Protesters force council to check legal options

Time might be running out for a group of Dunedin protesters who are occupying an area in the central city, after they turned down an option of moving their protest from the Octagon.

The Dunedin City Council is considering its legal options after Occupy Dunedin protesters yesterday said they were not interested in moving to the Market Reserve.

The council said last week the area needed to be clear before Armistice Day commemorations on November 11.

Up to 100 Occupy Dunedin protesters have been camping in the Octagon, in a local reproduction of a global protest against corporate greed, social inequality, free-market economics and environmental issues.

Last Thursday, the protesters were offered an alternative site, a move Mayor Dave Cull said was designed to return the Octagon to all city residents.

Asked yesterday whether there had been a response, council chief executive Paul Orders said a delegation had met him and Mr Cull on Tuesday, and there had been a "positive discussion" of the options.

But the delegation had gone back to discuss the matter at the protesters' general assembly, and yesterday "reiterated that they were seeking to stay in the Octagon".

Mr Orders said the Octagon was a community space, and it was important it was accessible to all.

"We are seeking legal advice and considering our options," Mr Orders said.

david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

 

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