Nfld. & Labrador

Occupy NL removes camp before St. John's deadline

Occupy movement members have taken down their tents in Harbourside Park, St. John's.
Members of Occupy NL decided Tuesday to remove their tents from a St. John's park in compliance with a city order 6:40

Occupy movement members have taken down their tents in Harbourside Park, in downtown St. John's.

They were removed just hours before the city's deadline for Occupy NL to remove its camp. It was part of a movement across North America protesting financial inequity.

The group decided to end to the last occupy encampment in Canada at a meeting in the park Tuesday evening.

"We decided that we want to take them down on our own terms. So we're going to take the last tent and clean up," said Occupier Thomas Clarke, who ran the meeting.

In the rain, the snow and every mix of weather in between, Occupy NL protesters stayed in makeshift tents for more than seven months.

They did it to make a point about the unfair distribution of resources in Canada, where a small percent of citizen own a large percent of the wealth.

People at the meeting included members of labour groups, unions, student organizations and other supporters.

Months ago, the city told the group they would have to vacate the park by midnight last night, because crews would be by this morning to start the cleanup.

City Manager Bob Smart told CBC News Wednesday morning he was pleased but not surprised that the activists had left Harbourside Park cleaner than when the protest started.

Clarke said the tents may be leaving the park, but the movement is just getting started.

He says their next step is to work with community groups to promote their cause through education and awareness campaigns.