Edmonton's Occupiers consider new camp location
Canada's Occupy movement suffered two additional blows on Friday morning as police started dismantling camps in Montreal and Edmonton.
Occupy protesters in Edmonton received an early wake-up call courtesy of police who moved in on the Melcor Park encampment at about 4 a.m. local time.
Despite the eviction, some defiant Occupy Edmonton protesters have promised to bounce back and occupy once again.
Bill Thomas, an Occupy Edmonton spokesperson, said demonstrators are holding a meeting on Friday evening to discuss setting up camp at another location.
In the meantime, police have cleared Melcor Park and erected a wire-mesh fence around the privately-owned area to prevent it from being reoccupied.
According to a statement from Occupy Edmonton, the eviction occurred early Friday morning when about 40 police officers "swarmed" the encampment and started dismantling makeshift shelters and tents.
CTV Edmonton reported that three people were arrested for trespassing after refusing to leave the park, a charge that can carry a fine of more than 280 dollars.
Amie Bursey, a spokesperson for Occupy Edmonton, said demonstrators have built a community over their 42-day occupation and "pushed for changes that will work for and not against the 99 per cent of us."
"I hope one day we have a system that listens and supports those peacefully pushing for change rather than criminalizing and silencing them. Today Edmonton lost something very special," Bursey said in a statement.
Hours later, protesters in Montreal were confronted with a similar fate when police swept into Victoria Park shortly after 9 a.m. local time.
Up to 12 demonstrators barricaded themselves in a tent as police marched into the park and asked demonstrators to pack up.
Police were forced to negotiate with the protesters who had tied themselves together in the designated kitchen tent with rope.
Nearby, about 300 officers tore down tents and removed garbage from the encampment, which was set up in mid-October.
The Montreal eviction struck an odd note when a man wearing a Batman was detained by police after rushing back towards the camp. One of his fellow protesters said he simply wanted to hug a police officer.
The man was released without charges, as were all 16 of the people detained in Montreal.
Police are acting on a city eviction notice that was handed out earlier this week.
This week has proven to be critical for the Canadian Occupy movement, with municipal officials shutting down large camps in Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton.
The eviction has been met with a split reaction from the demonstrators; some packing up and others refusing to leave.
During the eviction, a Montreal police spokesperson posted a message to Twitter indicating that police appreciate respect and co-operation from the protesters.
Police have not reported any arrests so far.
The dismantling of the Montreal encampment is the latest in a chain of Canadian Occupy evictions. Protesters have been forced to leave camps in Toronto, Calgary, Quebec City and Victoria as local authorities have lost patience with the movement.
The Occupy movement began in September when demonstrators staged a protest on Wall Street, inspired by the Canadian anti-corporate publication Adbusters.
The demonstration quickly gained momentum with protesters of all ages, political stripes and backgrounds -- even celebrities such as Kanye West -- taking part in protests or camping out at Zucotti Park in New York, which became a base camp of sorts for the movement.
Occupy Wall Street eventually spawned similar demonstration in hundreds of cities across the U.S., Canada and in some parts of Europe.
With files from Canadian Press