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Colin MacLean
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City of St. John’s turns off electricity to Occupy NL camp in Harbourside Park

The end of an extension cord lies in the snow after the power was cut to the Occupy NL camp in Harbourside Park Wednesday. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

The City of St. John’s has cut off power to the Occupy Newfoundland camp in Harbourside Park.

The Telegram learned Wednesday a city work crew cut electricity to the camp Tuesday afternoon, leaving the park in darkness.

The move came as a shock to the handful of occupiers who regularly spend their nights in the large communal tent sitting in one corner of the park. Several of them expressed confusion when asked about the city’s move.

“Our city representatives and the authorities here have been pretty supportive of what we’ve been doing. So for our power to be cut without any advanced warning, so we could be prepared for that ... that’s what we’re surprised about,” said Thomas Jordan, who’s been involved with the movement since it started.

Mayor Dennis O’Keefe has said previously he had no intention of having the occupiers removed from the public space, like nearly every other Canadian city has. So having the power cut without warning was concerning, said the occupiers.

But in a news release issued Wednesday, the city reiterated it had no intention of evicting the Occupy NL camp.

“The city has not and is not at this time asking the Occupy

St. John’s members to leave the park, but they do need to adhere to city policies and directives," it said.

The release also said the reasoning for cutting the power was safety concerns.

City inspectors visited the camp about a month ago and asked the occupiers to disconnect a power cord they had running to an outlet in the middle of the park. They did as they were asked. However, inspectors found the cord plugged in again during a subsequent inspection.

“As there is no way to monitor the use of the extension cords the city has turned off the power to the park,” read the release.

Once they eventually found out why the city had cut the electricity, the occupiers issued a press statement of their own. 

“We believe that (the city’s) stated concerns have already been largely addressed, but will continue work with the city in an effort to resolve any outstanding issues. Because of the positive relationship between the City of St. John’s and Occupy NL, we are optimistic that a resolution can be reached quickly,” it said.

The occupiers have installed a portable generator at the camp as a temporary measure.

Realistically, the loss of power is more an annoyance than a threat to the camp, the occupiers said. Only a few small items are run from the outlets, such as laptops, lights, Internet and a couple of cooking elements.

The most important factor to people living at the camp is heat, which is supplied by a small propane heater.

But losing the Internet, phone and the laptops is a bigger blow than it might seem.

The Occupy movement was largely founded online through social media and the Internet has remained an important resource for the Occupy NL crew to get its message out. The group maintains an active website, including an activity schedule, at http://www.occupynl.ca.

“It would have a big impact on our communications,” said one person at the camp on Wednesday.

“We’d be in the dark. Figuratively and literally,” said another.

Occupy NL is now in its fifth month of occupying Harbourside Park and is believed to be the last Occupy camp in Canada, where once there were dozens.

The movement was started by Canadian activist group Adbusters and found its zenith in New York’s Zuccotti Park and the massive occupy camp that was there before being evicted. The movement aims to address the struggles of the 99 per cent of society who are not part of the top one per cent of income earners.

cmaclean@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Adbusters

Geographic location: Harbourside Park, Canada, New York Zuccotti Park

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Recent comments

  • Barb
    February 10, 2012 - 12:13

    O.K. I have a few questions for Occupy NL. What during the past 5 months have you accomplished in your quest to bring social justice, fairness and equality for all people of our society? I know many will be very unhappy to find you occupying this beautiful corner of our downtown come spring. Will you respect their rights as citizen's of this city and take down your tents and move on? It seems to me that this self appointed people who say they want to look after the rights of the 99% of society who do not share in the wealth of the 1% are really nothing more than a group of homeless people who are being led by a few smart asses. You say you want to obtain a piece of land and build a structure to house the homeless members of your group and put them to work for the "movement". Don't you think you're beginning to sound somewhat like the start of a "cult"? Railing out at the upper echelons of society without being seen as a respected member of that society seems to me to be an exercise in futility. So I'd really like to know what, if anything, you have constructively accomplished in the 5 months you have been occupying Harbourside Park.

    • Craig Lewis
      February 10, 2012 - 20:59

      Barb. I guess we'll see you in the Spring. I do hope that you come down before them. I like to throw this out there but I have to bring it to a GA first. It will be a competition. If the citizens of St. John's wants Occupy out of the park so bad them have 3012 or one more than the numbers of people that support Occupy and well be happy to pack up and set up elsewhere. If Occupy NL votes for this challenge I will inform you and you can start your anti-Occupy group. As to what we have constructively accomplished in the last 5 month. A tent:) That is the only construction we are allow to build. As for supporting others and their causes, several groups and organisations and it is always greatly appreciated. We have 200 years against us and you what to have us fix all the problems in 5 months. It is no wonder all these negative people have nothing constructive to say. I just want to thank all those that add support, kind and understanding words. Several citizens of Occupy have expressed our causes well, yet we all have our own reasons for being apart of this world movement. Again today Greece is going to be taking more money from it citizens so that bankers can get richer. We have a ways to go before all of this is over and the day will come when the naysayers will be thanking Occupy for saving our world. That'd my thoughts for tonight and my last one for this post. Love and Blessing Craig Lewis

