A pipeline protester who glued himself to the doors of a Nanaimo bank earlier this year has been sentenced to 12 months of probation — and a court order that he cannot possess glue outside of his home.
Victor Lawrence Brice was one of several people who glued themselves to the Royal Bank of Canada branch at Brook’s Landing Shopping Centre on April 7, according to a sentencing decision released posted on the Canadian Legal Information Institute’s website.
Brice and others were staging the demonstration to demand that RBC divest from the Coastal GasLink pipeline on Wet’suwet’en territory in northern British Columbia, according to a release at the time from environmental group Extinction Rebellion.
“Today, we risk arrest as we name and shame the ‘faceless’ RBC CEO responsible for the destructive terracide occurring on Wet’suwet’en sovereign territories. Today, we fiercely but peacefully challenge the continued power and persistence of the Canadian colonial paradigm that rejects Wet’suwet’en self-determination and privileges corporate rights,” Brice, a spokesman for the group, said during the protest.
Brice appeared in court for sentencing in early August after pleading guilty to a charge linked to the bank protest, as well as a protest that blocked the Trans-Canada Highway in Nanaimo on Jan. 27.
Crown lawyers asked for 12 months of probation under a suspended sentence, while the defence asked for a conditional discharge, the latter of which B.C. Provincial Court Judge William Jackson granted.
“The basis for Mr. Brice’s actions were a very obviously sincere concern for the immediate and long-term effects of climate change and frustration with the lack of political movement despite his attempts to motivate politicians,” noted Jackson.
“It is not an issue that a conditional discharge is in Mr. Brice’s best interest. I do not believe that a conditional discharge in this particular set of facts with this particular accused would undermine public confidence in the administration of law.”
Brice was handed a 12-month probation term as part of the discharge, with conditions that include keeping the peace, completing 40 hours of community service by Jan. 31, 2023 and not going to the RBC branch he protested at.
The discharge also carried an unusual condition, that Brice “must not posess any glue, Super Glue, adhesive, fixative, or resin outside your residence,” except with the permission of his probation officer.
The judge also said that he has “not heard of” protesters gluing themselves to a bank door before, “but it would certainly be an effective way of protest or at least causing disruption at the bank.”
While elected chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en council had approved the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline being built through their territory, hereditary chiefs claimed full jurisdiction and staged a blockade last fall that lasted for two months and ended with the company obtaining an injunction, resulting in dozens of arrests of protesters and journalists.