Montreal spends $110K on lawyers to defend anti-protest bylaw P-6
Activists Jaggi Singh and the man behind Anarchopanda taking City of Montreal to court over P-6
The City of Montreal will spend $110,000 plus taxes and fees on defending P-6 — its anti-protesting bylaw — at the provincial and municipal levels.
According to documents provided to the media by activists Jaggi Singh and Julien Villeneuve — the latter better known as Anarchopanda — law firm Bélanger Sauvé will be in charge of defending the city in court.
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Villeneuve is contesting certain articles of P-6 before the provincial court. Singh, for his part, has always maintained the regulation is unconstitutional.
P-6 was brought in by the city in the spring of 2012 during the months of student protests.
Fines reached up to $3,000
The bylaw places restrictions on protesting, most notably making it illegal to cover one’s face at a protest and requiring organizers to submit a protest’s itinerary to the Montreal police before people begin marching.
Tickets for contravening those rules begin at $500 and can climb up to $3,000 for subsequent infractions.
In a news release, Villeneuve criticized the city for not being able to manage the consequences of its own bylaw.
“This represents an incredible wasting of public funds, and all this to maintain an anti-protesting bylaw that fundamentally attacks the capacity of the people to assemble in public and protest,” Villeneuve wrote.
Villeneuve is contesting tickets he received during five protests, including one on April 5, 2013 — the day the Montreal police confiscated the head of his Anarchopanda costume.
Singh is protesting two fines he received in June 2012 and May 2013.