Police have charged a fish harvester from La Scie for a protest in April that saw a window broken and about 50 fishermen enter the DFO building in St. John’s.
The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters (FISH-NL) says inshore harvester Terry Ryan was contacted by the RCMP on behalf of the RNC to lay a charge of mischief to federal government property. The RNC confirmed Wednesday that it did ask the RCMP to lay a charge.
FISH-NL is leading a certification drive to pull inshore harvesters out of the FFAW and into a separate union. On April 7, about 50 shrimp harvesters gathered at DFO headquarters to protest quota cuts.
FISH-NL president Ryan Cleary says the harvesters were given assurances at the time that no charges would be laid.
“When authorities say charges won’t be laid — and then charges are laid — that sets a bad precedent for future protests because no one will believe them, and that’s just dangerous because there will be more protests,” Cleary said in a statement.
Cleary says it’s unknown if more charges will be laid. The RNC says the file has not been concluded.