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I actually agree in spirit with a demand to allow things like vitamins and natural health products to be allowed to be covered under our health care.

It makes sense to encourage for our gov't to help people afford vita-nutrient therapy and products as it's becoming more and more difficult for more and more people to get them from food. That in turn makes us unhealthier as a population and burdens our already heavily burdened health care system.

Gov't should give tax credit or allow a certain amount to be covered by our health care coverage. Nutrition and supplemental nutrition IS health care.

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Wow, how can anyone take these guys seriously.This guy's only purpose was to cause a stink of the whole segment. According to Tamara Taggart's twitter, this is the same clown who was arrested for chocking someone at the Dick Cheyne conference. Also, according to Mi-Jung Lee's twitter, the clown left after the camera was off.

At the 2:53 mark: http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20111115/bc_occupy_vancouver_tents_removed_111115/20111115?hub=BritishColumbia

Mi-Jung Lee handled this clown extremely well.

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Two differing views being propounded in court during the hearing for the injunction to remove the encampment.

Ben Parkin, counsel for the City has introduced a laundry list of violations.

Jason Gratl, counsel for one of the OV protesters claims that the City is grossly exaggerating health and safety concerns.

A lawyer for an Occupy Vancouver protester on Friday accused the city of grossly exaggerating health and safety concerns on the tent city site.

Lawyers for the city, who are seeking an injunction to clear out the protest site on the lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery, cited reports of rats, garbage strewn about, filthy water and fist fights.

But Jason Gratl, who is representing one of the protesters, scoffed at those submissions.

He noted that health officials, when asked about the rats, said they were monitoring the site and there were no health concerns.

The city’s submissions were “highly inappropriate” and inaccurate, Gratl told B.C. Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie.

“It amounts to nothing more than an unsubstantiated smear.”The city argued that stakes driven into the ground for the tents on the site and trenches dug around the tents posed a risk to an underground vault of art work.

But Gratl noted that the art gallery itself had issued a statement that it had no concerns about water penetration and was monitoring the situation.

He argued that there were no significant fire, safety or health hazards.

“This isn’t a dirty, squalid little squat like the city suggests. From a safety viewpoint, it’s quite a well-run little ship.”

Gratl said the death on site of a 23-year-old woman of a cocaine and heroin overdose was a “most tragic circumstance” but added that there was no evidence that Occupy Vancouver caused or contributed to the death.

The judge interjected to say that she didn’t think the city was making any such allegation.

City lawyer Ben Parkin said the death posed difficulties for emergency medical personnel to access the site and added that there was still a reluctance by paramedics to go on the site without a police escort.

The city alleged that the protesters had taken over and dominated a site that is a popular venue for various events.

But Gratl argued that the protesters have tried to accommodate any requests for use of the site.

The judge asked Gratl what sort of a court order she should impose and Gratl replied that the court should address any “residual” public health and safety issues.

“Those are valid public purposes,” he said.

The legal submissions, which began Wednesday, were expected to finish Friday. It was unclear when the judge might make a ruling in the case. The protesters set up their tent city on Oct. 15.


Gratl also pointed out that Mayor Gregor told Occupy Vancouver they could stay indefinitely at the VAG and that was equivalent to obtaining a permit to remain which counsel for the City said was required.

Vancouver's mayor said Occupy Vancouver could stay indefinitely, and participants felt that was as good as getting a permit, an injunction application hearing was told today.

Lawyer Jason Gratl, who is opposing the city's injunction application to shut down the tent city, said Occupy Vancouver is part of a global political experiment that should be allowed to continue.

City lawyer Ben Parkin argued earlier that Occupy Vancouver didn't get a permit to use the north plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The Occupy group is using the space to the exclusion of other groups, the city said.

Gratl told the court hearing that Occupy Vancouver is willing to share the space.

"The mayor of the city said they could stay indefinitely unless there were public health concerns," the lawyer told the judge, who may rule later today on the city's application.

The occupiers have tried to comply with fire and safety concerns, he said.

Participants are a broad cross-section of society, he said, ranging from doctors and those with PhDs to people with mental illness and drug dependence.

Occupy is a global movement with 2,500 other sites around the world that have arisen since the first, Occupy Wall Street, began Sept. 17.

The Occupy movement has no leaders but exercises a high level of democracy by listening to all voices at general assembly meetings and making decisions on issues discussed, Gratl said.

"There is no unified demand," he added, but one commonality is the questioning of the inequitable distribution of wealth.

Gratl suggested that the movement is an experiment in democracy and political expression.

He admitted the Occupy movement can be confusing to outside observers.

The movement arose from the "Arab Spring" that saw a number of governments toppled in the Middle East, Gratl said

The three-day injunction hearing began Wednesday and will likely conclude today.

