News / Calgary

Threats of Occupy Calgary return prove hollow

Olympic Plaza remains tent-free and a member of the original Occupy Calgary movement has confirmed the group has no formal plans to return for the time being.

And now it seems some other members of the local activist scene believe the city has seen the last of the campout-style demonstration.

Last year, Occupy members settled in the downtown for nearly two months, putting the pressure on city officials to weigh the value of charter rights against violating bylaws.

After a court ruling, the group packed up and headed home, pledging to return in unison with other Occupy movements across North America sometime in the spring.

“A camp going for months on end is not a tactic that really works in this city,” said Grant Neufeld, who helps organize numerous rallies in the city. “I think the occupiers are starting to recognize that.”

Original Occupy member Tavis Ford, who made the original pledge to return full-time to Olympic Plaza, said it’s difficult organizing such a demonstration.

“We don’t really have a real trigger at this point,” he said. “I am sure one will come in time.”

Another group featuring some Occupy members had planned to begin “civil disobedience” protests May 15 — which Ford suggested could include extreme measures like occupying banks and foreclosed homes — but again participation seems to have fallen off.

Neufeld said the key is keeping a variety of social issues at the forefront, something he’s not sure Occupy has been able to do.

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