Will Calgary Be the First City to Illegally Arrest and Evict Protesters? – Joanne Costello

2 Nov

Media reports, as well as insider reports, indicate that Calgary may be the first city in Canada to take action against Occupy protesters.

Please read our letter to city officials and consider signing our petition.

We, the undersigned, are a group of concerned citizens who are asking City of Calgary officials to show continued respect for the rights guaranteed to the Occupy Calgary participants under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Occupy Calgary is an exercise in participatory democracy and is consistent with the ideals we hold dear as Canadians.

The gap between the rich and poor has been steadily increasing in Canada. The top 20% of families held 75% of total household wealth in 2005, compared to 73% in 1999 and 69% in 1984. The gap between the rich and poor is greater in Alberta than in any other province in Canada.

Given that resource allocation is a fundamental part of politics, it is not surprising that citizens wish to come together to discuss economic inequality, the efficacy of our current political system and other relevant matters.

The Calgary occupants have been peaceful and have engaged the community in education and dialogue. The movement has gained significant support in the community. Short of abandoning their cause, the protesters have demonstrated a willingness to cooperate with the city and other community members. Most recently, the protesters moved tents to accommodate a celebration at the plaza.

We support citizens’ rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. The law is clear that this federal legislation over-rides any local bylaws governing the Olympic Plaza.

We are concerned by recent media reports in which city officials have made inaccurate and inflammatory comments. For instance, the deputy chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency referred to protesters as “squatters,” misleading the public about the nature of the gathering and implying that the protesters are engaging in illegal activity. Similarly, Alderman Diane Colley-Urquhart has openly expressed her lack of respect for federal law and has even suggested the police should charge and remove protesters. We ask that city officials be held responsible for misleading the public and undermining the efforts of those complying with federal law. The onus does not rest solely on the protesters to contribute to a peaceful environment; city officials must not incite hostility by misleading the public about the legal context.

We, the undersigned, strongly urge the Mayor of Calgary, our aldermen and other city officials to show continued respect for the Charter Rights protecting this protest.

Sign the petition now!

Occupy charter permit 5

 

Cross-posted at: http://marginalnotes.typepad.com/pj/2011/10/petition-in-support-of-charter-rights-of-occupy-calgary-participants.html

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2 Responses to “Will Calgary Be the First City to Illegally Arrest and Evict Protesters? – Joanne Costello”

  1. Anonymous November 3, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    You all need to get working and get out of there. You’re a joke to the working people of this city.

    • idnami November 3, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

      First, as has been stated repeatedly, most of the protesters go to work or school. This isn’t about getting a handout. It’s about standing up for something we believe in.
      I am an employed, non camping participant in the movement. This blog is the role that I play in facilitating public awareness. The camp is only part of it.
      Secondly, you are being seriously misinformed by the media. If they can distort the truth so grossly when the facts are publicly visible to anyone walking by, don’t be surprised if they do it in other ways. I’m not just standing up for the campers when I say this. I have never been part of something that got this much press so I wasn’t aware of just how far they can go. The difference between the story that is unfolding here and the one being told in the news is as wide as the gap between a top CEO’s salary and, say, yours. It has caused me to seriously wonder what else they are lying about.
      What they are failing to mention is that the park is safer and cleaner than it was when overrun by drug dealers and the what the city supposedly has to spend on “damages” (read: routine maintenance) is likely made up for by the reduced necessity for police presence in that park.
      I recommend that you do your own thinking and look at the whole story. I assure you, this is no joke.

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