They have muddied parks, overtaken public squares and clashed with police. But while Canada’s Occupy protesters may be wearing out their welcome, nobody has figured out how to get rid of them.
Although the encampments are violating bylaws, damaging public land, and in some cases, prompting public health concerns, confrontation-shy municipalities are finding themselves increasingly powerless, or at least unwilling, to remove them.
Alberta’s two largest cities have arguably taken the hardest line against occupiers — although both have failed to negotiate an end to the protests. Toronto protesters have angered neighbours of the downtown park they are camping in, prompting the church next to the site to plead with the protesters to “respect the members of the community who live and work in the area.”