Comments from Regina’s mayor have lit a fire under protesters.
Recently Mayor Michael Fougere made a statement that indicated civil disobedience was unnecessary.
This led to a rally being held outside of city hall Monday with about 25 people showing up, some with signs that showed support for civil disobedience.
Peter Gilmer was at the rally and he was disappointed in the mayor’s comments. He said protests and rallies have had a large impact on the world.
“Much of the social progress that we all benefit from now has been based on civil disobedience.”
Bob Hughes with the Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism said he had to pull his car over when he heard the comments on the radio.
He said Fougere’s statements, and others made by council members, shows their beliefs aren’t in line with other citizens.
“Either out-of-touch or just trying to really come down of the side of law and order, not necessarily justice,” Hughes said.
He said with the current budget and the issue of pipelines running through the city, people will continue to stand up for what they believe in.
“There are so many things happening that people will come to the street and it’s important they do in this so-called democratic society,” Hughes said.
Mayor Fougere was outside of the province but provided a written statement:
“A member of my council suggested late last week that civil disobedience connected to the closure of STC is legitimate. I disagree.
Legitimate political dissent and protest is absolutely welcome in a democratic society; it is a form of expression that can focus public attention and bring about much-needed change. I fully support peaceful protest and welcome and encourage it when people feel it is necessary. No community is perfect, ours included, and until it is, people should be and will be allowed to raise their collective voice and be recognized.
Civil disobedience, however, is a completely different activity that speaks to acting outside the bounds of the law. I believe that when dissent crosses the line into breaking the law or inciting a response it is something entirely different, and the context of that action becomes crucially important.”