Canada spend over a billion dollars for security for the G8 & G20 summits in 2010 — mostly to protect against the Black Bloc and their ilk. These demonstrations follow a set script. The Black Bloc, and other masked anarchists keep escalating (from threats, to property damage, to violence), until they get a police response. Then, afterward, it’s the police that are persecuted, with lengthy and costly inquiries.
Canada (amongst other Commonwealth countries) has the “Riot Act”. Once the Riot Act is read (i.e. an official proclamation is made publicly), it is a major offense to remain in the area. The Riot Act is used very rarely; but, it was read during the Vancouver Stanly Cup riot in 2010. In theory, everyone who remained after the reading could have been arrested. In practice — this is simply not possible. Focusing on the masked anarchist wannabes (the most likely trouble-makers) would be more doable. Once the Riot Act has been read, they are engaged in illegal behaviour, if they continue to linger in the area. Also, when a demonstration turns to a riot, there is illegal behaviour of all sorts.
But a new Canadian law (Bill C-309) now forbids people from wearing any mask or face-covering during a riot or so-called unlawful assembly. While it is difficult to determine how the law defines this type of protest exactly, it is clear on the fact that non abiders can receive a maximum of 10 years in prison if they are convicted of concealing their identity.Reply 10 by USFRIENDINVICTORIA answers the caveat in the above quoted paragraph. The riot Act, as modified by the Canadian Criminal Code, sets the conditions for declaring an assembly to be an unlawful assembly. Here are the relevant sections of the Criminal Code.
65. Every one who takes part in a riot is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
66. Every one who is a member of an unlawful assembly is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
67. A person who is(a) a justice, mayor or sheriff, or the lawful deputy of a mayor or sheriff,who receives notice that, at any place within the jurisdiction of the person, twelve or more persons are unlawfully and riotously assembled together shall go to that place and, after approaching as near as is safe, if the person is satisfied that a riot is in progress, shall command silence and thereupon make or cause to be made in a loud voice a proclamation in the following words or to the like effect:
(b) a warden or deputy warden of a prison, or
(c) the institutional head of a penitentiary, as those expressions are defined in subsection 2(1) of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, or that persons deputy,Her Majesty the Queen charges and commands all persons being assembled immediately to disperse and peaceably to depart to their habitations or to their lawful business on the pain of being guilty of an offence for which, on conviction, they may be sentenced to imprisonment for life. GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.68. Every one is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life who(a) opposes, hinders or assaults, wilfully and with force, a person who begins to make or is about to begin to make or is making the proclamation referred to in section 67 so that it is not made;69. A peace officer who receives notice that there is a riot within his jurisdiction and, without reasonable excuse, fails to take all reasonable steps to suppress the riot is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
(b) does not peaceably disperse and depart from a place where the proclamation referred to in section 67 is made within thirty minutes after it is made; or
(c) does not depart from a place within thirty minutes when he has reasonable grounds to believe that the proclamation referred to in section 67 would have been made in that place if some person had not opposed, hindered or assaulted, wilfully and with force, a person who would have made it.