Miles Howe pats the back of a young supporter outside the Halifax Court House on Thursday. (Photo: Laura Oakley)

Man arrested in Occupy movement pleads not guilty to charges

Lawyer says he will argue the case using the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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A key member of the Occupy Nova Scotia movement who was charged during the group's eviction from Victoria Park in Halifax Nov. 11 pleaded not guilty to the charges against him in provincial court Thursday.

Miles Howe, 34, is charged with both obstruction of justice and breach of conditions in connection to the eviction on Remembrance Day as well as the rally that was held at Grand Parade Square last Saturday.

Howe spent the weekend in jail and was released on bail Monday afternoon.

Howe and his lawyer, Gordon Allen, spoke to media outside the courtroom following his court appearance earlier today. Allen says his client, to the best of his knowledge, is the only person associated with the Occupy arrests who has pleaded not guilty. Allen says he is he is not sure if any others plan to plead not guilty.



Allen says he plans to make arguments based on the peaceful assembly section in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

"Freedom of expression is essential to a functioning democracy," Allen told reporters.

"All ideas that ever advanced society… whether it be the right for women to vote, whether it be some of the laws for the civil rights movement, all of those came through protest," Allen said.

The trial could be significant, whenever a lawyer argues the charter, there is a chance for precedent, he added.

Howe is due back in court on Nov. 22 to set a date for trial.

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