  • c.b.
    February 10, 2012 - 09:12

    I am wondering if this is the same Craig Lewis who was on Dragdon Den trying to peddle plunk. You don't call that a business do you!! "Now I think I know the back ground of occupy NL if they are anything like you". Again just because a person is a professor, doctor, lawyer does not mean they are not a bum you still have to put on your dirty pants one leg at a time. Have you seen some of these professors out there like pluto far off in the distance. Pack your plastic bags and move on. You don't have to go home (that'sif you have one) who would let you in living in a tarp for five months you must stink. but you have to get out of here.:) Have a good day

    • Craig Lewis
      February 10, 2012 - 20:38

      Hello C.B. That is I Sir:) I see that you are some what of an educated man. Yet not all that educated and that is ok. I will not hold it against you. As for you knowing my business, you don't and you should not speak of things that you do not know of. As for the the rest of your comments. I'm too intelligent to respond to them. Thanks and have a wonderful night:) PS. I will be back on Dragon Den the Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 at 8:00 PM Maybe I got the money this time;)

  • Rod Lyver
    February 09, 2012 - 21:00

    T.J. I always sign my name, I never hide my face, I take offense to your combative comment. I am not that well informed about you movement so that is why I asked my questions. Its no wonder many people think you should be moved if you always react this way to genuine questions. As for concern I have a social conscience. I would suggest you embrace peoples "concerns" as you put it and inform them not chastise. Relax, We are all not you enemy. Craig, thank you for your comments, Not afraid to sign my name or show my face, Rod Lyver, Corner Brook, a man with a social conscience.

  • CFANBC
    February 09, 2012 - 19:43

    To all of the NL Occupiers: Well done and keep up the good work. I'm really impressed with how you've dealt with all of the rebuttals on this particular issue. I do also want to say kudos to the City of St. John's for NOT following the rest of Canada's Occupied cities and towns, nice to know that they aren't part of the "Sheeple family" (for the time being anyway). Even with the power issue you still have your presence there. Cheers from Ottawa (the mother of a very frustrated Occupier of Calgary)

  • stephen
    February 09, 2012 - 19:21

    Love to come down TJ so you could beat me up,but i just bought a new 70 inch Sharp Aquos lcd 3D tv and if you give me a couple of black eyes,I won,t be able to wear the 3D glasses for a few days and i am so enjoying this BIG tv in my games room right next to my fridge full of cold beer,that I.ll take a pass. { I think my games room could hold all of you occupiers} maybe you guys should come over here.

  • David Gonin
    February 09, 2012 - 17:11

    I thought these comments were meant to be constuctive, but I see by the last few posts "febreeze, and go home" some people just don't get it or are so out of touch. Or may be the just want to vent, no matter how ridiculous. I am not a member or part of the "movement" in any way, other than morally of course. let me just say GO OCCUPY MOVEMENT!! And no, don't go home, Fight for the 99% of us.

  • T.J
    February 09, 2012 - 14:39

    Loves how people are so quick to make nasty comments online, safe in their bedroom behind a computer. Care to drop down in person and have a chat? I doubt it, It is much easier to shoot off when being a keyboard warrior, Not so easy when you have to conjure up the courage to come out from behind the shadows and show the face behind your angry words. All the people commenting on this in a nasty and childish way and those using name calling need to develope some back bone If you ask me :) So I make a challenge to all the nay sayers and name callers, Have some courage, develope a back bone, get off the computer and DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE. Otherwise you sound quite pathetic doing all this whining .....

    • Kent
      February 09, 2012 - 16:27

      TJ...... you sound a bit confrontational pal.... Thanks for proving to everyone here that you're immature by alluding to intimidating people who don't agree with your point of view. If you people want to help the less fortunate or marginalized, volunteer! There are plenty of seniors in this city inn the downtown who could use hand with snow shoveling or other things. Contact the Seniors resource centre, they're always looking for volunteers, or help out at the food bank. It's this type of thing that helps society, not camping out in a tent for a poorly defined cause with no real mandate or agenda.

    • Gudahtt
      February 09, 2012 - 18:39

      Kent: "a poorly defined cause with no real mandate or agenda." Speak for yourself. How do you know whether our cause is poorly defined or not? Do you have any idea what our mandate or agenda is? Do you care? What I've quoted here is false. We do have a real mandate/agenda, and our cause is quite well defined. It's just diverse. If you want clarification please ask, but I'm sick of explaining things to people that aren't interested in the first place.

    • Edmund
      February 09, 2012 - 22:43

      Go back to your cave TJ. You say people should come out of their bedrooms and from behind their computers. Well at least they own their own bedrooms and computers and do not bum them like you. Start paying your way in society and stop being a nuisance. 99% of this city wants you out of here, can't you see that from the non support comments you are getting. It is only you, Lewis and gudatt filling the comments section with your bulls--t because you have nothing worthwhile to do with your time except live off handouts. Lucky for all of you that we have a mayor with no guts or you would have been out of there long ago. By the way, you suggest I come down on Feb 12. Well I was down there the first day and saw what you were protesting and I laughed at such a pitiful bunch of hippocrites who were using the goods and services of those they protest against. I guess you people will do anything to attract attention and have a place to stay instead of on a street corner. You have had your 15 minutes of fame, now get a life, go back to school or get a job and try to get elected to some association to voice an opinion like normal people do. Or, as Kent says volunteer to do something good with your life, I do. By the way, if I do stop by on Feb 12 I will certainly try and find you to say hello. I will just look for the biggest loser at the site.

