Police take down tents at Occupy Nova Scotia site after mayor issues ultimatum
HALIFAX – The mayor of Halifax says people camping out in a public park as part of the Occupy Nova Scotia protest have to take down their tents and move out.
Peter Kelly said notices were handed out to the dozens of campers in the downtown Victoria Park on Friday, informing them that they're in violation of a municipal bylaw.
The bylaw states that no one can camp in a municipal park without written permission from the city.
Also, people are not supposed to be in the park between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Police were seen taking down tarps, pulling up tents and packing personal belongings into green garbage bags as campers stood by.
"Council and the public have respected the right to peaceful protest and free assembly, but the time has come for the encampment to end,'' Kelly said.
"Our parks are for all of the public, not an unregulated campground for some.''
Kelly said the campers will also not be allowed to erect tents in Grand Parade, a downtown square where they had been set up before being asked to relocate for Remembrance Day ceremonies.
The city says the same bylaw that applies to parks also applies to Grand Parade.
"Since the departure of the protesters from the Grand Parade, we have made a significant effort to bring it back to the condition the public expect,'' the mayor said.
"Camping will not be permitted in the Grand Parade or any Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) park.''