An anonymously uploaded YouTube video seemingly shot during Saturday’s “Stop C-51” Rally on Parliament Hill depicts an RCMP officer telling a protester that, as a result of the coming anti-terrorism bill, he “could be branded a terrorist…whenever you’re attacking the Canadian economy.”
The officer, whose identity is unknown at this point, goes on to answer that “when the demo’s down, you become citizens again,” to the question “are we considered differently when we are demonstrating?”
UPDATE: a protester claiming to be present during the conversation CANADALAND offers the following context on the officer’s 2nd comment:
“…we were discussing whether we were able to take a tour of the building. He expressed that when we were protesters we couldn’t, as we would be considered possible disruptors, but once it is over we were “citizens again”.
The practical implications of Bill C-51 are a matter of great debate and have been interpreted differently by various policy makers, academics and journalists.
But the fact that a working RCMP officer tasked with policing protests believes the bill has the power to temporarily revoke a protester’s rights and status as a Canadian citizen is worth noting.
The media relations office of the RCMP’s National Division has been approached for comment, and this post will be updated with their response if it should arrive.
The source of the video declined to comment directly to CANADALAND, instead conveying the message through an intermediary that “the video speaks for itself.”
UPDATE: RCMP Spokesperson Angela White has provided the following response:
“The comments stated by the member in question are not a reflection of the RCMP’s official position.”