  • Grant
    February 09, 2012 - 13:03

    I appreicate the Occupy Movement; their ideals are not off the wall, freedom of speech, good to get involved & act instead of doing nothing. Its all good... BUT, i cant help but wonder when our society began allowing any group or person protesting anything, to simply set up personal residence in a public street or park with heat, food, lights & sleeping quarters.. Thats what i cant wrap my head around. While people can have the best of intensions with legitimate causes; when does the next guy or group set up a tent on the TCH? Gonna be some odd when we are driving over extension cords & swirving around tents on our highways... LOL Its all a bit funny...

  • Bennet
    February 09, 2012 - 13:02

    It is unbelievable how the gutless wonders at city hall are allowing the occupation of a city park paid for by tax payers to be infested with misguided and attention seeking kids. City Hall do the right thing and clean up this site, or else shut it down altogether and make a parking lot out of it. At least it would be useful. To the attentioan starved kids who are occupying city land to make a point, why don't you take your tent and other eyesore articles and go out somewhere deep into the woods and protest all you like. No that would be not acceptable as you would not be bothering anyone there! Clean up this mess Doc O'keefe and council or resign!!!

  • Kim
    February 09, 2012 - 12:49

    To Gudahtt & Craig Lewis (who continue to post on behalf of the Occupiers) - I am sorry you need to continue to repeat yourself because your critics don't take the time to read your previous responses. You have maintained a very solid level of maturity and grace in the face of ignorant comments - you represent your cause well. Good luck to you and the rest of your "community".

  • Jeremiah
    February 09, 2012 - 12:32

    About time! What would happen if we decided to pitch a tent in one of the city parks sometime? What we have here are 21st century hippie wannabees. Get them out of there, the sooner the better.

    • Craig Lewis
      February 09, 2012 - 14:45

      It seems to me that a lot of people are hung up on taxes and they should be. Yet by doing so again a few of the lowest income earners seems a little odd. I will keep this very simple, maybe there is a tax accountant that can give me the real numbers. Ok so you made $100 from your employer after working 10 hours for $10/hr Pay CCP 4.95% Pay EI 1.83 Pay Feds 15% Pay Prov 7.7% Total 29.48% so you now have $70.57 The bank take a fee when you take out the funds. $1.50-$3.00 Avg $2.25 so you now have $68.32 You go an get $20.00 in fuel so you can drive to work (Amazing it's at a $1/Lt, so we can get 20Lts Fed Excise Tax $0.10/Lt or $2.00 Prov Excise Tax $0.14/Lt or $2.90 HST 13% or $2.60 Total Tax $7.50 so you now have $48.32 You have a coffee on the way to work , buy lunch, pick up a cooked chicken for supper. $2.25, $16.48, $8.56 for a total of $27. 29 Pay HST 13% ($3.55) for a total of $30.84 so you now have $17.48 You need to take out for the month, rent, power, insurance, etc say $15.23 yet we have to pay HST of 13% or $1.98 so you now have $2.25, Not even enough to get a coffee HST. ($2.54) have to take $0.29 from the rent. Just enough to start the morning with and getting that first coffee. The day in the life of a person working for $10/hour for a 10 hour day. Gee I hope I have overtime tomorrow. Modern Day Slavery! Taxes paid on $100. $42.80

  • Rod Lyver
    February 09, 2012 - 12:01

    @Craig Lewis what is the long term strategy? What is the long term goals of the group? Will Harbourside Park be returned to everyone who wants to use it and if yes, when? If No, why not? Do you have a long term plan for the members who have no where else to live? Thanks, Rod

    • T.J
      February 09, 2012 - 14:52

      Long term strategy: Continue to share information on important issues that we as individuals and as a group believe Media and the Education system has failed to explain in appropriate detail. Develope a sense of community and build connections here at home, across the county and world to develope plans to improve the society we live in. Long term involved helping share information amongst concerned and passionate citizens so they can make proper decisons and form their own valid opinion on big and small issues. There is NO SOLID group, there are dedicated individuals who have provide much effort in areas they are passionate about, No one can speak for everyone when it coems to a clear direction of this movement. Will the park be returned? I wasn't aware it had been taken? About 200 square feet are being used, in the bottom corner, So I am not sure how you see it as being taken* from anyone in the first place ! In regards to long term for housing arrangments, It is up to the individual to take care of the important parts of his or her own lives. We are here to support anyone who needs help. Like the old saying go's though, "You can lead a horse to water but you can not make it drink" Anything else Rod, We would love to see you come show your face seeing you are so concerned. We could always use some help. Peace, BTW, I can ONLY speak for myself, never a `group`.

