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Obstruction of What Justice?

Occupy Nova Scotia Evicted from Victoria Park on Remembrance Day

by Miles Howe

Obstruction of What Justice?

Having just spent the last ten hours shivering in a jail cell, I don't have much of an idea of what else has happened to the Occupy Nova Scotia movement. I can tell you that the treatment we received from the Halifax Police Department, brought about by Mayor Kelly's Remembrance Day Eviction Notice, has been absolutely deplorable.

In total, 13 or 14 people have spent over 10 hours in jail cells, sitting in soaking wet and muddied clothing, while police officers came and went, ignoring our pleas for blankets or to at least turn on the heat. This was perceived to be a joke to some, as one female officer laughingly chided "This isn't a hotel."

Ha ha.

The reason for our arrest; a non-violent sit-down on a tent that the police were in the process of dismantling and throwing in a garbage bag. I perceived the tent upon which I was sitting to be someone's only home, and only shelter for the evening. I perceived the belongings in the tent to be someone's only change of clothes, only backpack, only shelter from the downpour of the day. I sat upon the tent, as did others, and in return was dragged through mud, had my clothing ripped from me, was handcuffed, tossed onto the street, had my backpack carved up by a knife-wielding police officer, and was then launched headfirst into a paddy-wagon. This is my charge; obstruction of justice.

Minutes later, into the paddy-wagon came a young lady of 18. She had been stomped on by officers, was crying, muddy, drenched, and in noticeable pain. She asked for medical attention, the results of police boots laid into her chest. Officers heard her request, and slammed the door of the paddy-wagon shut in her face. Fortunately, one of those in the wagon managed to fish out a cellphone and dial 911 himself, asking the ERS to meet us at the police station. Even there, minutes later, the police would not uncuff the young lady in question while the preliminary examination took place. Her crime? Obstruction of justice.

Another gentleman was chocked out by police, and having passed out in his paddy-wagon, went into seizure. His shoulder may be separated. He was made to sit in a cell, for 10 hours, like the rest of us. His crime? Obstruction of justice.

In the coming days all these claims will be verified by testimony, either by video, film, or first-hand experience.

We were fed one 210 calorie protein bar, and given one 500ml bottle of water, over the span of 10 hours. We are now not allowed in any park in the city, including, but not limited to, Victoria Park, the Commons, Point Pleasant Park, and Grand Parade Square, until our court date of December 29th. Our crimes? You guessed it, Obstruction of justice.

I will not launch into any diatribe against the idiocy of this whole procedure. Istead, please divert your attention to the new surveillance cameras installed in Grand Parade Square and Victoria Park. Please ask Mayor Kelly what in fact they are meant for, if they are a permanent fixture, and how much they cost. And please, demand a better answer from that shameful man, who would tarnish Remembrance Day with this attrocious eviction notice and carte-blanche policy to his police force, than allowing him to blame it on Occupy Nova Scotia.

Shame.

Please enjoy the following conversation with me.

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Commentaires

Thank-you, Miles

I again congratulate and commend you, Mr. Howe, for standing up for your beliefs and what you perceive needed to be done to maintain (or to at least come closer to attaining) the democratic country that so many people gave their lives for in previous armed fights against oppression and fascism.  I am honoured to have met you and call you a friend. I am reminded today of another friend who gave of himself by service in an armed force and he  stated he was happy to have served the free world.  I similarly question exactly what in Canada or the United States resembles freedom, given the corporatization of our political 'leaders' and their edicts from 'up high.' Just tonight, I watched some video about our food system and how the 'powers that be' have determined that naturally-grown food is not fit for human consumption and had to be discarded after being doused in bleach by order.  I am horrified that the freedom so many men, women, mothers, daughters, fathers, and sons sacrificed their lives for is being eroded by corpoate greed and is being replaced by something more resembling the fascist dictatorships so many fought so hard against.  Thanks, again, Mr. Howe, and all who stand in the face of the beast. May our sons and daughters reap the fruits of freedom!

Shame to Peter Kelly and Halifax Police

I am absolutely outraged that Peter Kelly would follow the cowardly actions of other mayors in calling in the police to enforce what amounts to class war. Up to now I had been proud of Halifax and its tolerant and moderate response to the Occupy protest. The fact that he did it by tricking the protestors to move and then arresting them on Remembrance Day makes it worse.

