Occupy Calgary protesters get eviction notices
Police handed out 24-hour eviction notices Tuesday to Occupy Calgary demonstrators, a day after telling them to remove empty tents and other items left unattended on the protest site at Olympic Plaza.
However, it appears officers were not removing any items. Protesters were told their removal could start as early 9 a.m. MT to enforce city blyaws.
Now, they're being told to remove all tents, bikes and other property from the public space across from City Hall by Wednesday or face court action and possibly hefty fines.
Bylaw officers were accompanied by a handful of police officers, some with video cameras. Officers handed out 42 eviction notices. Some protesters laughed and set fire to the pieces of papers.
On Monday, signs were posted at the site, telling protesters to remove empty tents or officers will remove the structures. The notices said violators could face fines ranging from $100 to $1,000.
An estimated 15 demonstrators were seen standing around Tuesday, holding flags. They said there wouldn't be any violence; they just want to talk to police or bylaw officers about the issues, in particular, homelessness.
Protesters may seek injunction
Protester organizers said they would be talking to their lawyer to see if they can apply for an injunction, CBC's Bryan Labby reported from the scene.
Demonstrators have been camping at Olympic Plaza since mid-October, when an international day of protest spawned from the Occupy Wall Street encampment was held. Occupy groups are diverse and appear generally leaderless, and while each emphasizes various concerns, they generally are fighting against the gap between the rich and poor.
Protesters in Calgary who spoke to CBC News sounded defiant.
"If they want to come down here and start issuing fines then they're going to have bogged-down bylaw officers and bylaw judges because we're going to be fighting them all, because we have every right to be here," Chris McMillan said.
"I say [Mayor Naheed] Nenshi could bring all his force down here and push us out. We are not leaving until we are heard, the people's voice is heard. We are tired of being shut up and stuffed in the corner," said another protester, who gave his name only as James.
Elsewhere in the country, the City of Toronto issued eviction notices Tuesday calling on Occupy protesters who have been camping in a downtown park for more than a month to leave. The notice says protesters must remove tents in St. James Park between 12:01 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. local time.
Occupy Regina is much smaller than it was on the weekend. Police issued bylaw fines to the remaining protesters in Victoria Park on Monday night and only a few now remain. Officials in Saskatoon followed through on the city's eviction notice and removed Occupy protesters from Gabriel Dumont Park on Monday afternoon.
New York police cleared out Occupy Wall Street protesters from their longtime encampment at Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan early Tuesday in a move that led to about 200 arrests, but lawyers say a court order will allow the protesters to return with their tents.