I understand it makes it harder to convict. Thus the reason for a sentence enhancement. I am uneasy with making an otherwise legal behavior a crime in this case.
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.
so am I - I figure that folks have RIGHT to protest, OTOH they don’t have a right to cause destruction. Such a conundrum! CO