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David Eby's handbook for legal observers being used by B.C. government protesters
VANCOUVER -- The protesters planning to shut down the B.C. government on Friday are sharing a free guide to protecting demonstrators' rights – and it happens to have been written by the attorney general.
On Thursday, organizers used social media to distribute a copy of the Olympics Legal Observers Handbook, a document that was co-written by David Eby while he was working with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.
Legal observers are used to monitor and record the actions of police during clashes with protesters. While Eby's guide was written for use during the 2010 Olympics, the principles apply to any confrontations between activists and law enforcement.
"Sometimes the mere presence of Legal Observers serves as a deterrent to abusive behaviour by police during a demonstration," it reads.
"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."
CTV News asked Eby's ministry for his thoughts on the use of the handbook, but was directed to a general statement on Friday's protests that was previously released by the province.
The handbook was distributed just hours after a group of activists filled Eby's Vancouver office. The protesters, who are standing in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs opposed to the Coastal GasLink pipeline, spent the entire day inside the building before leaving at around 4 p.m.
The group indicated protesters wouldn't leave unless Eby met with them and agreed to their demands, which included revoking all permits associated with the Coastal GasLInk project.
Speaking to reporters in Victoria on Thursday morning, Eby said he supports the right to protest and noted it wasn't the first time people had occupied his office.
"Obviously my first concern is always for the safety of my staff and the security of the personal information we have of our constituents," he said.