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Amar Shah

Occupy London evicted peacefully

On Saturday, more than 200 protesters marched down Richmond St. in the heart of downtown London demanding an apology from the city for their eviction.Many of the protestors – members of the “Occupy London” movement – felt the need to vent their frustrations towards city officials after being forcibly removed from their campsite. They were the first “Occupy” campsite in Canada to be evicted, followed recently by the Occupy Nova Scotia protestors in Halifax.The official occupation of London’s Victoria Park, which began three weeks ago under sunny skies, came to an abrupt end this past Tues., 8 November, on a dark, chilly night. Mayor Joe Fontana had asked the protesters at least twice to vacate Victoria Park since the occupation began on 22 October, including during a formal meeting with the occupiers at city hall. Since that request was not followed, the urban campers were finally given a deadline of 6 pm on Tuesday.By 6:00, the scene at the park – flag waving, drum playing, and protesters linking in arms – depicted a celebration rather than an end. The protesters had not taken down any tents, choosing to stand their ground.There was palpable anticipation in the air. Close to 700 people had gathered to witness the imminent showdown between the protestors and the police.Many occupiers and their supporters felt that being asked to leave was a violation of their democratic rights. Some taped printed copies of the Fundamental Freedoms section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to their bodies.Brad Duncan, chief of the London Police Service, explained the decision to dismantle the tent city to the Western Gazette.“Over the course of the last 15 days, it’s never been about their right to protest,” he said. “The issue is within the context of the protest – the issue is being… Read More