    • Craig Lewis
      February 09, 2012 - 16:04

      Hello Rod, thank you for your questions. T.J answered most of them for you, yet I think that he may be a little over the top with how he stated it to you. First thing is first. What is long term. In government it seems to be four years, why? Party politics really, for they spend so much time on their own party issues that the forget about the peoples issues and we see, and hear this day in and day out for the last 30 years that I can remember. Right now we are spending time out reaching to the community to build our numbers and to gather support, and we are doing well with this. We join and support others and others are joining and supporting us. We are not against the rich or Corporations as mush as the media makes it out to be. It really had more to do with the unjust greed that some have, the 1%. Sure we all have a right to make as much money as we can and I plan to do that also. Yet I want to have fairness, and to help others to do the same. Some do and try very hard to get ahead and create a better life for themselves and their families and others are happy where they are in life and that is ok, yet we still need to have them living in such a way that they can follow their life's passion. Most people are in such a way that just to survive is a daily struggle. The thing with Occupy is that each citizen is an individual and they bring their own problems and solutions to the group. We talk about the issues that concerns us and then we decide what action to take and them when vote. For me personally I after living and working most of my life off the rock I have come to see how rich of a place we have here and how we can become examples for the world on how we can live a life of sustainability with all the natural resources that we have and with the so few people that we have living here. The Oil industry this year alone took in over $8 Billion for OUR land. The fishing another $1B, Mining $Billions more and with the technology that is out in the world today we can be growing all of our own food again (Now only 2% in grown here) We can have more power created from wind than 10X's the Upper and Lower Churchill combined, yet all we really need is several 100. We can create HHO Gas from those wind mills and have the cleanest fuel and water vapors as waste fumes. With the advancement of Geothermal, Aquaponics, Greenhouse and the natural resources of fresh water that we have we can be exporting organic food, instead of importing it from Mexico, or Southern USA, China. The first goal is to create a Resource Base Economy. If you do not know what this is look up "The Venus Project" It seems that a lot citizens have found this site and are inspired to create such a community. It is where my dream started. As for the park, it was never taken, for us to return it. People are down all the time sitting and enjoying it. Some stop and chat, others don't question it. We have been told that we are actually doing good by being there for it keeps the drunks and druggie away and the park is clean. There has been not vandalism since Occupy started. We are doing good by being there. Maybe we need a small group in every park like this! As for how long we will be there, that depends on how long it takes for us to raise funds to obtain an office or land for building a structure. (Donations are welcome) There seems to be plenty of vacant building around (Schools, offices, houses, etc) so maybe there is someone that see our passion and desire to make a better society and will assist us. As for providing a place for those members that are with a home they will be welcome at other places, yet the hope will be to create jobs and they can get up (not back) on their feet. By providing support to the community (working in greenhouse, possible) we can then support them, providing homes. We have a tendency in our culture to give and not look for something in return or to take and not give something in return. This is where lies much of the problems that we are facing today. We give to the poor and they take, and we think they have nothing to give. Yet they are about to work, about to create, about to solve problems. The rich seem for the most part take and give little. So we need to solve this by the rich giving directly to the poor (not the banks) and the poor giving to our local societies. All societies have to be balance and equal or they will die off. We are no different then the past and it is our future that we have to look out for. We are truly are a time and age where everyone can have the required basics for survival and can provide them with way to help them get their passion and make for a better world. Or you can watch the news.

  • Ryan
    February 09, 2012 - 11:52

    How are you"paying" for the electricity. Does a bill come in the mail for the occupiernl group. Highly doubt it. And your probably piggy-backing off someone's Internet connection. It's awful going down by harborside park and seeing those ugly tents and tarps all over the place.

    • Gudahtt
      February 09, 2012 - 12:04

      Actually, one of our members is providing our internet connection. We provide free public wifi to all of Harbourside Park. We are paying for our electricity now using a portable generator, though this is a temporary solution. I'd ask that people please stop making assumptions about our movement and our camp. Idle speculation means nothing, if you want to know what we're really about I'd invite you to participate in our of our General Assemblies. Our camp and our meetings are all open to the public, times and dates listed on our blog www.occupynl.ca . You can contact us via info@occupynl.ca as well. If you have concerns, bring them to us and we will listen.

    • Craig Lewis
      February 09, 2012 - 13:48

      We are now paying for electricity, and the internet is being provide for free, as it should be. It great:) Nikola Tesla demonstrated wireless energy transfer to power electronic devices in 1891 (Free energy from the earth) Yet his financial backers did not see a way to charge people for this free energy so they destroyed his invention. Stan Meyers retrofitted an automobile with the device could use water as fuel instead of gasoline in the 70's -80's He was poisoned so that his invention would not get to the masses. Yet with the internet we are learning to build or buy the units (Water for gas) People are so brainwashed that we feel nothing can be for free, or they can't have something with out paying money for it. Wake UP! Educate yourselves. Wind can give energy. A one time cost to build a windmill and you then have free energy with a little maintenance. I know a guy that has a micro water turbine, paid $6000 it will give him power for 20 years or more That less than a dollar a day. Ok It' not free but it is sure better than paying $300/ month once the Lower Churchill is built. The masses are so uneducated, it it truly frighting.

  • T.J
    February 09, 2012 - 11:30

    The people @ Harbourside are now using a generator, Seems they no longer will be giving people a reason to whine over something so insignificant as 20$ a month in electrical usage. To the people calling the people staying there bums and hobos are a great example how cold and uncaring our society is becoming in ways. Go ask your grandparents how Newfoundland used to be in regards to helping people who are cold, hungry or marginalized. I am sure most of the seniors in NL grew up with a system of "I have the bread, You bring the butter" In other words, they cared about people around them because they understood the concept of helping yourself by helping others. If the best you can do is complain about some young people having a place to sleep in the winter then I think you ought to take a look at yourself and not the people you blindly criticize. Who knows, maybe someday you or your kids will need the help of strangers and the community around you. Lets hope the people you reach out to are kinder and more understanding than you are displaying with the hateful comments.

