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General News · 3rd January 2012
Becky Knutson
A Legal Observer training on Cortes is being sponsored by Island Stance.

A Legal Observer is a calm, independent, objective witness of the activities of police and security forces at a blockade or other direct action event. The BC Civil Liberties Association spearheaded the Legal Observer Programme during the Vancouver Olympics protests.

Legal Observers make a difference through presence and independence.
The presence of Legal Observers serves to encourage respectful, legal behaviour during a demonstration. When Legal Observer presence isn’t enough by itself, Legal Observers document police and other security force activities in a thorough, neutral and professional manner so that lawyers representing arrestees or bringing a legal action will be able to evaluate the legality of police conduct objectively.

Legal Observers are not protestors
The strength of Legal Observer evidence in court comes from the independence of the Legal Observer from those who were actively involved in direct action. If a Legal Observer feels morally obliged to become involved in a situation or protest, the Legal Observer must first abandon his or her role as a Legal Observer and remove any identifying clothing or marks that indicate he or she is a Legal Observer.

A Legal Observer trainer from BC Civil Liberties Association, Vancouver, will offer the 2-hour training on Saturday, January 14, 10:00 am at Linnaea Education Centre - Lakeside Room. There will be a $10 donation to subsidize travel expenses of the trainer and rental of the facility. Please call 250-935-0181 to register or if you have further questions. We are requiring registration prior to Saturday so we have enough materials to distribute. PLEASE NOTE: Cortes Island residents only, please.

Another educational workshop through Island Stance.