Justice For Stolen Children camp ordered to shut down
author: taylor balfour| news writer
Protest purged / Jeremy Davis
Court rules in favour of the camp’s closure
The Justice For Our Stolen Children camp that was set up in front of Saskatchewan’s legislative building in February, 2018 has been ordered to leave.
The camp, according to their Facebook page, is described as a “protest camp at the
Sask. Legislative Building challenging the racialized violence in Justice System and the kidnapping of children by Social Services.”
In early June, the camp was given an eviction request which they didn’t act on. The notice, stapled to a tree at the campsite, stated that the camp was asked to “discontinue the following activities within the premises of Wascana Centre,” then proceeded to list “overnight camping, erecting tents or any other structures” and “burning wood or other combustibles.”
The end of the eviction request stated that “failure to stop engaging in these activities is an offence contrary to The Trespass and Property Act and will be dealt with accordingly and may be dealt with accordingly.”
When the camp didn’t vacate, a court date was booked.
The court documents state that Wascana Park is “an urban space of uncommon beauty, of which the citizens of Regina are justifiably proud,” and also states that the space is “ideally suited for for those worthwhile causes needing to raise public awareness and invite community participation on a larger scale.”
They also state that “protest and demonstration are accommodated activities in the Park,” and says that “on average, there are between five to ten protests, rallies or demonstrations held in the Park each year.”
The document does acknowledge, also, that the land is government property.
The documents claim that “civil disobedience” is defined as being “an individual or combined effort to bring about social change or attack unpopular laws or policies by illegal means or in violation of the lawful interests of other citizens.”
Therefore, the court states that there’s a difference between lawful protest and a civil disobedience.
Despite the courts claiming that the protest needs to vacate the premises, they made sure to include that the Government of Saskatchewan wishes to highlight “what this case is not about,” which they specify as “bringing into question the honour and integrity of the protestors’ cause.”
Regardless of this, Justice For Our Stolen Children has been ruled to be dismantled. On their Facebook page, their moderator states, “I’m not totally disappointed the judge ruled in favour of the PCCs order to remove us,” they state. “They’re only able to take away the space they cannot take away the issues or our voices or right to be heard.”
“Throughout these past 6 month[s] this government ignored us but we didn’t go away. They didn’t want to hear us but our voices got louder. We spread awareness on Indigenous issues and the public heard us. Our support grew and still continues but most importantly.. the issues remain.”
Even due to the camp being ruled to be taken down, the issues and the drive to fight remains. The day the camp was notified of the court’s ruling, it had been standing for almost 200 days.