Montreal’s Occupy Encampment Closed Down
The Occupy Montreal encampment in Square Victoria was torn down on Nov. 25, following an eviction notice from the city four days earlier.
The statue of Queen Mary which sits in the southern end of the park has overlooked the occupation from start to finish; her gaze now falls upon a miniature land fill that is the remnants of the occupation.
Hundreds of police were on the scene to keep the peace between the evicted occupiers and the Montreal Blue Collar workers as they sifted through piles of sleeping bags, wood, chairs and even bikes.
Activists and bystanders watched in somber disbelief as what had recently been their home was gathered into piles and loaded in the back of a dump truck.
A few people were arrested when they refused to leave their tents, but for the most part the eviction went without confrontation between the occupiers and the police, one protester told The Link.
Others were not so impressed by the police and city workers.
“These police officers and workers are controlled. They do whatever the person above them tells them to do. They have no respect for the people’s materials and belongings. They do their ‘clean-up’ work like robots with no concern for how the people feel,” said Joash, a protester who has been camping at the square since the beginning of the occupation on Oct. 15.
Paul, a man who works in the financial district, is glad that the occupation is at an end, saying, “They are just cleaning up the park. The protesters have had their message heard and it is now time for them to go home.”
Some protesters, though, have no home to go back to. As one activist told The Link, “We gave the homeless a roof over their head and a community to belong to. Society today does not offer that.”
The occupation of Square Victoria park may have ended, but a sign hung from the statue of Queen Mary captioned, “We are Nomads,” shows that the fight is not over yet.
After the eviction, occupiers gathered at Place Jean Paul Riopelle where they sortedthrough the physical remnants of the movement.
The eviction did not prevent a day of support event from taking place in the square on Saturday, which featured speeches on social justice and a surprise performance by Bran Van 3000.