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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Occupy Nanaimo

A tactic that is commonly used by City Staff and Council is to add late items to the Agenda of Council meetings that do not appear on the City Website until extremely late in the day of the council meeting. This happened on Monday when an Announcement by Mayor Ruttan regarding the Occupy site was added to the agenda.

Why do this? I believe the underlying hope is that if no one knows then no one will speak to the issue. As the regular meeting of council is televised this can seen as a good tactic to use if you do not want to keep the common folk in the loop.

Interesting with the meeting on Monday November 28 is that many from Occupy were on hand at the council meeting and while not appearing as delegations took the opportunity to avail themselves at question period.

The link below will take you to the video of the meeting and if you use the scroll bar at the bottom of the screen to go to i:10 minutes and you will catch the questions asked. Listen to them all and pay particular attention to the behaviour of our Mayor.
Council Meeting November 28, 2011

The following are stories related to Occupy leading up to their having to leave the Krall Space.

Dec 9
Judge gives injunction to dismantle occupy camp
"I was hopeful that we could resolve the matter without involving litigation, but unfortunately that was really the only remaining alternative," From when it was announced by Mayor Ruttan at council on Nov. 30th that the City 'MAY' seek an injunction it was a done deal. This was made abundantly clear by the two 'In Camera' motions made on the 30th that were included in the injunction papers. There was also no time given as the judge said remove forthwith and just to ensure that happened the top brass of the city were there to gloat. Kudos to all those who took part in the Occupy movement, not just in Nanaimo but elsewhere as well.
Editorial: Occupiers no longer welcome downtown

Dec 5
Occupiers issued notices for court appearance
This really came as no surprise and while the Occupiers were hopeful to get a continuance so they could to get afidavits refuting those that were in the City injunction papers the result alas was the above.

Dec 2
Occupiers angry they were blindsided with court action
The Krall space is not a park. Tents are not permanent structures and if they are considered such then every time an event is held at one of the City's parks then it is in violation of the By-Law. A costly injunction was not the way to go. The city could easily have agreed to allow the occupiers to keep their information canopy on site and as they already have the right to picket, protest or demonstrate 24/7 then in all likelihood the tents except for a symbolic few would have been removed peacefully. Wonder if the Mayor even thought of that as an option?

Dec 1
Nanaimo occupiers face fines after ignoring request to vacate plaza
Occupiers won't leave plaza until city provides new site
Activists say occupy camp gives sense of community

Nov 30
Occupy camp turns down city proposal
The picture used by the D/N is misleading in that while it implies the Occupy site is a mess it in reality is not. Between the tents is a pile of stuff that has been donated and is bagged and covered to prevent it from getting wet. Take a picture from the front of the Krall Space and you clearly see that other than the Information canopy and food tent the rest is not visible.
As for cancelled events, Halloween was great, the Santa thing was admittedly by the DNBIA moved indoors due to inclement weather and the use of the big screen to show the Grey Cup was not even advertised and could have been done for the enjoyment of those interested as well asd the occupiers.

The behaviour of our Mayor at the Council meeting on Monday was sad to say the least. People find it hard enough to speak without being denigrated and talked down to. The Mayor not allowing interested councillors to be a part of the negotiations smacks of dictatorship and yelling at the negotiators during these meetings is certainly not behaviour one would expect from civic leadership.

The occupiers are a group of well meaning citizens, many of whom hold down full time jobs, who just want to make the public aware of inequities in our system. Work with them and I am sure a peaceful resolution can be had.

City tells occupiers to vacate by thursday
The reality here is that there has been no ultimatum or specific deadline as the Mayor and Council have only said they MAY apply for an injunction.

There have actually been NO events cancelled. At the DNBIA meet and greet last week it was stated that the move of the Santa fly-in and workshop to the Museum was actually a good idea because of the weather and as for an alleged, at council last night by staff, use of the BIG SCREEN in the Krall Space to show the Grey Cup on Sunday that was the first time it had even been mentioned. Nothing has been cancelled.

As for the notice they received they are not in contravention of any of its points; they have not built a structure; they have not Occupied for Lodging, those spending nights have homes and the homeless that choose on occasion also have elsewhere to go.

The fact is there are no scheduled events and once gone the place will be dead space as it usually is.

Given time and with discussion the folk occupying would eventually leave on there own. Using threats is not the way to go. Business is benefitting from money the occupiers spend and there is absolutely no reason for anyone to fear going to the library because of the occupiers. In actuality more families should bring their kids down to show them what the true face of democracy is about.

1 comment:

rsctt said...

City councils just like other levels of government have taken on an air of superiority, and elitism.