Occupy Ottawa protesters swarmed the front entrance of the National Capital Commission Wednesday afternoon after being arrested by police and released from custody in the middle of the night.
Ottawa police removed the protesters from Confederation Park shortly after 2 a.m. Wednesday, just in time for the first snowfall of the season.
The tents, wooden crates, flags and the plastic children’s play-castle that protesters had set up in and around the park’s fountain as a barricade were gone by morning rush hour.
Police came 26 hours after the deadline ‘ Monday at 11:59 p.m. ‘ that the NCC gave protesters in an eviction notice on Monday afternoon. Ten cruisers and 75 to 150 officers surrounded and cordoned off access to the park, protesters said.
Twenty-five people were in the park and eight were arrested and charged with trespassing, police said.
“(Police) were emptying tents and ushering those willing away off the park, then, eventually, forcibly removing those who chose to passively resist,” said protester Paul Boudreau, who watched the eviction from outside a police-tape barrier.
He said some were carried off gently, but one protester ‘ Obert Madondo ‘ was dragged by four officers.
“They dragged me for a distance ‘ it was very rough,” said Madondo as he limped toward the NCC protest on Elgin Street with his arm in a sling. “Then they dropped me and I hit my head on the road.”
He was treated at the Ottawa Hospital for arm and leg injuries after officers disentangled protesters who had chained themselves together. They had also linked arms and legs, which made the arrests even more difficult.
Madondo said his injuries weren’t serious, but added police treated him differently from his colleagues. He said he will consult with his colleagues before making a decision on whether to file a complaint with police regarding his arrest.
Many of the protesters who were arrested were shouting at the NCC entrance, “The people united will never be defeated.”
The group was set to attend a general assembly meeting Wednesday night at the University of Ottawa to determine how to keep the movement alive.