Shame, shame, shame on you, Peter Kelly, for your willingness  to use brutality and call in "law" to create political prisoners out of protesting ctizens.

 

thank you

Thank you Miles for you report and support for the movement.

Miles - I cannot find the

Miles - I cannot find the words to express what I feel from this horrific event. I watched as you got dragged and cuffed and I took a good mouthful of what I am sure had to be mace. (They say there was none?? Really?) They cannot stop alternative media though and you are one of our best resources... Our families and futures are indebted to you for what you have gone through. Love and Solidarity.

I solved my problems with the

I solved my problems with the city of halifax and its police by moving to British Columbia. I'd reccomened the same to everyone, get out of that hell hole.

Ahhhh, B.C. , where

Ahhhh, B.C. , where everything is perfect?

no your wrong , its still a

no your wrong , its still a crime

Obstructing Injustice!

Obstucting Injustice is not a crime... its a responsiblity.

 

Please sign this petition,

Please sign this petition, and pass it along.

We as the people of this city need to stand up and tell Mayor Kelly that what he did was cruel and unjustified.

 

http://www.petitiononlinecanada.com/petition/peter-kelly-must-go-petition-to-impeach-mayor-peter-kelly/549

no

no

http://www.petitiononlinecana

the cops were doing their job?

first of all as a former justice worker I can tell you this their right to puvblic peaceful assembly was taken from them the police illegally stole personal property , and distroyed some as well illegally , and why is it illegal? well as I have said to mr kelly and counsil as well as the legal experts who now call for sa review of everything . that no infact they did not do their job they did this illegally.
and they will be held accountable. and as for people like you who support the police violating rights , you dont deserve the rights the vetrans fought for, move to china or korea , dont play games with pissed off NOva scotianers who know better . its not advisable it may take awhile for us to do something but when we do. youll know why.

 

Threats?? how lame. if the

Threats?? how lame. if the police stole something, file a complaint. WHAT IS A FORMER JUSTICE WORKER? A MALL COP? Maybe a door man at a bar? Maybe a wannabe cop who just couldn't make it. I can't believe people think that saying no to police when given a direct order is a good idea. I guess a few people fountd that out today.  

For starters you should've

For starters you should've got off the tent cause it didn't belong to you and the cops were doing their duties. You got what you desrved in jail, it's not a hotel and if you were worried about being cold then you shouldn't have got in the cops way. I was there and when I was told to move I moved and nothing happened to me, you want to be a dummy then be a dummy but don't cry when you end up in jail

ok... Peter!

ok... Peter!

what did you think was going to happen??

You disobey a direct order by police and think 'now they will just leave ' Really? Come on. Would it have been warmer in a tent? Don't ever think you are there fighting for MY rights, I can do that without your misguided help. you are where you are because you chose to be there. Suck it up princess!!!

Wake up and learn something!

 

Disobeyed a direct order??? What are you talking about? You have no idea what your rights are!

Civilians are not members of the military. They do not take orders per se, unless marshall law is declared, or possibly if there is some extreme emergency like a natural disaster. If civilians do not obey laws, they may be charged accordingly by the appropriate authorities. If they fail to obey a by-law, the by-law officers are empowered to issue violations at their discretion. Where were the by-law officials on that day? Apparently nowhere. For all the talk about violating the by-law, not one person was charged with a by-law violation. Why? How can police charge obstruction of justice when no violations were ever issued? 

Haven't you noticed that other cities have gone about things a lot differently?? Like, um, they follow the legislation? 

And by the way, city councilors are not empowered by the law to dictate the enforcement or non-enforcement of by-laws. The secret vote was meaningless, other than being hideously undemocratic to begin with, by its secrecy. 

Which brings me to secrecy. Halifax is addicted to it, and that is not good. All secret meetings and discussions of elected bodies are anti-democratic and should be held to be illegal. There is no plausible justification for secret agendas and secret council sessions: especially not where the disbursement of funds is concerned. Determining the way a lawsuit would be defended is not a subject for the council in any case, so that is not even a relevant reason for a secret session. In truth, participation in such secret council session constitutes a serious breach of the public trust, and is grounds for demanding the resignation of representatives. 

 

Agreed!

