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Occupy Victoria protesters expect raid by Victoria police
Occupy Victoria expects police to swoop in and tear down the Centennial Square protest camp Tuesday night, hours after protesters fear the B.C. Supreme Court will grant the city a temporary injunction allowing it to dismantle the 30- to 40-tent camp.
“Getting a temporary injunction isn’t that difficult,” said Anushka Nagji, a protest camp spokesperson and University of Victoria law student. “Chances are it is going to be granted.”
Nagji said as of Wednesday – a day after Victoria applied for the injunction that will be heard Nov. 15 – Occupy Victoria hadn’t yet decided whether to ask for time to make a legal case against the injunction or simply let the court make a speedy uncontested decision.
Nagji doesn’t expect any violence from her side if police remove the Occupy Victoria camp, although, she admits, there’s a remote possibility a few might put up token resistance.
The B.C. Supreme Court has temporarily postponed granting Vancouver an immediate injunction against Occupy Vancouver so that defence lawyers have a chance prepare a case against it.
The Occupy Victoria protesters were given copies of the city’s injunction application late Nov. 7, one day after notifying them they must remove their tents, leading about one third of the camp to disappear.
But an injunction might not be the end of Occupy Victoria protests.
Nagji last week said the movement is planning a series of “flash occupations” that can last from a few hours to a couple of days at different locations around the city
The apparent acceptance by Occupy Victoria that the Centennial Square camp is doomed can’t come soon enough for downtown businesses, police and civil politicians who claim the movement has been taken over by rogue and criminal elements, including drug dealers.
“This is good news,” said Ken Kelly, the Downtown Victoria Business Association general manager.
“We support the city’s action to have them removed.”
Kelly said Occupy Victoria has lost its way and no longer offers constructive alternatives to ending corporate greed and social inequality.
“It is in the interest of our (Victoria) economy that they are removed before Nov. 11 (Remembrance Day) because the day after is the start of the Christmas shopping season.
“It is important people perceive the downtown welcome and secure,” he said.