    • Rod Lyver
      February 10, 2012 - 13:14

      T.J. I sign my name. Why don't you? What are you afraid of?

  • kent
    February 09, 2012 - 11:09

    Seems to me that the Occupy downtown movement is nothing more than the same people who have hung out there before Occupy was ever a household word. This is merely nothing more then the high-jacking the Occupy cause in order to continue their loitering in the downtown.

    • Gudahtt
      February 09, 2012 - 11:35

      Well it seems to ME that you haven't really looked very hard. With all due respect, I don't think it's appropriate to insult the integrity of the group with your idle speculation. I'd invite to to come to a General Assembly and see what it's really about, to learn about our movement. We're dead set on improving our community and doing what we can to represent people's concerns, this is much more than "loitering". We're not interested in idle talk, we are working towards real, practical, positive changes to our society. The vast majority of us were strangers prior to the movement.

    • Barb
      February 10, 2012 - 10:54

      I totally agree Kent. Just look at T.J.'s comments at 13:12:13 above. It's an admission that this "camp" is set up to house homeless people, or as T.J. puts it " young people having a place to sleep in the winter..." So what if they have some smarts. Better ways to be effective than occupying an area meant for the citizens of the city to enjoy. Shudder to think where they may be going to the toilet. These people are squatting on city property under the guise of the Occupy NL movement. Wake up Mayor O'Keefe!

  • Edmund
    February 09, 2012 - 10:43

    O'Keefe, do your job and make the decision and get these hobos out of there. Stop sitting on the fence like you always do in tough situations and be a man. Who will take responsibility for these squatters when there is a fire or explosion or injury at that site? Will the taxpayers have to foot the bill for any law suits caused by your lack of leadership? Go down there personally, not behind the backs of your workers cutting off power, and tell them they are no longer welcome. Don't forget Cruise season will be here soon and you won't want them there spoiling pretty downtown St. John's.

    • T.J
      February 09, 2012 - 11:23

      @ Edmund, Why don't YOU be a "man" and drop down personally? "Hobo's" I have learned over time that name calling is a clear sign of a person with no real substance to their argument. So Edmund I challenge you to attend International Art day on Feb 12th @ Harbourside Park. Come be a "man" and voice your opinion in person and not hide behind a computer :)

  • YAY
    February 09, 2012 - 10:36

    Good for City Hall. Squatters masking themselves as protestors without a message or any protestors have no right to use the public electric power paid for by all taxpayers. Next, get rid of the generators and propane heaters which I am sure that are a risk and a sign of a permanent fixture. Provincial government already kcied out permanent squatters from provincial crown lands like gravel pitts, why would the city not do the same in a beautiful very tourist attraction public park? Let everyone use it and not be scared off by some squatters, one of whom is now facing charges for stabbing a woman at Torbay-Elizabeth only 2 KM away. I heard they had fire inspectors visit and their propane and equipment was stored unsafely and they were told to move the stuff, they did but were things just put back in place when the inspectors left just like they plugged back into the public power supply when the city officials left? Also, has anyone ever asked what they are doing with their sewage, that close to the harbour I expect that dumping it right in which is a crime. They say they do not drink or do drugs in the park, but as this articles proves they are not to be trusted, inspect them for this too.

    • T.J
      February 09, 2012 - 11:45

      The individuals who participate also buy gas to drive to work, or when we use the bus or whatever. Not to mention the plastics and other products made from oil. We also have to use propane, oil, and about a thousand other products that are directly and indirectly related to big oil and gas industries. The tarps and tents, tooth brushes ect ect...So I am not sure how "ironic" it is lol. Just so It is known, the FFAW has been providing us with ALL of our fuel pretty much from day 1 and will continue to do so as long as possible.

    • Gudahtt
      February 09, 2012 - 11:55

      It seems you got the wrong impression of the camp at some point, the information you have presented is false and misleading. The tent is not a permanent structure, it's constructed of plastic poles and tarps. We're not preventing people from using the park, we are actively encouraging it's use and keeping it clean and tidy for the benefit of the public. We provide free wifi, and we keep paths shoveled more quickly than the city can manage to clear them. The alleged suspect in the unfortunate stabbing incident is not related to us or the camp in any way, other than that he is frequently located downtown. We had various fire and safety inspections, and we passed all of them with flying colors. Feel free to inspect the documents yourself, they are posted at the camp. We were not told to remove the extension cord, until now we've had an understanding with the plow operators where they would beep their horn, and someone would remove the cord until they were finished. Safety is our #1 concern at camp. For sewage, we have a portable toilet that was donated to us, and is emptied and maintained frequently. Drugs and alcohol are not permitted at camp, this rule has been enforced in the past. We're more than happy to support ourselves without placing a burden on taxpayers; on the contrary, we do everything in our ability to help the city and it's residents. If you have concerns with the camp, please contact us at info@occupynl.ca or attend one of our general assemblies. Everyone is welcome to participate, our movement is all-inclusive, we don't want to harm, offend, or inconvenience anybody.