Yes you obstructed justice "Any interference of the administration and due process of law." You interfered and you got what you deserved. It does not say violent interference it says ANY (be it by words or actions). So quit whining and making them look like the bad guys. If you had of followed the law you would have been in a nice warm bed. The person who owned the tent (if they were that worried about their "only home" and "only change of clothes") would have removed it.

AMEN!!!  This was NOT an

AMEN!!!  This was NOT an expression of democracy.  The police in Halifax and every other US and Canadian city who have behaved this way should be filled with shame!!!

Think about it

Your arguments make a great case for a police state. Just because a police officer asks you to move, doesn't mean you should always do it. The point of a protest is to draw attention to your cause, and raise awareness of the issues. This is the right of every citizen of Canada.

 

Regardless of what they've done, no one deserves to be mistreated when in police custody. Agree or disagree with the protesters, the police should conduct themselves with more respect for the citizens they serve. This reflects poorly on the HPD, and on the entire City of Halifax.

so we should disobey laws we

so we should disobey laws we think are wrong? that could go in a very bad direction very fast.

no one deserves to be arrested, hmmmm, well some do. and what if they dont want to be arrested?

just say no and the cops go away? if i think the speed limit is wrong and should be changed i should drive 100mph and not  stop when police flip on the lights??? sometimes people get taken away by police because thats what they want!! would i even be talking about this if nothing happened? it gets old quick (or should i say cold)    I didnt have a side when this all got going,

as a matter of fact, i couldn't have cared less. now i'm leaning in a direction i dont often go. they overplayed thier hand, the point was made and thank you for bringing it to my attention, now piss off.

Duty

A great man once wrote that it is your duty to disobey an unjust law.

Disobey the law when the law is wrong

We're talking about a by-law here. Do you always recycle? Do you ever walk on the grass?

And it's not about the cops. The cops do what they're told to do. They shouldn't have been told to do this.

The Occupiers proved they were resonable, and they were more than willing to sit down with anyone who wanted to talk to them. There was no need to bring violence into the equation. That was irresponible, and that's on the mayor.

In BC they resolved it in the courts, and the Occupiers complied. There was no violence, no abuse of power.

A great man? in whos mind?

A great man? in whos mind? was he great because u agree with him?

A Very Great Man

The 'great man' in question is Martin Luther King. Maybe you don't respect him or his struggle, but here's the quotation.

 

“Just as it is the duty of all men to obey just laws, so it is the duty of all men to disobey unjust laws.”

What tent was he in?

What tent was he in?

Go ahead and joke

Why not make a serious attempt to engage in the debate? So many great points are being raised in forums and discussions instigated by the Occupy movement. What do you think MLK would say about OccupyNS if he were alive today?

He was never one to keep silent about injustice. He was arrested 30 times in his efforts to change society for the good. He's hailed as a hero nowadays, but in the 60's there were people that would sling insults and make jokes, just as you are now.

The day will come when people will talk about the Occupy movement as a great turning point in history. Take a moment to think about how you are contributing. Occupiers are trying to make the world better for everyone. 

Amen.

Amen.

Police State?

Are the Police not part of the 99%?
Or are  becoming a Police State?

sadly more evidence of the decline in our species

i am very sorry miles and the others had to endure this. what has our nation become? i have seen the corruption here on pei for years but still held out hope that halifax might still be safe. apparently not. i feel bad you went through this. 

thank you for your courage in writing about this. i have been fighting government corruption for years and i feel your pain. stay strong.

You're an idiot.  They moved

You're an idiot.  They moved out of Parade Square out of respect for the Remembrance Day celebrations.  Why should they have to give up their right to protest altogether though? 

well no one asked you

first of all they have a right to peaceful assembly if you have ever read the charter of human rights, and freedoms its right at the top just under the wrods GUARANTEED RIGHTS, 

 

Rights and freedoms in Canada

1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

Fundamental Freedoms

Fundamental freedoms

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

(a) freedom of conscience and religion;

(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and

(d) freedom of association.

NOW , DO YOU SEE A TIME LIMIT ON THIS , I DONT , AND IT SAYS PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY THATS WHAT IT WAS UNTIL POLICE BROKE THE PEACE. AND THEIR RIGHTS. 

I read this story and all I

I read this story and all I can think of is: Maybe they will show a bit more respect for the people who fought for our freedom. 

