The trial of five people on charges of assaulting police officers, being members of an unlawful assembly and causing a disturbance has been adjourned after eight days of testimony. It is expected to resume in March of 2004.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred on October 3, 2002 outside the Britannia Community Centre, just off Commercial Drive in Vancouver. A group of local mothers had congregated there to protest provincial government cutbacks in anticipation of a visit by Premier Gordon Campbell.

Mr. Campbell called off his visit, but the police moved in anyway. The evidence of the police witnesses at trial confirms that the crowd became angry after Rev. George Feenstra, a 53 year old United Church minister, was arrested, handcuffed and pushed face-first into a wall by two police officers.

Several other demonstrators were subsequently arrested and taken into custody. They were handcuffed and put into two police wagons. The wagons were driven to a parking lot adjacent to a Canadian Tire store, where they were met by an estimated 40-60 uniformed and armed police officers. Two of the demonstrators allege that they were threatened by the police at the Canadian Tire store and are seeking a stay of the criminal proceedings based on alleged violations of their constitutional rights.

The trial is expected to resume in March, 2004 before Provincial Court Judge Smyth at 222 Main Street in Vancouver (Court File No. 138904).