  • LL
    February 09, 2012 - 10:14

    Oh my god!! They are giving homeless people a place to sleep! ON city PROPERTY!? And since the shelters are full and have a wait list, we really really should just send them away!!! Make them a problem of another province that wont care! Its not Newfoundland problem obviously!! What horrible people!! I cant believe they would help homeless people and treat them like family! Yes, something defenitely needs to be done here. This is utterly UNACCEPTABLE.

  • Leslie
    February 09, 2012 - 10:10

    It is of extreme ignorance that the comments regarding the Occupy protesters are "bums" or out of work. Although I have not spent a night at the sight, I applaud those who have as I do not have the guts to even fathom that idea. These people are doing it for us. It is a time where we all have to stand up for human rights and make change, instead of watching TV every day and complaining on the internet. Occupy, thank you. There are many silent supporters out there for you, and I know that together we can make great changes for our community and the world. As for the people that are too wrapped up in their mediocre lives to care, there I am sure Natural Selection will take care of ignorant and misinformed attitudes that belong in the same category as racism and homophobia. I am lucky to have met many of the people who have been with Occupy and I am blessed to have met such intelligent, caring and wonderful people.

  • Barb
    February 09, 2012 - 09:52

    Well it seems to me that many of the occupiers are homeless people using the "Occupy NL" issue as an excuse to squat on city property. Yes, they may well be involved in the "movement" but, as Craig was so kind to point out in his comment made on February 9th at 09:56:36, "some of the citizens at the camp do not have a home to go to.... some are not from our great province and we are giving then a home.... some are from broken families and we are their family..... they have no where to go, no family to speak of..... I'm sure that you would fully welcome a camp that provide a place to sleep, food to feed you, friends that care about you." So by his own comments Craig has said volumes about the REAL reason for the occupation of the Harbouside Park. Mayor O'Keefe needs to step up to the plate on this one and tell these people to move on. There are shelters within the city of St. John's for these homeless people to go to and for those who came here from outside of this province, they need to be given a one way ticket back to from whence they came. The city was wrong to allow them to create this commune and should not permit them to continue on because they threaten our peaceful existance.... as Craig so eloquently puts it, quote, " If people mindsets don't change, and don't truly educate themselves, then we will be looking for a REVOLUTION!", unquote. I'd say that's a threat, wouldn't you?

    • Gudahtt
      February 09, 2012 - 11:39

      Definitely not a threat.... if it's not peaceful, it's not Occupy. There was no mention of using force, we make change by taking Direct Action on issues that are important to us, by peacefully advocating for our community in any way we can. Sheltering the homeless is NOT the reason for our movement, neither is the camp. The camp is an asset, but it's not the reason we're there. OccupyNL is not a homeless shelter. We're happy to help those in need, but it's not our primary purpose. Our purpose is to advocate for those that need representation, and work towards improving our community and society together.

  • Tony
    February 09, 2012 - 09:51

    Can one of the organizers tell me what your exit plan is? When will you know that your protest and occupy has been successful? What needs to be done in order for you to leave?

    • Gudahtt
      February 09, 2012 - 11:29

      I can't really speak for the movement, only myself, but there are no plans to discontinue our movement at any point. OccupyNL is an ingoing effort to address the concerns and needs of the community, there will always be a place for this organization. We'll keep going as long as we have volunteers to support us. As for the camp though, it's not really central to our movement. It's been a huge benefit to us, and still is, but it won't be there forever. We're definitely staying there until spring, probably through summer, but eventually we'll move on. It likely won't happen until we have a better idea of where to go next, that has been a frequent topic of discussion lately. Lots of different ideas around, like buying our own property and building a permanent structure, or renting an space somewhere.... we'll see what happens.

  • whatever
    February 09, 2012 - 09:40

    TIme to wake up, 15 minutes of fame is over, "Go Home"

  • Dee
    February 09, 2012 - 09:03

    First of all I,m going to rag on you guys,because I don,t fully understand it all"I agree with the city though,they had already paid a visit and ask you guys to remove these extentsion cords,which you did until the city walked away,so for the safety of all they should be removed.with our weather now,rain hail this is an accident waiting to happen.It may not be one of you guys it could be someone just walking by to step on a half plugged in cord.As for the few homeless why don,t this guy bragging about his three businesses,and about to open more,help these people get of the streets to at least a boarding house,you should be able to get them to social services to help them make a claim.Social services is not hard to claim in this province,we all know that.As for making $10.00 an hour I managed to support a family of three,have my own home,I drive a car and I am not hurting,but I have to live within my means,I don,t smoke or drink I don,t party because I can,t afford it.I hope you guys make out ok...

    • Gudahtt
      February 09, 2012 - 11:44

      Safety is definitely our top concern at Harbourside, we're not upset with their decision to cut the power. The issue was communication, the City did not tell us the cord needed to be moved. At the inspection they mentioned, they did not tell us we had to leave the cord unplugged. We're working on improving communications with the city so these sort of misunderstandings do not happen in the future. If there's anything you'd like to know about the movement, please feel free to ask! The best place to learn would be at a general assembly, but you're welcome to send any questions to info@occupynl.ca , or drop down to the camp sometime to chat.

