Sharon Murphy stands in the crowd while Occupy NS' next move is debated (Photo: Bianca Müller)

City shuts down Occupy NS site on Friday.

14 arrests made during protest.

Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly shut down Occupy NS protests on Friday afternoon, following the Remembrance Day ceremony at Grand Parade Square in downtown Halifax. Tensions between protesters and Halifax Regional Police rose as 14 people were arrested.

Throughout the rainy and windy afternoon, crowds gathered under the statue of Robbie Burns at Victoria Park where the Occupy NS site had been relocated.

An eviction notice was issued to the protesters at the park around 1 p.m. The notice cited Halifax Regional Municipality by-law P-600, which bans any type of accommodation being set up in municipal parks without permission from the city.

Signs lay soaking in rain water atop a massive pile of tents torn down in the middle of the square.

Protesters speak out

Kassandra Schofield was one of those forming a human barrier around the remaining tents in the park. She was upset, saying the police seized their belongings by force.

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Sign laying on the torn-down tents reads, "There is a housing crisis. There is a shelter crisis. There is a youth crisis. Do not evict." (Photo: Bianca Müller)

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Crowds protest as police arrest a man at the Occupy NS site in Victoria Park. (Video: Nicolas Bergeron)

"People have been choked, punched in the face," Schofield says. She said her boyfriend, who was sitting on a tent, was among the 14 people arrested.

Sharon Murphy came out to support the occupiers' cause. The 65-year-old woman stood out in the crowd as she marched around with her megaphone under an umbrella. She said she believes in "the struggle for social justice, people standing up for their fair share, the equal distribution of wealth."

Police on site refused to give out their names or comment on the arrests.

Consensus process remains intact

The mood in Victoria Park was tense but protesters kept calm after police announced they would move in immediately if the tents were not dismantled. Some protesters wanted to stand strong and risk arrest, while others reasoned that the protection of the two main tents on site was important to keep the protest alive.

After a while, protesters reached a consensus and took down the two larger communal tents, while chants of "This is what a police state looks like!" caught on in the crowded square.

The protesters decided to move to St. Andrews hall up the street on Coburg road for the night.

“Make no mistake. This is not a defeat. Rally at Grand Parade Square tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. Bring tents,” Occupy NS tweeted Friday night.


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