On the heels of today’s B.C. Supreme Court injunction demanding they dismantle their Centennial Park camp by tomorrow morning, Occupy Victoria protesters are planning a three-day flash occupation – probably next week – at some as yet disclosed location in Victoria.
It is part of an series of “flash occupations” the People’s Assembly of Victoria plans in response to the injunction, the way the camp has been taken over by the homeless, and the cold weather, says spokesperson Jason Thompson.
“The goal is to hold each space for three days,” he said in an interview minutes after the City of Victoria was granted the injunction demanding Occupy Victoria vacate the square by 7 a.m. Saturday – but did not include the right to send in police or anybody else to do the job.
Thompson admitted the timing of the flash occupations will depend on the weather.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Terence Schultes refused to grant the enforcement clause the city wanted to let the police arrest protesters and remove their tents because the
People’s Assembly of Victoria has so far “shown respect for the law” and met many Victoria demands to move tents from specific areas in the square the city wanted cleared in order to prepare for Christmas lighting and an outdoor ice rink.
If the all tents aren’t gone after the deadline, Justice Schultes said the city can then apply for an enforcement order.
Until then, the city has no power over the camp other than issue tickets.
Spokesperson and University of Victoria law student Anushka Nagji, who was part of the People’s Assembly two-person Supreme Court defence team headed for free by Victoria lawyer Rajinder Sahota, said Occupy Victoria had already made plans to vacate the camp before the city applied for the injunction.
Occupy Victoria’s focus now is “on being a thorn in the side” of the city, she said, adding there is no way of knowing how many campers might ignore the injunction and force the city to get an enforcement order.
The People’s Assembly has slated two public rallies in the square over the weekend to outline the reasons it and occupy camps in other cities are protesting as well as further planning its Victoria lash occupation series.