  • Greg
    February 09, 2012 - 08:38

    Glad to see we can still count on the Telegram readers to provide the most ignorant, misinformed opinions on the internet! These people are out there sacrificing their own time and comfort to try and make our society a better, fairer place where the lower and middle class aren't being crippled by corporate greed, and all you people can do is sit back on your computers and tell them they're lazy leeches? You complain about having to work and pay taxes, but if you took a second to educate yourselves on the goals and directives of the Occupy movement, you'd see they're on your side, trying to make sure those hard-earned tax dollars are actually going to the public and not in the pockets of corporate CEOs. But obviously education isn't something most of you people have a desire for.

  • Don
    February 09, 2012 - 08:01

    About time, now kick them of the site. Most are a bunch of homeless bums who are to lazy to work. If they wanted to work., Kent, McDonald's and Walmart are hiring.

    • craig Lewis
      February 09, 2012 - 08:28

      Morning Don, I love to inform you that I'm not a bum. I have 3 businesses, two more starting up. I spent 10 years in the Navy support our country and worked in the Oil industry for 10 years as a electronic technician. We all have MUN Professor, Publishing Editors, Lawyers, Union members, government members, member of churches, business person and the list goes on. So in all actuality we have more that are part of Occupy then the so called "homeless bums" As for "to lazy to work" everyone works.Be it for an employer or self employed. I once knew a "bum" in Halifax that was a millionaire, it is a great living for some. Yet most look down on such, why? Because they don't dress like us. They don't pay taxes like us? Do you know where sickness lies. It lies in those that think that paying half their wages in taxes is a good think, while the 1% pay maybe 16%. Like working at Kent's, McDonald's and Walmart is a solution. Most will make $10/hour it will take a whole day to buy a pair of $50 jeans by the time that you take out for the taxes. While those companies make products for a 10th of the cost and makes billions in PROFITS! Above and beyond that cost of running the business. Maybe all businesses should be NON-FOR PROFIT, since there are all doing so well. Red Cross, Cancer Society etc. Just a thought:)

  • McManus
    February 09, 2012 - 07:47

    So Occupy NL has to buy fuel and provide profit to Big Oil. Ironic.

    • Craig Lewis
      February 09, 2012 - 08:09

      It's a short term solution, and yes we have to pay tax on the gas and the generator. Yet we are looking into alternative power sources. A solar panel and or wind mill. We have technicians that are working to get a system up and running soon. If any one like to make a donation and or support us, please visit the site down at Harbourside Park. Thanks for your support:)

  • Craig Lewis
    February 09, 2012 - 07:41

    Mr. Fry, is it fair that banks continue to make billion dollar quarters when we are still in a recession? It is fair that we at tax payers (I PAID over $50k per year for the last 10 years) have to pay these banks our taxes dollars? Is it fair for the lowest citizens of our communities have to stand up and educated the world as to what is happening around them, while the majority of the 99% set at home and watches the news, which shows them how bad the world is and that you cannot do anything about it? If you want to ignore the City by-laws do it in a positive way, and join us. This is why we are being supported by city, government, unions, groups and individuals. Once you educated yourself and not be influenced by the negative views of others, you will come to realized that Occupy is doing a good thing. We are not all about a camp that sits in a park. We are about bring social justice, fairness and equality for all people of our society. I would go to say that the majority of people that are supporter of Occupy, pay more taxes than you. The few that don't or can't get jobs, don't need and should not pay taxes. How can you hold not paying taxes against someone that does not have a job. Shame that you can treat such citizen of our community in such a manner. It is a lack of compassion and education of such people that has allowed our world to be in this state. I hope that you will educate yourself and that you do visit the site and meet the people, to get first hand what Occupy is about and what we are doing. Mr O'Keefe, is showing his compassion, and understanding of what we are doing just like many other Newfoundlander and people around the world. I hope that others will join, and together we can make a positive change for our future. Craig G. Lewis

    • ROD
      February 09, 2012 - 08:41

      You are being "supported" by the city because to do otherwise would create a political nuisance. Let's face it. Only the naive take your particular initiative seriously. Go home (or find one), rest up, and plan a more focused and mature approach.

  • Steve
    February 09, 2012 - 07:33

    I have a great deal of respect for these protesters. They've sacrificed a lot in order to live true to their beliefs. I think the City should have given them 24 hours notice at least. The "developed" countries are becoming more and more polarized in terms of have and have not, rich and poor. These people are pointing out the systemic problems that have led us down that path, and are causing many people to question why things have to be they way they are. Perhaps others are cynical. Perhaps I am a bit too, but if you trample every last bit of idealism in this world, we will be lesser people. I give credit to O'Keefe and Council for allowing this to continue as long as they have, and I hope they don't try to pull the plug any time soon.

  • jackcroke
    February 09, 2012 - 07:24

    well , i see the previous two statements are made more than likely from people who are above middle class. Its obvious that they do not see the light , people have the right to do what ever they feel is right , they are causing no harm to anyone and as for the bill , the bill has been paid for more then a hudred times over , you small brained pea head! and no i am not part of the movement , but they are represent a level playing feild , looks like they are not making much head way but the meassage has been sent and recived , I just hope one day you guys dont loose your cushy jobs , and you have to work the streets and be spit upon , and frowned on !

