This past weekend, in downtown Calgary, we saw the effects of an injunction on protesting. In this dictatorial move by the City of Calgary, led by Mayor Jyoti Gondek, police have been granted even more power when it comes to cracking down on peaceful demonstrations.
Case in point: the freedom rally which has been a common occurrence in Calgary for well over a year now.
In the onset of a counter-protest, Mayor Gondek decided to impose her political views onto every protest that she disagrees with.
After her backlash over how police used bicycles against counter-protesters who aimed to create a disruption on city streets, she took the opportunity to attempt to squash freedom rally protesters that she might consider political dissidents.
This injunction was brought on by the city and prevents protesters from peacefully walking down streets, using noise making devices, or hindering the use of parks.
Last protest, freedom rally supporters were quick to work around these new set of rules, placing themselves on provincial property to avoid municipal enforcement and using sidewalks to go from one location to another within the city, as opposed to taking the streets as they have done previously.
All this loophole searching did well for the bulk of protesters, but as we saw, after the protest vehicles were being pulled over and ticketed. These tickets were for honking, and came at a price tag of $81 for anyone who hit the horn while driving.
Calgary police explained the charges in a post on Facebook, writing “Calgary Community Standards (Bylaw) issued one summons for violating the injunction (to someone from Group A) and 25 tickets, including 23 for excessive horn-honking, one for illegal use of a drone and one ticket for operating a business booth without a licence.”
The injunction remains in place with an expiration date still undetermined.
Rest assured, even though the mayor has found alternative ways of impeding on Charter rights to peacefully assemble, the protesters seem to be one step ahead, and use alternate means of getting their message across. We don't know what will happen next week but we will be there to bring you the other side of the story.