Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wall Street protest spreading to Regina

Leader-Post staff 
October 5, 2011

The Regina Police Service plans to uphold everyone’s rights during a protest that is slated to take place in downtown Regina next week.

Plans are underway for Occupy Regina to stage a protest that will start on Oct. 15 at Victoria Park.

“I think that it’s important for everyone to remember that our role is to protect the rights of all, including the right of the organizers and protesters to associate and their right to freedom of speech,” said Elizabeth Popowich, spokeswoman with the Regina Police Service. “Our role will be to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected.”

She doesn’t anticipate any problems, but said police resources will be reassigned if necessary.

“I think that one of the things central to this campaign is that it is a non-violent protest, so we don’t anticipate that it will be otherwise, but we’ll certainly investigate any complaint of criminal behaviour and we’ll be prepared to respond,” Popowich said.

Occupy-type protests have been spreading across Canada.

Rallies are being arranged in Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, Ottawa, Montreal, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, according to the website Occupy Together.

The movement began in the United States when activists stormed Wall Street in New York and other U.S. cities in a rally against the global financial system.

Occupy Toronto organizers expect hundreds will meet in the heart of Toronto’s financial district on Oct. 15 to prepare for a march when the Toronto Stock Exchange opens two days later.

Occupy Wall Street began with a call to action on the blog of Vancouver-based advocacy magazine, Adbusters, in July.

On Sept. 17, protesters began occupying a park near the New York Stock Exchange.

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