Officers remove empty tents at Occupy Calgary

Protesters Aaron Doncaster (L)  and Tavis Ford (with stick) join an unidentified female protesters...

Protesters Aaron Doncaster (L) and Tavis Ford (with stick) join an unidentified female protesters from Occupied Calgary as they console each as a bylaw officer tickets them as Bylaw officers and police officers tear down tents in Olympic Plaza downtown Calgary, Alberta on November 21,2011. (STUART DRYDEN/QMI AGENCY)

Damien Wood, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:18 AM ET

CALGARY - Protesters' unoccupied tents were stripped away by city bylaw officers Monday night, and the remainder of the occupiers were ticketed.

At 11:30 p.m., a half hour after Olympic Plaza in downtown Calgary had legally closed for the night, bylaw officers began dismantling any tent that didn't have a person occupying it.

Tickets were issued to the dozen or so people still living in the park space.

It was inevitable, said bylaw director Bill Bruce.

"We made a good offer to see a peaceful resolution and allow them to advance their goals of communication in a more structured way and it was rejected," he said.

While Calgary police were there to back up bylaw, Bruce said there would be no arrests for those opting to continue staying at the park.

"We're going to ask them to remove them. If they don't, we'll charge them," he said.

"This is exactly what we said we'd be doing."

Loaded to near-capacity was a large Budget moving truck, filled with the unoccupied tents and any other materials found inside them.

When there was nothing left to be tossed inside, the truck and the police presence disappeared into the night, leaving just eight "lived in" tent, a warming tent and an information tent.

All the while Occupy Calgary insisted this was not the end.

"This movement stands for something far greater than laws imposed by those with the money to support those laws -- we'll stand for all humanity and our voice will not be silenced," chanted the remaining protesters as the camp was ripped apart around them.

Occupy member Mandi Schrader said the movement goes far beyond physical presence.

"I do realize that public opinion has largely been directed against us, via the unruly presence of this camp, however we are talking about way bigger issues than public property versus private property," she said.

"The ultimate protest here, as I see it, is against the domination of a greed-based economy."

damien.wood@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @SUNdswood


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