Occupy Montreal protesters determined to stay
MONTREAL - In spite of the dissipation of the movement elsewhere, the tent-residing residents of Occupy Montreal offered a mix of sentimentality and defiance in interviews with CTV Montreal Tuesday.
"My life has changed since I got here because I'm in a community now," said Joseph Alexander, who has been sleeping in a tent on the site. "I have people that I see every morning when I wake up and I love them very much. I wake up and I see the sun shine and I love that very much. I'm as happy as I've ever been."
But Montreal's mayor argued that the conditions had become unlivable.
"When you find lot of syringes and a lot of condoms in a tent and people who are there don't know exactly who's there. This is becoming very difficult," said Mayor Gerald Tremblay. Why can't you just leave and show the world it's possible to find a solution that will continue the dialogue?"
One protester, who has worked as a chef for the movement, was hoping that a good breakfast would change the mayor's mind.
"He invited us to leave, and I'm inviting him to come out here for breakfast tomorrow morning. I'll make flapjacks," said protester and cook Anna Robertson.
Occupy Quebec is no more.
Early Tuesday morning blue collar workers in the capital woke up protesters who had been living in Place Universite du Quebec and told them it was time to go.
By 7 a.m. the tents and sleeping bags that had been set up in the public square since Oct. 15 had been taken down and were being thrown in a garbage truck.
Several police officers were on hand, but they were not needed -- all the protesters had agreed to leave, although they were not happy with the decision.
"Considering that we were very peaceful, I think this is very unfortunate," said Guy Wera.
"They are in the process of throwing things in the trash. That's a waste, that's disrespectful."
The dismantlement of the camp comes after Mayor Regis Labeaume told the demonstrators on Monday night that his patience had run out and that they would be evicted in the near future.
The same thing happened in Calgary, as police moved through that camp in the middle of the night to oust protesters.
In Victoria police dismantled that city's camp at 5 a.m., arresting one person who refused to leave.
Meanwhile in Vancouver demonstrators subject to a court-ordered injunction to leave the field in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery packed up their tents, hiked a few blocks, and set them up in front of the provincial courthouse.
Tents in Toronto and Ottawa are still standing even though those protesters have been asked to leave.
Mayor Gerald Tremblay says Occupy Montreal is a safety risk
On Monday night Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay said the Occupy Montreal site has turned Square Victoria into a security risk.
"I have always said that peace and security on site and off site should be the paramount consideration. As these conditions are not met, the time has come that the (Occupy activists) find other ways to get their message across. I'm sure they will understand the need for action as soon as possible," said Tremblay.
"Why can't you just leave and show the world it's possible to find a solution that will continue the dialogue?" asked Tremblay.
Activists told CTV Montreal they are not happy with the request, with one protester saying she would chain herself to a tree to support the cause.
"The whole purpose of this protest and what makes it unique is that there is no end date," said activist Ben Godin.
Protesters plan to spend the winter outside
The protesters say they believe they have the law on their side and that there's no legal way for the city to evict them.
"The knowledge that they can only come in and give us a fine is heartwarming to us," said Godin. "I think that we can continue on."
Jamie Richardson said that while some protesters will go home for the winter, many plan to stay in the camp until spring.
"The strategy is that yes there will be the hardcore people staying on the site," said Richardson.
She also cautioned that even though many camps have been broken up, thinking the movement is over would be a mistake.
"We're looking at years, not just a couple months. We're looking at a transition for years to come."