Occupy Victoria gains two-day reprieve

A hearing into the city's petition for an injunction to remove all structures in Centennial Square rescheduled for Thursday

A B.C. Supreme Court judge granted protesters at Centennial Square, known as the People’s Assembly of Victoria, extra time to mount their legal defence against the City of Victoria.

A hearing into the city’s petition for an injunction to remove all structures in the square was scheduled for Tuesday morning. At the hearing, the People’s Assembly asked for a two-week delay, and were granted two days.

The hearing is rescheduled for Thursday.

Mayor Dean Fortin emphasized the delay gives the city less time to prepare for Christmas.

“It pushes us up against the time we need to get the square ready for the planned festival activities. We know the truck carrying the skating rink has left Ontario and is on its way here.”

For protesters, the two-day delay spurred them to make a decision about their resolve to stay in the square.

Tonight, they will hold an emergency meeting in the square to answer the question: “Do we want to officially move the encampment at Centennial Square elsewhere, end it all together, or proceed to stage a legal battle?”

Coun. Philippe Lucas spoke in favour of option one, at the prostesters’ general assembly held last Thursday. In an excerpt from his speech that night, he said: “I urge you to consider the public support that would be garnered from a joint decision to simply pick up, join hands, lift your heads high to the sky, and sing a song of freedom while moving forward towards the next stage of Occupy Victoria, whether that be flash mobs, flash camps, general strikes.”

Occupy Victoria began Oct. 15.

Read the city’s 192-page application for a court order, in full, at occupyvictoria.ca.

•••

Mayoral contesters weigh in:

The two mayoral candidates vying to oust Mayor Dean Fortin have vastly different takes on Occupy Victoria. For the record:

• Paul Brown: I think the movement is an honourable one. I don’t think it’s doing anything right now. We’ve got to find a way to move the cause forward in some other way, because we’re going to lose the public’s support if we haven’t already.

• Steve Filipovic: I whole-heartedly support the people who are occupying that square and fighting for our rights to stand up to the establishment, because the establishment is not serving the people anymore.

 

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