Veterans are given a single day, every year, to celebrate their devotion to our country. I think it is down right disturbing that the people at Occupy Nova Scotia wouldn't put down their signs for a SINGLE DAY, to celebrate those who gave you the option to protest in the first place.

 

If you ask me you deserve to be sitting in a jail cell shivering. 

The entire camp moved to

The entire camp moved to accommodate the remembrance day events. Most of the protestors who owned the tents and other belongings were attending those same ceremonies and not present to retrieve there things when the eviction notice was served and immedtiately and violently executed. At least protestors in Toronto where given 12 or more hours notice so they could prepare to leave if they wanted to. And what justice really, a city bylaw in no way trumps the Charter, a city bylaw is at most a fineable offence. The cops were not protecting someone from harm or death. They were over extending their authority.

Let me ask you when enough will be enough?

Are you going to step aside and allow the cops to take a man because he is of a certain race or nationality (black, hispanic, white, russian, jewish, middle eastern)?

Are you going to be silent when they take the mentally ill fella down the street just because he's a "retard"?

Are you going to praise your child when he testifies against you for being unpatriotic or complaining about your taxes?

Will you feel you deserve to be in the slave labour prison camp and accept your fate to be worked to death?

The greatest acheivement of occupy_ is showing through the reactions of our governments that  we are living in a facist regime. We no longer live in a free and democratic society.

I bitch and moan about taxes

I bitch and moan about taxes every day! But I dont get tossed in jail for it. Too much drama! el

Have to agree....

In response to the last poster, staying peaceful was supposed to be part of the protest. if you stayed out of the officers way, and didn't take physical force upon them, then you wouldn't have ended up in a jail cell. 
The officers were merely trying to take care of duties, and like the other post- I also moved when asked- so I never had a problem.

You desrved to be arrested if

You desrved to be arrested if you where blocking what police where doing. Ocuppy NS was dumb. I went down once to talk to them to see what they stood for. I could not get a staright answer. Once went so far as to say Im here because its a place for me to sleep with food being donated. Another responded to me I am here to score ( have sex). So with such answers I can not and will not support occupy but yet support them being evicted. Had the protesters had a clear mandate maybe I could stand behind them.

You desrved to be arrested if

You desrved to be arrested if you where blocking what police where doing. Ocuppy NS was dumb. I went down once to talk to them to see what they stood for. I could not get a staright answer. Once went so far as to say Im here because its a place for me to sleep with food being donated. Another responded to me I am here to score ( have sex). So with such answers I can not and will not support occupy but yet support them being evicted. Had the protesters had a clear mandate maybe I could stand behind them.

First off if you stand in the

First off if you stand in the way of police blocing them you desrve to get arrested. Second of all the protesters desrve to be evicted. I went down to occupy NS a week or so ago and I decided to ask some there why they where part of the protest, I wanted to better understand it. I got many answers but all of them distrubed me, one person responded that they where there because it was a place that some things where being supplied and they where free. Another respoded he was there to score ( have sex). Some said they did it because it was cool. I did not from anyone I talked to get a actual response as to what the mandate was of occupy. Because of that I agree with the evitction and think they all got what they desrved. All they where doing was blocking acess to parks for regular people.

Engaged

Up until yesterday, I was ambivalent about Occupy NS. I agree with the general sentiments of the Occupy movement, but I didn't feel that my involvement was necessary. All that changed when I heard about the violent actions taken by Peter Kelly and the HPD against a group of non-violent citizens who were expressing their opinions in the form of protest.

This was wrong. There was no obstruction of justice; there was obstruction of democracy. 

pathetic? that would be you!

You're clueless!!  Can you actually be serious in saying this:

"...in Canada, a country far from perfect, but where even the very lesser fortunate amongs us do not have to live by conditions that are in any way comparable to what millions of people around the world live everyday"

Get out of your freaking bubble and realize that there are millions of people living in conditions that are at least as difficult, if not more so, than poor people in other parts of the world that you refer to.   But you're probably the kind of jerk that ignores homeless people, scorns drug addicts and doesn't look at the circumstances that leads them there, and generally is clueless about how tough life is for FAR too many people in Canada.  And that is what this Occupy movement is about.  Unless you are part of the 1%, you ought to be thanking the Occupiers, but you are too pathetic to even know that you are not part of the 1%! 

