By: Paula Monroy
On saturday the GA voted for the occupation of place Jean Paul Riopelle. Having apparently received the authorization of the SPVM (Service de Police de la Ville de Montreal), the next day, Sunday, a group of occupiers went to prepare the place, covering the monuments in prevention of vandalism. Nonetheless, the police arrived and refused them the access, arguing they did not have permission to occupy the place. There were communication problems within the police service and were not able to find who had previously authorized the occupation.
Consequently, it was decided yesterday, Monday, to movilize to the city hall. The decision was made by the GA on the same day, about 30 minutes after having started. No more than 50 people took over Rue Saint Antoine, walking firmly, shouting “Nous sommes les 99%”.
Three days after the occupation started, Oct. 18, electric power was shot off at Square Victoria. However, it is reported by campers that the power was working in and out at random throughout the three days. There was power for the show on Sunday, but it went off as soon as it was over. There are two generators supplying power to the camp at the moment, but there are concerns with security because they function with propane.
When arrived to the city hall on Rue Notre Dame E, the doors were open and security guards welcomed us all while getting in.
CASO (Club aquatique Sud-Ouest) members were present, including children, the reason being that the city will close the historic Bain Émard at the end of the year due to cost-cuts. They joined the bruit with the Occupy Montreal arrival.
A representative of the Information and Coordination Committee exposed concerns with security for the occupants to the council, “we therefore require another space to occupy”.
Michael Applebaum, president of Montreal’s executive committee at city council, responded that for questions of security “you will not be allowed”. “If you want”, he included “we can always meet in a near future, whenever you want, we can meet here with our representatives, sit down, take a look at what your needs are; but the objective here is to make sure that you have the authorization from the police department and the fire department and we will always take their recommendations and will apply them appropately.”