Know Your Rights

1. Basics:

Bring only the essentials on your person to the sit-in

Help maintain a calm and peaceful atmosphere by avoiding escalation and adhering to the Action Plan

2. Right to remain silent: “Thanks, but I don’t want to answer those questions”

Beyond identifying yourself, you are not required to answer questions from police officers

If you are asked who is organizing or why you are attending, you have no obligation to answer

Be polite, avoid escalation or confrontation

Repeat that you want to remain silent and you want to speak to a lawyer.

If police continue asking questions, reply, “Thanks, but I’m not interested in answering your questions”

3. Freedom from search and seizure: “No, I don’t want to show you my bag”

You generally have freedom from search and seizure, with some exceptions

This freedom means police need a reason to search your person and property.

Gestures such as removing a bag from your shoulder or opening a bag will be taken as consent

Sometimes you can refuse a search. If police stop you and ask to see your backpack or search for weapons, you are within your rights to say, “No, I’m not showing you my bag.”

This right does not apply when arrest is occurring or if you are suspected of committing a crime. If you are being arrested, officers taking you into their custody have the right to search you and your belongings for their own safety.

4. Freedom to film in public places: Observe, don’t escalate or interfere.

You are within your rights to film and photograph in public places in Canada, and the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area and surrounding parkland are public places. Stand at a respectable distance.

You must not obstruct or otherwise interfere with an officer performing their duties

Use judgement in exercising this right, as police can be hostile to filming

5. Ask to leave – are you being detained?

If you do not like the conversation with an officer, ask “Am I free to go?”

If the answer is no, you have the right to be told why.

Unless the answer is obvious, the police must tell you why you are being held against your will

Do not struggle, pull, kick, run or other physical resistance, as this could result in more charges

6. If you are arrested or detained: Stay calm, remain silent & ask to speak to a lawyer.

Stay calm

Ask why you are being detained or arrested

Remember the charges for your detention or arrest

Give them your name and address. Never give them a fake ID, address or name, as this can lead to serious charges

Ask for the officer’s name and badge number

Remain silent and ask to speak to a lawyer

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