|Does a No Trespassing sign constitute |
Organizers of the event had intended for today's demonstration to mark the beginning of a peaceful occupation of the portion of Meyers' farm and outbuilding, which had been scheduled to be demolished the following day (November 18).*
The Occupation for Peace, in opposition to the military's plans for Frank's farm, has been postponed, along with the DND's demolition plans. Frank received word from the military, Saturday, that work would not begin to convert his farm into a specialized military training facility until some time in December. It would stand to reason that the postponement of the demolition is directly related to activist plans to occupy the land. In an effort to avoid interactions with protestors, I would not be surprised to see the DND attempt to begin work without warning, and at a time close to the holidays, when activists are less capable of mobilizing (maybe between Christmas and the new year?).
While the peaceful demonstrators did not occupy the "disputed" property, more than a dozen police officers including one CN Rail officer (Sabo), four military police (McCann, Long, Frost, Currie) and several OPP officers (Steele, Gibson, et al.) arrived at Meyers' farm in a show of force and intimidation. While on scene, cruisers drove onto the undisputed private property of Frank Meyers, and officers roamed the property, despite constant reminders from demonstrators that the Meyers farm is private property, and that their presence was not welcomed.
When asked by a demonstrator about the purpose of the police presence at the peaceful gathering on the farm, Quinte West OPP officer Shelley Steele responded, "We are here to just try to keep the peace for you guys." At the peak of police presence, there were eight cruisers, and twelve to fifteen armed officers on scene, compared to fifteen to twenty peaceful, unarmed demonstrators.
The dedicated group of demonstrators on hand Sunday has vowed to return to occupy the "disputed" property in order to prevent the demolition of Frank's outbuildings, and ultimately the construction of a military training facility on his land, and say that they expect a large mobilization of supporters in the coming weeks in order to ensure a substantial number of peaceful occupiers.
For updates on the Meyers farm, and the Occupation for Peace, please like the Facebook page.
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*The government, in their infinite benevolence, will allow Meyers to maintain ownership of a small piece of property consisting of his house, as well as the farm's original homestead and a few outbuilding.