By Alastair Thompson
This evening rumours have spread through the four Occupy Aotearoa camps in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin that a police eviction operation may begin as early as dawn tomorrow.
The rumours were sparked by a tip-off to the Occupy Dunedin group. According to sources a Dunedin City Councillor said they had attended a meeting where eviction of the Dunedin group was discussed. The police had indicated that they did not wish to conduct an eviction operation till after the World Cup final and that Tuesday would be a good day to do it. The implication in what the councilor had reported was that evictions would be nationwide.
Encampments of activists began in New Zealand's four main cities on Saturday 15 October. Around 100 people are camped in the Auckland CBD and 50 people adjacent to Wellington's City to Sea bridge.
In Wellington the Police were approached this evening by a delegation from the Occupy Wellington camp which is located across the road from the Wellington Police HQ. A desk officer told the group that he knew nothing about any such plans, and when pushed said he would have told them if he knew anything.
Contacted by Scoop a spokesperson for Wellington City Council said that that too had heard nothing about any planned operation against the encampment on their property in Civic Square.
The spokesperson said that they would have expected to have heard something if an operation was planned. No complaint had been made to the police by the City Council to their knowledge.
Similarly a spokesperson for the NZ Police from the National Office said she knew nothing about any planned operation. However, she added, she would not necessarily expect to be informed about an operation in advance of it taking place.
The Occupy Wellington group is meeting this evening to discuss the rumours and to make plans for their response should a police operation begin in the morning.