RE: could be considered a riot,
Only IF/AFTER..They are "Read The Riot Act"
"Read the Riot Act"
To this day many jurisdictions that have inherited the tradition of English common law and Scots law still employ statutes that require police or other executive agents to deliver an oral warning, much like the Riot Act, before an unlawful public assembly may be forcibly dispersed.
Because the authorities were required to read the proclamation that referred to the Riot Act before they could enforce it, the expression "to read the Riot Act" entered into common language as a phrase meaning "to reprimand severely", with the added sense of a stern warning. The phrase remains in everyday use in the English language.
In Canada, the Riot Act has been incorporated in a modified form into ss. 32-33 and 64-69 of the Criminal Code. The proclamation is worded as follows:
Her Majesty the Queen charges and commands all persons being assembled immediately to disperse and peaceably to depart to their habitations or to their lawful business on the pain of being guilty of an offence for which, on conviction, they may be sentenced to imprisonment for life. God Save the Queen.
Unlike the original Riot Act, the Criminal Code requires the assembled people to disperse within 30 minutes. Paragraph 68 provides for the life imprisonment should the proclamation be ignored. In the absence of a proclamation, paragraph 65 stipulates imprisonment for not more than 2 years as punishment for rioting.
The Riot Act is seldom read in Canada, with the 1958 events in Prince Rupert, British Columbia being perhaps the best known. The most recent reading was during Vancouver's Stanley Cup Riot in June 2011.
The principle of the Riot Act was incorporated into the first Militia Act (1 Stat. 264) of 8 May 1792. The Act's long title was "An act to provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions".
Section 3 of the Militia Act gave power to the President to issue a proclamation to "command the insurgents to disperse, and retire peaceably to their respective abodes, within a limited time", and authorised him to use the militia if they failed to do so. Substantively identical language is presently codified at chapter 15 of title 10, United States Code.
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