 

And to those who are claiming that they have been down there and the people don't even know why they're there.  You're full of crap.  I don't believe for a second that you went down there.  I have been down several times and have been very impressed with how organized and democratic they are.  Additionally, the way that they have managed very difficult circumstances of having people with mental health issues and drug addictions, many who are homeless, enter their camps - and learning how to live with them and support them - that deserves praise!  But instead the cluess of society would rather treat those most vulnerable members of society as disposable or not even deserving of attention. 

 

Peter Kelly isn't the only one who should be ashamed - all of you how disparage the Occupiers and who don't get it that every single day our civil liberties are being trampled on more and more - all of you should be ashamed!  Kelly is just the idiot in charge of all of you! 

You are soo pathethic and

You are soo pathethic and full of shit. No police brutality took place, we all know it, yelling your lungs out and throwing yourself on the ground will not give the impression that you are being beaten by officers as they pick you off the ground, it simply demonstrates how little you are. You go visit Libya, Northern Georgia, Afganistan, see people whom are truely suffering, whom have a reason to rebel against the totalitarian state they live under, whom have seen siblings and friends die for requesting the right to re-enter their very own land and gain access to the very most minimalistic goods a human being requires to live. And you bitch and whine while living in Canada, a country far from perfect, but where even the very lesser fortunate amongs us do not have to live by conditions that are in any way comparable to what millions of people around the world live everyday. You are rebelling against liberty, and a day will come when too much lies will have been perpetrated that we will indeed have lost touch with the liberties that we had once fought for.

Just because Canada may be in

Just because Canada may be in better condition than many other countries around the world does not mean one should settle for unjust conditions. You are right, everyone deserves to have access to the required resources in order to live, but you are also wrong to think that all Canadians have these resources readily and easily available. Open your eyes to the injustice in your own country, affecting your own people.

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Where is the democracy here?

IMHO

Until yesterday, I had complete respect for the Occupy movement.  They were not violent, met in respect with city leaders and moved when asked.  They could have evicted you for breaking bylaws on day 1 but let you stay.  Then finally, when they decide to enforce the law, you stood in the way of police.  You break the law, you go to jail.  Those are the rules for EVERYONE, you are not immune.

Miles, I was there when you

Miles,

I was there when you were arrested. My son was there and caught some of this on film. Please feel free to email us if you need video footage. You were on the news nationally. Don't think for a second your arrest was in vain. I was listening to CBC this morning and a veteran protester recommends that anyone arrested in these circumstances ask fora trail by judge and jury. (I'll try to find the audio clip and post in on Occupy). Anyway, hang in there and KNOW that your (in)actions have galvanized many many people into offering high profile support for Occupy. It was a really crappy, low class move what happened yesterday and I'm disgusted with the whole thing. Thanks for taking one for the team, friend.

 

 

Peter Kelly

Wow I wasn't going to vote for him, now I just might.

Obstruction of Justice?

Mr. Howe, first I want you to know that I sympathize with you in both your cause and the treatment you have received.  You probably know, however, that while uncaring, the treatment you received is significantly better than what most of the world experiences in similar circumstances.  Mainstream media have reported "HRM officials had provided notice to protesters on Friday morning that they were in violation of the Parks bylaw (P-600)."  My question to you is whether this is the violation for which protesters were charged?

My understanding is that they

My understanding is that they were charged for obstruction of justice, in the carrying of that bylaw. The bylaw itself is a ticketable offense, while obstruction of justice can carry jail time.

Miles is now back in custody after returning to Parade Square today. For no other reason than that.

Time to act, not squat

The only reason you were in jail was because you stood in the way of the police who were only doing as they were instructed.  To call your treatment deplorable is grossly overstating what happened.  Work backwards in the events to you being arrested, and i'm sure you'll find that you have only yourself to blame for sitting in a cell for (gasp!) 10 hrs!!!!

Furthermore, if you really want to make change, go contribute to society in ways that are actually tangible to making the difference you are looking to bring.  You've made your point, now it's time to walk the walk by acting on the very principles that you are harping on by the day to day actions of your life. 

Tired of the whining by'e...  Sitting in a tent banging drums never accomplished anything.

 

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