B.C. Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie could rule on the city's application today - before Saturday's civic election.

But she could also decide to reserve judgment, possibly making a decision Monday.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said earlier this week he wants the tent city gone by Grey Cup weekend, which is a week away.

The mayor said he doesn't want to issue an ultimatum but wants Occupy Vancouver to end peacefully.

A number of cities such as Vancouver, Toronto and New York have decided to shut down the Occupy tent cities.

New York's was shut down Tuesday but thousands took to the streets of New York on Thursday, resulting in about 200 arrests.

Occupy Vancouver has had two drug overdoses, including the tragic death of a young woman.

Gratl said there has been only one arrest of a man who sat on the street to block traffic.

The man was later released without charge, he pointed out.

Police and firefighters were assaulted last week when firefighters tried to extinguish an open fire in a steel drum.

Occupiers said it was a "sacred fire" lit by first nations elders.

Gratl suggested the altercation over the sacred fire was a unfortunate misunderstanding.

The lawyer told the judge she could craft an order that Occupy Vancouver participants refrain from occupying the site to the exclusion of others.

He said shutting down the tent city would violate the constitutional rights of the participants to freedom of expression.

The encampment is a form of political protest and political expression, he said.

"The tents are necessary to the expression," Gratl told the court.

The city says having a 24-watch by firefighters on site has been a huge expense and one of the reasons the camp should be shut down.

More than $500,000 has been spent on polIcing and city services since Occupy Vancouver began Oct. 15.


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An injunction has been granted in Victoria and Occupy Victoria has been ordered to dismantle its tent city.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has ordered members of the Occupy Victoria protest movement to clear all tents, structures and objects from Centennial Square by 7 a.m. Saturday.

However, Justice Terence Schultes declined to order an enforcement clause, requested by the city, which would give police the authority to arrest or detain those who refuse to comply.

The protesters have conducted themselves in a manner that shows a high degree of respect for the law, noted Schultes. The judge also said he was not satisifed that planned public events such as the Christmas lightup will be disrupted if protesters do not immediately comply with the order.

“If the orders are not complied with by the deadline, the city can make an immediate application for enforcement,” said Schultes.

Outside court, Occupy Victoria members considered the judge’s decision a minor victory.

“I expected the injunction to go through. I expected it to be immediate and I expected it to be enforced,” said Jason Thompson. “But Raj put forth a very good judgment yesterday and fortunately the judge was very compassionate.” Rajinder Sahota is the lawyer who represented the protesters.

Individuals will now have to decide whether or not they want to stay, Thompson said. Unless an enforcement order is granted, authorities will only be able to ticket people who refuse to leave.

“We will continue to have our general assemblies and hold other events in the square without infringing on anybody else’s right to use the square for anything they want to use it for,” he said.

A happy Anuska Nagji also considered the decision a victory, to be discussed at the next general assembly Sunday at 2 p.m.

“We’ve created a community in a month based on change, action, political discussions and social discourse,” said Nagji. “We’ve done some incredible things in Centennial Square with a ragtag group of students, rebels, homeless and addicts. This is a victory, but it’s one in a long line of them.”

The city’s request for an enforcement order was like trying to kill a fly with a shotgun, she said.

“The courts have recognized the peaceful nature of our assembly,” she said.

A rally is planned Saturday in Centennial Square. Another rally is planned to coincide with the Santa Claus parade on Nov. 26, she said.

The group would eventually like to challenge the constitutional validity of the bylaw, when there is more time to prepare proper legal arguments, she said.

The judge found the benefit to the public at large from the city being able to allocate its use of space substantially outweighs the public benefit from the protesters’ ongoing dialogue of engagement.

Schultes found the city has broad accountability for its allocation of the square. Improper use of the space can be checked by judicial review or civic elections, he said.

“Despite their laudable general goals, it is a point of pride on the respondents that they are not accountable to the civic government and are accountable to their own vision of how protests should be carried out ... The heart of their submission was the flat rejection of the pre-authorized requirement for a demonstration that the bylaw requires,” said Schultes.

The fact the protesters have co-operated with the city when required and remain willing to do so — which is very much to their credit — is not the issue, he said. The city should be free to conclude that any encampment in the square is not in keeping with the best public use of that space, said Schultes.

“This is not, as the protesters would have it, a case of the court validating the city’s preference for mundane holiday celebrations geared to promoting downtown business over an impassioned fight for global justice. This is about the ability of a government to exercise its ability to allocate public space in accordance with the bylaw.”


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In Toronto the court hearing where Occupy Toronto is challenging the City's orders to remove structures and not be in the park during certain hours has concluded. It is expected that the judge will issue his ruling on Monday morning at 9am.

