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(en) Canada, Halifax/Dartmouth, Abandoned Building Squatted in Halifax

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sun, 28 Nov 2004 12:27:16 +0100 (CET)


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About 50 individuals and anti-poverty activists took part in a
squat of an abandoned building in Dartmouth to draw attention
to the need for affordable housing in the Halifax/Dartmouth
area. Although only confirmed through word-of-mouth, it
appears that six people have been arrested as a result. Although
not organized by the Halifax Coalition Against Poverty, many
members of this organization took part in the squat.
The squat had been in the works for a number of weeks and
had been widely publicized in the local media. Today at 12
noon, approximately 50 people gathered for a rally in front of
the old abandoned infirmary on Queen St. After a few speakers
and some food, there was a long wait for a bus that the group
had chartered to take protestors to the site of the squat. The
police presence was discreet until after people boarded the bus.
The bus was followed all the way to Dartmouth by two
paddywagons, and three policemen mounted on motorbikes.
Needless to say, the ride was somewhat tense.

As far as I heard, the site of the squat (100 Gwyse Rd in
Dartmouth), had been a former police station, which was later
converted to a library. The building still had running water,
functioning toilets, and decent air quality, according to a
squatter inside. It had been squatted the previous night, and the
front entrance was crowded by people as they disembarked
from the bus. There was a very heavy media presence.

After about an hour, during which things were very calm and
media people came and went inside the building, about three
paddywagons and several police cars arrived. The police
presence was ridiculously large, and might well have been close
to the numbers of protestors. One woman remarked that she'd
witnessed drug busts that had employed much fewer cops.

The police entered the building after pushing people in front of
the door aside. Most of those inside had locked themselves
onto a second story roof. All five within the building were
arrested, including a regular contributor to maritimes IMC
(hence the lack of photos at the moment). Two remained on a
ledge and threatened to jump off, in the hopes of stalling for
time. Once attempted to climb down and was helped by a
number of demonstrators. Several police officers then moved in
to make an arrest, and then began attacking seemingly
everyone in sight. An organizer with HCAP was grabbed, and
choked by an officer. He was then dragged BACK INSIDE the
police station, just as the others who had been arrested were
being driven off. Another woman was also grabbed and brought
inside. It appeared to everyone there that these people had been
brought inside for the purpose of being beaten off-camera. The
police were heckled something fierce, and this is where the
insults were hurled, which will likely make the news this
evening.

After about ten minutes, these remaining two activists were
removed from the building and loaded onto a paddywagon. Few
details were given about their charges. As I type, about twenty
people have gathered in front of the police station on the corner
of Rainnie Drive and Gottingen to offer solidarity. All those
who are able and willing to come down are welcome and
needed.

(Notes: This was taken from
http://maritimes.indymedia.org/Everyone was released within a
few hours of jail solidarity. For the most part people were only
given an order to stay away from the building that had been
squatted. However, two people face criminal charges under the
properties act including mischief, and obstruction of a police
officer. One underage individual faces charges of assault on a
police officer.

No one threatened to jump off the building. Two individuals
laid on the corner of the building to slow down the police and
make it difficult/dangerous to arrest them. One of them
climbed down, helped by demonstrators outside the building.
This is when police began pushing and shoving people to arrest
the individual who had climbed out of the squat.)

picture and video
http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2004/11/27/protests-halifax041127.html

mainstream news article
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/1101606029791_13/?hub=Canada

Link: http://maritimes.indymedia.org/
========================================
* [Ed. Note: HCAP is antiauthoritarian anticapitalist
direct action social struggle initiative.]


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