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Occupy Christchurch Prepares to Depart

Occupy Christchurch Prepares to Depart

"Occupy Christchurch apologises to the Canterbury District Health Board, its staff and its funders, for focusing street demand on public services in their vicinity," spokesman Rik Tindall says.

"Occupy sprang up with the best of youthful intentions, to protest constrained opportunity and economic injustice, but wasn't prepared for the reality of it. The shelter camp created by these outdoor residents outran their ability to sustain or even manage it," says Tindall.

That led to problems at Christchurch Hospital across the road, because council toilet facilities in the park are usually locked against vandalism.

"Numbers of assorted travellers occupied the camp through the holiday period, including less-socialised elements who ruined it for everybody else. Things got pretty rough for a while and the hospital bore the brunt of it - unintentionally," Tindall explains. "For that we must apologise. The episode highlights the corrosive nature of the vandal's mindset and how society can no longer afford it. Pride in community must be rebuilt, which Occupy wants to help with determinedly."

Cheaper housing is in short-supply in the earthquake-hit city, which fed solid demand onto the Occupy camp, much of it young.

"We see no need to apologise for highlighting and trying to resolve such social pressures," Tindall says. "Occupy seeks to work with local authorities to improve the conditions faced by outdoor residents and low income households, in ways that show all generations better ways of being. Therefore we decided to shut down the Occupy protest camp."

Wet weather venue for the Open Air University is the WEA, at 59 Gloucester Street. Self-catering is required for the day. This venue is where the Occupy Christchurch governing body, the General Assembly continues, each Monday at 7pm - an open meeting.

"Occupy has grown through its trial by fire in the social housing dynamic of Christchurch," says Tindall.

"An Occupy 2.0 will follow, Please help us shape that."


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