Occupy Fredericton’s Camp Dead, But the Idea Lives

Fredericton City Workers Illegally distroying Occupy Fredericton's Tent/structure

On January 03, 2012, at 5:00 am, a city crew under the direction of Mayor Brad Woodside destroyed the Occupy Fredericton shelter. City workers took approximately 17 minutes to cut down and remove the shelter and the belongings of the three protesters who were on site at that time. The city crew knocked the shelter down on the heads of two protesters who were still inside while the third was recording video of the incident from outside. They used chain saws and box cutters to cut the shelter apart, then sent it, along with many other items belonging to the protesters, to the landfill. Nick Moore, a reporter from CTV, was threatened with arrest if he filmed the incident from City Hall property, and was threatened with arrest again when he tried to film the incident from across the street.

Occupy Fredericton protesters were not given an eviction notice. Instead, they were given a three-day notice that they would be fined in three days if they did not remove the shelter from Phoenix Square. However, the city crew destroyed the shelter less than two and one-half days after serving the protesters with the notice, and no fines were issued.

The protesters maintained, since the beginning, that they wanted the issue to be dealt with in court; since they were not infringing on any Fredericton by-laws, the only legal they could be forcibly removed is if a court were to issue an injunction requiring them to move. In that case, the protesters said that they would remove their own shelter.

The protesters were willing to be fined for their protest. That way, they could have contested the fines in court, and brought the issue to court that way, since the Mayor refused to seek a court injunction.

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