  • David Gonin
    February 09, 2012 - 07:23

    I think it speaks volumes about St Johns, the fact that they currently are the only city progressive enough to support such an important movement.History will remeber this. KUDOS to mayor O'keefe. Also, who's to say these protesters aren't taxpayers. Heck if the they purchase gas for their generator they're paying taxes! Having said that, supplying free electricty to anyone in this cash strapped budget is pushing things just a little far. It's their protest, support them, but let them get their own power.

    • Gudahtt
      February 09, 2012 - 08:50

      It certainly does speak volumes, I'm very grateful that our municipal government is so much more reasonable than that of the other major cities in Canada. At least they're willing to talk to us! Agreed about the power, we intended on becoming self sustainable in the summer anyway, so we'd might as well start that initiative early. We've got a workgroup dedicated to the effort, there are plans for a small windmill and some solar panels I believe, it's still in it's early stages though. We're fine with paying for our own power, it'd be nice to get the city's outlets turned back on in the meantime though. We can pay the city if they wish, it's just a lot more "green" to use their power and compensate, rather than using a generator. Negotiations are looking hopeful, so we'll see how it goes.

  • Phil
    February 09, 2012 - 07:21

    This is still happening? Fifteen minutes are over people, go home.

    • Craig Lewis
      February 09, 2012 - 08:04

      Hello Phil, I just wanted to point out that some of the citizens at the camp do not have a home to go to, so it is very difficult to go somewhere when you have no home to go to. Some are not from our great province and we are giving then a home. Some are from broken families and we are their family. Just imagine growing up in the foster care system that we have, (We know by listening to Open Line how bad it can be) and not have a family for 16 years and them when you get out on your own, you have no where to go, no family to speak of. What start of mind do you think that you would be in if in this position. I'm sure that you would fully welcome a camp that provide a place to sleep, food to feed you, friends that care about you. Everyone is so damn judgmental or just mental as to not knowing the full story and making uniformed decisions with out properly educating themselves. 15 minutes of fame is far from what we are looking for, Sir. If people mindsets don't change, and don't truly educate themselves, then we will be looking for a REVOLUTION!

  • stephen
    February 09, 2012 - 07:07

    I hope someone goes down there with some frebreeze.I am sure they could use it.lolololol

    • Craig Lewis
      February 09, 2012 - 08:43

      Nice one Stephen. I can see that you are as educated as that teacher who sprayed the little boy in school for eating Caplin. Yes it is difficult to live in a tent for so long and not to have some odors. I was told a story of a old Gentlemen friend of mine that just passed away. God Bless his kind and beautiful Heart. He we telling me stories of when they were boys (16) and would work and stayed in the wood camps. There be some many of them cramped in to the camp and it be so cold, they sleep with their cloths on. His bunk was against the log wall in the far corner from the stove, being the youngest and when waking in the morning that he would have to pull himself off the wall, for he was frozen to it. They were the men, not boys that build our great land. There are more great men that fought for us so that we could keep our great land. Now there are others that want to give what they, and us now work and fight for, away to the 1% for a few jobs. If you want to donate some Frebreeze, that would be great. Socks would be better:) Thanks

  • BI
    February 09, 2012 - 07:03

    Time for these people to go home and get a job. They are part of the problem, not the solution. Why should the city heat their tents and provide power for their internet - are they paying the bill like all of the rest of the citizens in the city who have to pay for their heat, light, internet, etc. Go Home!

    • Joseph
      February 09, 2012 - 07:34

      Great commeny. While we struggle as working poor paying bills, they can leach power off the city. We pay taxes, they don't. I agree! GO HOME!

    • Gudahtt
      February 09, 2012 - 08:44

      The city is not heating our tent. The electricity was only used for communications; a small router, an old eMac, cell phone chargers, plus a lightbulb (sometimes two). We're more than willing to pay for our own power, and we pay taxes just like everyone else. As for the "get a job" remark.... most of us can't get jobs, because we already have them! Presume all you want about those willing to participate in our movement, it won't bring you any closer to the truth. The fact is, the vast majority of us have jobs, our ranks have grown quite diverse. We also have a number of small business owners, members of the clergy, single parents, students, professors, retirees, any many others.

  • Ed Fry
    February 09, 2012 - 06:55

    It is ridiculous that the City has allowed these misguided people to illegally camp on City property. What is worse is the Mayor saying they support them and that it what they are doing is okay. As a taxpayer, why should I have to follow the City's by-laws when these people (who are not taxpayers) get to ignore the law? How is that right or fair? Mayor O'Keefe is sending the wrong message. Perhaps I will begin ignoring City by-laws under the guise of protest.

    • Gudahtt
      February 09, 2012 - 08:37

      You're incorrect, the Occupiers are certainly taxpayers. What gave you that impression? We pay taxes just like everyone else, and we're more than willing to pay for our own power. It is a legitimate protest, not a "guise". It's more than that in fact, we're a part of the global movement. Try stopping by sometime if you want to see what we're really about, during GA would be best but you're welcome anytime. All we're trying to do is improve our society and community in any way we can.