At a hearing in Toronto to determine whether the city can legally force the Occupy protesters out of St. James Park, lawyer Susan Ursel argued the tent city is a fundamental piece of the group's movement — a "physical manifestation" of the idea that a different, more equitable type of society is possible.

But Justice David Brown repeatedly interjected during her arguments, raising concerns about what kind of precedent would be set by allowing the protesters to occupy the park indefinitely.

"All of a sudden, every protest movement has their own park?" he asked with a note of incredulity, noting this could lead to all city parks being filled up with disparate movements, preventing other residents from enjoying their public spaces.

"I don't see where the logic stops," he said.

Ursel said the Occupy case was different because the tent city has become central to the group's mandate for social change and the "permanence" of their convictions.

Asked by the judge whether the city is expected to tolerate the camp indefinitely, Ursel responded: "The continuous nature of the encampment represents the seriousness of the applicants' convictions."

Brown asked why the Occupy group has never asked the city for a permit for the camp, and criticized members for erecting a tree house in St. James Park after he issued an explicit order this week that no new structures be erected while the charter issues were being dealt with.

Ursel responded that the tree house had since been taken down, and countered that the city had not approached the group to suggest they get a permit.

She said the city had an obligation to try to resolve the issues surrounding Occupy, including complaints from other residents that the camp was preventing their own enjoyment of the park.

"There are other means available . . . co-operation, discussion and dialogue," Ursel said, citing the potential for all parties to find a way to "share" the park.

The judge pointed out that the protesters were not proposing such alternative solutions as they believed they were entitled to remain in St. James Park indefinitely.

"Talking's always good, but their bottom line is, ain't going anywhere," Judge Brown said.


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One thing I have learned is never take the fact that a judge is challenging an argument to mean he/she has decided. Sometimes it is done to test the strength of an argument and take counsel to hypothethicals to see if the argument can stand.

Years back I was doing a case where the Court of Appeal justices beat on me like a drum for the whole time during my argument and only asked the opposing side one question. And when the decision was rendered it was in my favour.

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Here is a report on the injunction decsion with more detail to come:

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has granted an injunction order to the City of Vancouver allowing it to clear out the Occupy tent city.

Justice Anne MacKenzie granted the city's request Friday, but has yet to rule on timing for enforcement.

The decision is bound to disappoint Occupiers, who have camped out behind the Vancouver Art Gallery since Oct. 15.

Earlier in the day, Matthew Kagis, a volunteer medic who saved the life of an overdose victim in the camp, told CTV News he was confident the protesters would not be forced out.

"I think Madame Justice is an obviously very intelligent, well-educated woman who knows the laws and can see the argument in front of her and I'm confident of a decision that will accommodate Occupy Vancouver's needs and the city's needs," he said.

His lawyer, Kathryn Campbell, argued that the tents on the site are necessary for the protesters' freedom of expression and provide key resources for the demonstrators.

"The concern is if an injunction is granted that a gaping void will exist and the city won't be able to step in immediately to supplement and replace those lost resources," she said.

Lawyers also argued that the encampment provides sleeping space for the homeless that would otherwise be there.

The Vancouver court decision comes just hours after a judge in Victoria issued an injunction against that city's occupy protest.

Most protesters had already cleared out of the camp site in the provincial capital earlier this week in anticipation of the judge's ruling.


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The timing to comply with the court order is Monday November 21, 2001 by 2pm. The court also granted an enforcement order allowing the police to move in if the OV protesters do not comply

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has granted an injunction order to the City of Vancouver allowing it to clear out the Occupy tent city by Monday afternoon.

Justice Anne MacKenzie granted the city's request Friday -- including an order for enforcement by police -- and said the protesters will have until 2 p.m. on Nov. 21 to remove their tents.


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The timing to comply with the court order is Monday November 21, 2001 by 2pm. The court also granted an enforcement order allowing the police to move in if the OV protesters do not comply

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has granted an injunction order to the City of Vancouver allowing it to clear out the Occupy tent city by Monday afternoon.

Justice Anne MacKenzie granted the city's request Friday -- including an order for enforcement by police -- and said the protesters will have until 2 p.m. on Nov. 21 to remove their tents.


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Has anyone at any point come up with some sort of "solution" to whatever Occupy Wallstreet is?

An older guy (professional protester) on the bus the other day was saying how "this is the fight for our generation, and the biggest fight of our lives"

I turned to him and asked "Im guessing this isn't your first "fight for the generations" is it? To which he replied

"I've been protesting all my life" I think had to chirp him and said

"I think your mom should have protested against your dad a little more"

Immature? Yes. Worth it? Definitely.

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