As of 11pm Monday, November 14, the Occupy camp has been disbanded. Police came to take people out of the park and fine anyone in the park after 11pm. See Saskboy’s video above and read his posts here both on events that night and Occupy in general.
As you see in the video above, the police seem to think the city sidewalk is either an open space and thus not for people to be on after 11pm or takes on the character of the adjacent property.
The police officer in the video, in an underhanded way, forces Saskboy, an observer, to decide between responding to the officer’s order – to move into park, and receive a fine or refuse a police order.
Media outlets report 7 people ticketed Monday night (CTV ). The Occupy page on Facebook suggests one protester was arrested.
I was not there Monday night but was able to come down Tuesday. All the tents left-over from the weekend remained in the park. The police moved the people out Monday night, rather than the camp.
Tuesday night saw a meeting of Boyscouts and Occupiers on Scarth Street. The Scouts asked questions of the Occupiers about their message and why they chose camping to protest. The Occupiers asked the Scouts about winter camping, ways to keep warm and stay dry.
It was a positive exchange held uncomfortably in the windy whirl between the towers. It was strange to be away from the camp, lying just behind the scene like a ruin.
Out of the wind, Occupiers held a meeting at O’Hanlon’s to discuss the future of the protest. There is a notion to move camp but they are not sure where to go.
The writing was on the wall Thursday night/Friday morning. I thought the police might be there to remove the protest before Remembrance Day ceremonies. It turned out the spectre of police action was enough to get people packing.
A rumour was circulating that night, the police would be coming at 6:30am Friday to shut the camp down. Occupiers prepared by removing valuables, and signs, voluntarily packing up some pieces.
I was in no position to disagree, it was a choice made by people living there. Still, it felt like the end.
Eventually, activity in the camp calmed, and the mild evening became rather peaceful (despite the occasional drunken outbursts from the capacity crowd at O’Hanlon’s). I thought of the first few nights, where people would collect around 10pm and have interesting discussions. How much it had grown as a camp and then how little was left that night.
I believe Occupy will survive in someway. The issues aren’t going away, and neither will those concerned citizens. There will be tickets to fight in court, protests and Facebook updates for weeks, months and probably years to come. But for me, Occupy will always be a place. The North West corner of Victoria park, where I spent some fun, thoughtful and memorable hours in the fall of 11.