[Hpn] Fwd: san: 7 Year Squat Evicted by Riot Police

Graeme Bacque gbacque@colosseum.com
Wed, 03 Jul 2002 12:59:19 -0400

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------------forwarded message------------
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2002 12:08:02 -0400 (EDT)
From: Take the Capital! <takethecapital@tao.ca>
To: san@lists.tao.ca
Subject: san: 7 Year Squat Evicted by Riot Police

Cops evict occupants at 246 Gilmore, it is once again abandoned

 From ottawa.indymedia.org
See photos of eviction @ http://www.ottawa.indymedia.org/2002/07/756.shtml

After an week of community building, renovating, and landscaping, the
police this morning carried out an elaborate spectacle to evict squatters
at 246 Gilmore in Ottawa.

At around 2am Wednesday morning, police vans were accumulating. OC Transpo
(transit) buses dropped off hundreds of cops to secure the surrounding
area stretching several blocks.

Some were in riot-gear, others were in friendly dark-blue. They were
equipped with tear gas, pepper spray, dogs, guns, machine guns, at least
four fire trucks, a command station, and a back-up command station.

Cops proceeded to ask the occupants to leave, after which they declared
the entire block a crime scene. Anyone who refused to leave would be
arrested for interference with a police operation. This included the
private property across the street belonging to PSAC. Legal observers, and
media (independent, public, and corporate) had been given permission by
PSAC to use this property to observe from. Cops cleared all witnesses to
be out of sight of the house, including front, back and side.

The first to be arrested were the organizers. They were carried-off in a
city bus marked "Special". The entire operation lasted well into morning
rush hour. Fire truck ladders were used smash through barricaded top floor
windows, through which riot cops entered, and brought out the arrested

It is unknown why the operation took over six hours. The house had about
12 occupants, all passive and unarmed. One of the arrested walking
hand-cuffed down the ladder shouted "they (the police) beat us up!"
Another shouted "We will never forget this day!" Most of the arrested
showed signs of being pepper-sprayed, and some appeared to be brutalized.

Observers, media, and supporters gathered on Metcalfe street to watch the
ugly spectacle. Supporters tried to converse with police, but the cops
remained smugly silent. Despite repeated requests for information form
media and legal observers, police refused to release any information.

City councilors were notified, including the mayor who was called at
around 2am and 4am.

The abandoned house was reclaimed by the community during the anti-G8 Take
the Capital demonstrations. The property was brought back to life by the
occupants, along with the wider supportive community created over the
short period of one week.

Meetings were held regularly to make decisions amongst the residents,
based on consensus minus one. Improvements included painting, repairs to
infrastructure and plumbing, a vegetable garden, and much cleaning. Plans
included providing free space for public meetings, something which is
scarce in Ottawa.

Donations of food, supplies, and art was contributed by the community in
Ottawa. The Ottawa Police even donated a bag of hacky-sacks! Many curious
passer-by's were informed on the issues, with literature hand-outs, as
well as conversations.

Now, the house looks like a war-zone. What was once a thriving community
space has been reduced to what it was one week ago, an abandoned mess
waiting to be torn down. The dreams of the occupants have been shattered,
and hopes for a community space have been trampled on.

Ottawa Actions Against the G8
June 26-27, 2002
613-788-3310 (messages only)
on parle francais.
se habla espanol. 

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