Winnipeg Protesters Take Over Justice Minister’s Office Over Bill C-10

About a dozen protesters opposed to the federal crime Bill C-10 occupied the inside of provincial Justice Minister Andrew Swan’s constituency office for a full 24 hours last week.

About 50 protesters showed up at Swan’s Sargent Avenue office at around 1 p.m. on Friday. They held signs on both sides of the street, decorated the office with balloons and streamers, and even climbed onto the roof to hang a large banner.

“We want an end to C-10,” said protester Buck Doyle. “In terms of Andrew Swan, (we want) Manitoba declaring that it won’t pay for it, which is what Ontario and Quebec have done.”

Provincial security arrived to allow a lone office worker to leave at 4 p.m., and the doors were locked.

About an hour later, security asked the occupiers to leave, saying police were coming to arrest them. Several police came later but they left without attempting to remove anyone. The dozen occupiers spent much of the night dancing, playing games and discussing crime issues.

At 1 p.m. Saturday, the occupiers walked out of the office to cheers, hugs and backslaps from about 30 supporters.

Rachel Morgan, Swan’s spokesperson, said, “Prior to them occupying his office, there was no request for a meeting.”

Morgan said Swan is on record opposing a number of items in Bill C-10, and if the protesters would like to speak with him, they should request to do so Monday.