City cracks down on Occupy Vancouver camp
Protester arrested after sitting down in the middle of West Georgia Street
Police, firefighters and city workers moved in on the Occupy Vancouver camp site on Tuesday morning, removing several tents and tarps and repositioning several others.
The city workers were at the camp to bring it into compliance with fire and health regulations, and allegedly cleared away several tents containing flammables and biohazards.
Many of the activists remained peaceful while the city workers moved in, but some protesters yelled at the city staff as they went tent to tent conducting the clean-up.
One lone activist sat down in the intersection of West Georgia and Howe streets, holding a protest sign, and was arrested at around 10:30 a.m. PT.
Before the city workers arrived, residents of the camp on the lawn of the downtown art gallery were erecting new metal structures on the site, despite a ban on new structures issued by the fire department last week.
The protesters say the structures, which look like a playground dome, will be safer and reduce the fire risk at the camp because they will be covered with fire-resistant material and equipped with smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.
Last week, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ordered the protesters to comply with city fire bylaws and authorized police to arrest anyone who interfered with firefighters' efforts to enforce the regulations.
The City of Vancouver also applied for an injunction order to remove the entire camp, but the judge adjourned the hearing until later this week to allow lawyers for the protesters to prepare their legal response.
Victoria seeks injunction to remove camp
Meanwhile in Victoria, the city is expected to apply for an injunction to remove tents from the camp at Centennial Square on Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court.
Protester Anushka Nagji says they will be asking for an adjournment to prepare their legal arguments.
The protesters will be "asking that the physical tents and the physical set up of Occupy Victoria is a Charter-protected activity and not one that is justifiably limited by the city and its desire to set up Christmas lights," she said.
Nagji said the clearing out of protesters in New York City is "disheartening," but she's confident it won't be permanent.
The actions follows news that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has cleared out the Occupy Wall Street camp in Manhattan.
The future of the New York camp remained in legal limbo on Tuesday morning after lawyers for the protesters said they obtained a legal injunction preventing the city from enforcing park rules on the protesters.