Courts, cold hit Canada ‘Occupy’ protests
OTTAWA — A court on Monday ordered Occupy protesters in Canada’s largest metropolis to take down their tents in a downtown Toronto park as demonstrators in Vancouver also faced a deadline to clear out.
“It is time this protest has come to an end,” Toronto Mayor Rob Ford told a press conference after Justice David Brown denied the demonstrators’ request for an injunction preventing the city from clearing out Saint James Park.
“I’m asking the protesters to leave peacefully and I?m asking them to leave as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile protestors in Vancouver began to dismantle their five-week old camp after a court imposed a 2 p.m. (2200 GMT) deadline to vacate a square at Vancouver Art Gallery.
Police forcibly removed protestors from parks in Halifax and London, Ontario earlier this month, and in recent days bone-chilling temperatures as low as -20 degrees Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit) thinned the ranks of other demonstrations throughout the country.
The protesters were inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement that erupted in New York’s Zuccotti Park in September, triggering copycat demonstrations across the United States and abroad against corporate greed.