Police shut Halifax protest camp, 14 arrests
At least 14 people were arrested as police evicted protesters from a Halifax park — the second camp of demonstrators decrying corporate greed to be cleared in the country this week.
The Occupy Nova Scotia activists had only been camped out in Halifax’s Victoria park for a few days, after agreeing to leave a nearby site used for the city’s annual Remembrance Day ceremonies on Friday.
The 14 people arrested were cited for obstruction of justice, CBC News reported, citing local police. The move to clear the park came after demonstrators were told to leave for engaging in “illegal camping.”
“The time has come for the encampment to end,” city mayor Peter Kelly said in a statement. “Our parks are for all of the public, not an unregulated campground for some.”
The same rationale was used by officials in the Ontario town of London to justify the clearing of a public park early Wednesday.
Kelly said the Halifax protesters had the right to assemble, saying: “We support that, but we don’t support the use of tents.”
Canadian protesters — inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement that erupted in New York’s Zuccotti Park in September — have camped out in cities across the vast country to decry perceived unfairness in the economy.
A Nanos poll conducted in October and released this week showed that 58 percent of Canadians say they support the protesters.
In Vancouver, authorities vowed to shut down a protest camp after a 23-year-old woman died of an apparent drug overdose in a tent at the site on Saturday.
Protesters in Ottawa and Quebec City have also been threatened with expulsion. In Montreal, authorities have denied a request by protesters to build log cabins in a city square ahead of the upcoming bitterly cold winter.