Canada Occupy protesters prepare for winter

TORONTO, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Occupy protests across Canada are preparing for winter as city officials work to balance city bylaws, the right to protest and other citizens' rights.

Sarah Rotz, a spokeswoman for Occupy Toronto, said Thursday the protest's 200-plus tent city is gearing up for winter, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.


"Our focus now is on creating a safe space for the winter. We are getting generators for the winter [including one solar one] that have been donated, and we are trying to create a safe, inclusive community — the same thing we want represented by our governments, " Rotz said.

"We have a number of political issues we are working at addressing, and after our winter planning is in place, we will move forward and detail what our demands are as a movement."

Margaret Dougherty, a senior communications adviser in Toronto, said although the city hasn't granted permission to the protesters occupying the city's St. James Park, the city is trying to "respect the rights of a peaceful protest."

Toronto bylaws do not allow camping in parks overnight, but "any enforcement of our bylaws do have to be balanced with their [Occupy members'] rights and the rights of everyday citizens," Dougherty said.


In Calgary, officials are less sympathetic to the protesters' cause. Tom Sampson, the head of Calgary's emergency management team, has said he wants Occupy protesters out of Olympic Plaza immediately for other people holding permits for events in the plaza, including an upcoming Muslim Heritage Day festival.

"We are the 99 percent. Part of why were are here is to start social change and offer social services and that is happening here," said Daniel Donovon, an organizer of the Occupy Toronto movement.

Canada's Occupy protests came into full swing nearly two weeks ago, as part of the international Day of Action, started by the Occupy Wall Street that began in New York.

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