G-8 summit security forces will, for the first time, be ordered to obey a code of conduct recognizing the public's right to protest.
The two-page "philosophical framework" will be given to every police officer taking part in security during the summit in Kananaskis in June.
It spells out how police officers should conduct themselves during the summit.
"These are more than just words on paper," said Calgary police Insp. Al Redford, a member of the joint G-8 security team. "It lays out, in very specific terms, our values.
"We've got to recognize it's not a case of us against them. We have to respect the rights to lawful assembly. This is a democracy . . . and people have a right to express their views."
The G-8 summit is a meeting of the eight most powerful nations. It will take place June 26 to 28 in Kananaskis Village.
Redford said he hopes the code will help defuse tensions.
"We don't want confrontation," Redford said. "That's the very last thing we want."
Sarah Kerr, a Calgary activist and protest organizer, said she's encouraged by news of the written code of values.
Kerr said those words must be put into action during the summit to be effective.
"If (the code of values) influences and changes the way police treat legitimate protesters, then I think it's an excellent thing," Kerr said. "It remains to be seen how it manifests on the ground."
G-8 summit officials have repeatedly said they are determined to avoid the widespread violence that marred previous gatherings of world leaders in Seattle, Quebec City and Genoa, Italy.
Meetings have been rocked by clashes between police and protesters, with images of tear gas, armoured security forces and brick-throwing activists eclipsing the aims of both the politicians and legitimate protesters.
Some police tactics -- such as tackling and detaining agitators and using tear gas, water cannons and pepper spray to quell violent demonstrations -- have come under fire from activists as heavy-handed and undemocratic.
In response, Calgary police and the RCMP created the code of values.
The code sets out a philosophical vision for security at the summit, demanding police officers do their duty with "honesty, compassion and respect."
Hundreds of police officers and Armed Forces members will be given the "philosophical framework" upon arriving for duty in Kananaskis, and they will also be required to watch an orientation video that will provide tips on proper policing methods and philosophies.
Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier praised Calgary police and the RCMP for clearly defining their values and goals for the summit.
He added activists also have a moral duty to respect the law.
"Peaceful protest, law abiding protest, is welcome. Anything beyond that is not," Bronconnier said.
"I think there's a code of conduct for our police officers. There's also a code of conduct for those who wish to protest --Ưand that's what Calgarians expect."
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