Protesters to Pay for Own Arrest?

Monday Magazine | February 27, 2008
The showdown continues this week between local environmentalists and the City of Langford at the site of the proposed Spencer Road highway interchange near Victoria, B.C.

Protestors took to the trees once again to decry the falling of rare Garry oaks to make way for the cement ramps that will provide access to the current, and future suburban sprawl caused by the Bear Mountain development. One protestor was reported arrested on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Langford mayor Stew Young told the Times Colonist the city plans to sue the protesters ousted from the camp they had occupied since April 2007 on February 13 to recoup the costs of the massive police raid the city deemed necessary to remove a half-dozen peaceful protestors. Those at the scene estimated between 50 and 70 participating police officers.

“Mayor Young indicates he’s looking after Langford taxpayers by taking every avenue available to him to recover the as-yet-undetermined costs of the recent police action around the interchange work site,” said Langford resident Herman Surkis in a press release. “It is astonishing that the city has rushed to action apparently without regard to what the costs were to the public purse or to civil liberties.”

Meanwhile, Victoria NDP MP Denise Savoie was quick to respond to the large police presence used to shut down the protest. In a letter to federal public safety minister Stockwell Day, Savoie wrote, “It is shameful that such a use of force, including intimidation by officers who were heavily armed, is brought out to protect the rights of developers. The rights of citizens to protest, and of neighbours to walk their streets without being subjected to arbitrary demands for identification by armed officers, are paramount in our society.”

No word yet whether Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca MP Keith Martin, who represents Langford in the house, shares the same opinion.

Monday Magazine

Founded in 1975 to provide a critical voice in Victoria's political and cultural communities, Monday Magazine continues to shake British Columbia's conservative capital city with tell-it- like-it-is features and reviews. Targeting educated, active adults and Victoria's growing youth market, Monday...
More »
Contact for Reprint Rights
  • Market Served: Metropolitan Area
  • Address: 818 Broughton St., Victoria, BC V8W 1E4
  • Phone: (250) 382-6188