24 April 2014

The move to unoccupy

1/02/2012 9:49:00 a.m.


SOCIAL networks sites were running hot after the operation to evict Occupy Wellington protestors from the city’s Civic Square.
Early Tuesday morning police and security officers, acting on instructions from Wellington City Council,  moved in to evict around 25 remaining protestors who have been camped in the square since October.
“Why the heck are you moving?” asks one Facebooker.  “I hope you’re moving from the sport to occupy parliament grounds.”
“What the hell are council and police doing?” another asks. “Gonna catch the train today and chalk Wellington with poetry in support of the movement. Occupy isn’t just Civic Square, Occupy is all streets”
However, not all Facebookers are supportive of the Occupy movement.
“Great work police,” Joel says. “Now we can use the space without the smell.”
“The best social programme is a job,” says Timothy.
Police and city council say they were happy with the way yesterday’s eviction unfolded. A council spokesman says that while things were tense when police first turned up at the square at 6.30am, police say they were pleased no arrests were made and occupiers left the square without incident.
However, one protestor, J.R. Murphy, says he was unhappy Occupiers put up little resistance.  Murphy says he left the camp on Sunday night dismayed that other protestors had made the decision not to fight security and police.
“I wanted to fight so I could get in front of a judge about what I Occupy,” Murphy says.
Protestors were did receive some help yesterday from the Downtown Community Ministry.
“There’s nobody else helping them,” said Downtown’s Allan Norman as he helped protestors move their gear. “But we’ll be able to move most of their stuff in two or three loads.”
Acting Wellington Mayor, Ian McKinnon, says while the council supported the right to protest this had to be balanced against the rights of others.
“Council officers have tried on a number of occasions to negotiate with the protestors, but without success,” McKinnon says. “It is certainly now time this area was once again available to all Wellingtonians.”
He says temporary fencing had been erected around the site to allow for the rehabilitation of the grassed area and to prevent reoccupation.
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