Wednesday, December 7, 2011

7-6 vote to evict Occupy Movement....on Kingston City Council

December 6, 2011, the Mayor and six councillors voted to evict the Occupy Movement from Confederation Square across the street from city hall.
According to the "occupiers" interviewed by, the city had originally committed permission for the encampment to remain in Confederation Square until the Spring of 2012. What happened to that agreement? Not only must the encampment be removed by 12:01 on Friday, December 9, but the protesters must not establish a similar encampment on any other city property. Originally, the agreement with the city was that the encampment could and would move to a less visible site in the Spring of 2012.
Stories of councillor Kevin George having heard from people attending the Santa Claus parade that "the tent should be removed" and then his announcement that he was to put a motion to council to have the encampment removed are evidence that some in the city, and presumably on council, would rather not talk about the issues raised by the Occupy Movement and would rather see the pristine city property across from city hall vacated.
Is there some political fear that the council would be tarred with the "brush" of politically aligning with the Occupy Movement? And just how bad would that be?
For the Mayor to chastise the occupiers (some of whom actually attend local colleges) for not "being there" and for comparing their persistence to that of the Sisters of Providence who for sixteen years have demonstrated against poverty on the sidewalk in front of city hall each Friday, is to show more of his own colours projected onto the occupiers. Nice and tidy, squeaky clean...and certainly not leading a city in Canada that has the distinction of being one of the last to evict the Occupy Movement....that is not the legacy of a Mayor who seeks re-election.
So, just in case some might wonder, come the next municipal election, which councillors supported the eviction motions, here is a list of their names: 
                                                           Kevin George
                                                           Dorothy Hector
                                                           Jeff Scott
                                                           Bryan Paterson
                                                           Brian Reitzel
                                                           Sandy Berg
                                                           Mayor Mark Gerretson

Some of us will remember their names when the next municipal election rolls around, and will encourage anyone within earshot NOT to vote for their re-election.

Those supporting the Occupy Movement's permission to remain in Conferation Square were:
                                                           Jim Neill
                                                           Rob Hutchison
                                                           Liz Schell
                                                           Lisa Osanic
                                                           Bill Glover
                                                           Rick Downes 
As one interested observer of the Occupy Movement, we would like to thank these six for their political courage, their vision and their tenacity in supporting the Occupy Movement, its goals and its presence in the Square.
We will also promise to urge friends and neighbours to support them, should they decide to submit their names for re-election next time around.

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