Bill C51 protestors give voice to their opposition on Saturday at Spirit Square to the federal Conservatives’ security measures they say will infringe on civil liberties.

Bill C51 protestors pelted…with hail

It was Campbell River’s contribution to a storm of protest being held across the country

Just moments before a rally against the Conservative government’s Bill C51 security bill was to begin on Saturday, looming storm clouds burst open and a wave of hail pelted the approximately 40 protesters.

The group scrambled to get under the canopy over the Spirit Square stage then cheerfully waited out the hailstorm.

It was Campbell River’s contribution to a storm of protest being held across the country against the Stephen Harper government’s security measures included in a bill that many see as too draconian.

“This bill appears to be more about political posturing ahead of a federal election than it is about protecting public safety,” said Andrea Craddock of the Campbell River and District Labour Council.

The wide-ranging bill gives the police broader powers and allows them to detain terror suspects as well as give more power to the Canadian Security and Intelligence Services. The bill is also criticized for infringing on civil liberties and the right to privacy, particularly on the Internet.

“The Conservative government has not justified why it could not protect public safety using the existing criminal code,” Craddock told the gathering.