Photo by Unifor: Some members of the Regina Police Service line up as they confront workers on Unifor's picket line outside of the Co-op Refinery.
The right to protest is an important part of Canadian democracy and the right to free expression.
Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the freedom of expression, freedom of association, and the freedom of peaceful assembly. Protests are a way for people to express themselves for or against decisions made by government or other powerful institutions. People have taken to the streets throughout history to stand up for what they believe in.
But more and more, we are seeing examples of this freedom of expression being criminalized. Companies and corporations are obtaining court orders and bringing in the police, who are using physical force and arrests to criminalize dissent and silence protestors.