We, the merry outlaws of Occupy Regina are pleased to announce the successful completion of Phase I of our project. The growing rift between civil rights and so-called “public safety” in Canada has been exposed. Special thanks to Regina’s own “Sheriff of Naughtiness,” City Manager Glen Davies, for making our job so easy.
The City’s health-and-safety rhetoric is as transparent a pretence as the Emperor’s New Clothes. If safety was their concern, why cut off the power to our electric heaters? Why remove our bathroom facilities? Why throw a homeless woman out in the middle of a cold night, with no available shelters to take her in? And why were nearly half the tickets issued to people who weren’t even camping, the last two for being on the sidewalk around the park?
The Parks and Open Spaces Bylaw sections 5(1) and 8(1)(c), and its omnibus definition of Open Spaces, tells us why. Citizens require permission to “conduct a procession, parade, ceremony, public meeting, assembly, worship service, demonstration, festival, concert, or other public gathering” in any “open space area” at any time, and they are forbidden to remain in public parks between 11 pm and 6 am. It is hard to square this with the City Corporation’s constant claim to support our right to protest.
We do protest! We are also demonstrating. We are demonstrating what democracy really looks like: a culture of sharing and liberty. Occupy Regina would like to reaffirm our commitment that this movement is not a camp – it is a global community. We would also like to thank the citizens of Regina, and the Regina Police Service, whose support made the camp possible. Also we appreciate the reluctance many officers felt towards enforcement. The tickets and the clearing of the tent city were expected, and necessary to illustrate the “nanny state” that City actions seem to support.
Finally, we’d like to say: expect us. We support a new ideology, challenging the problems traditionally viewed as “too big.” You cannot evict an idea. We have some very exciting things planned in the near future. There is a rally Saturday Nov 19th at noon at the site of the camp, and the following Saturday, November 26th at noon, with details to be released Friday the 25th on our website, http://99percent.ca