judge’s decision to deny an extension of the injunction should not be allowed because it allows the court to avoid its responsibility to uphold the rule of law, punishes the company for the conduct of RCMP during blockades and force the police and the Crown to take action. beyond recourse to court.
Instead of granting the injunction extension, the lower court judge suggested that police increase patrols and that the crown consider using other criminal or provincial laws to stop the protests, Dalke said.
The lower court judge said the RCMP had largely exercised “reasonable force” in enforcing the injunction, but had at times displayed “disturbing lapses in reasonable crowd control.”
Video evidence presented at the lower court trial showed RCMP officers lowering protesters’ masks and spraying their faces with pepper spray, while another showed officers destroying a protester’s guitar.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on November 15, 2021.
The Canadian Press