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Wednesday, June 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

City Tries to Boot out Occupy Vancouver

VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - Three weeks after Occupy Vancouver set up a tent city on the lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery, the city has asked the provincial Supreme Court for permission to dismantle the camp. The parties were in court Tuesday afternoon, where a judge granted Occupy Vancouver's recently appointed lawyer another day to prepare before a faceoff today.

The city claims protesters are trespassing on the art gallery land, which the gallery leases from the province of British Columbia. It claims that protesters have lit fires, disposed of garbage and removed soil, and ignored Fire Department orders on safety issues.

The city's complaint names Sean O'Flynn-Magee and other Doe or unknown persons as defendants.

The art gallery is in the heart of downtown. On Oct. 15, protesters began erecting tents and other structures, including a medical tent, a makeshift library and a kitchen boasting all-vegan fare.

Less than two weeks before city elections, the protest has become a political hot vegan potato, with candidates trading barbs about how to remove the protesters peacefully, in contrast to the sometimes violent actions in the United States and around the world.

On Monday night, two police officers were sent to hospital with human bite wounds, the police chief said, after officers and firefighters clashed with protesters over a barrel fire burning in the encampment.

The city seeks an injunction to boot out the campers, requiring them to stop burning materials and littering the art gallery grounds, and an order authorizing the Vancouver Police Department to arrest anyone trying to obstruct or interfere with city workers tasked with removing the protesters.

The city is represented by Ben Parkin.

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