P-6 student protest fines dropped by City of Montreal
Controversial bylaw requires pre-protest itinerary and prevents protesters from wearing masks
The City of Montreal on Wednesday announced it would drop most of the outstanding fines students and other protesters were given after the P-6 bylaw was enacted during the 2012 student protests.
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The enforcement of the P-6 bylaw — which bans protesters from wearing masks and requires them to file protest itineraries ahead of time — resulted in hundreds of people being arrested and slapped with hefty fines.
Fines ranged from $500 to $3,000, depending on the number of previous infractions protesters incurred.
Earlier this month, Montreal’s municipal court sided with three protesters who argued against being fined for breaking P-6.
Judge Randall Richmond described the bylaw as "flawed" in his judgment.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said the city would not appeal the judge's decision and that it would drop most of the outstanding fines as a consequence.
"It seems that for technical reasons, and the way that they have to put up the proof, it was not accurate. So we just applied the judgment of Judge Richmond," Coderre said.
However, the city is standing by P-6 for now.
On Wednesday morning, Coderre tweeted that the judge ruled that the way the police applied the law was problematic, but that the bylaw itself was fine.
Protesters call it a 'victory'
Protester Jaggi Singh said he's pleased he will no longer have to contest the two fines he received for unlawful assembly.
"Ultimately this is a victory for radical protesters and it's a defeat for the city of Montreal and it's a defeat for the police," Singh said, adding that today's decision will give protesters more leverage as they gear up for anti-austerity protests in the coming months.
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The mayor says no disciplinary action will be taken against police and he's not sure if those who already paid their fines will be refunded.