NEWS

Oppenheimer Park campers packing up after deadline passes

10/16/2014 12:12 EDT | Updated 12/16/2014 05:59 EST
The City of Vancouver is supplying bins this morning to the remaining homeless campers in Oppenheimer Park to give them a place to store all their belongings as they move into city-supplied shelter beds.

Organizers say police will move in later today to clear out the remaining tents after everyone is supplied a bin and given a chance to move to shelter.

Dozens of tents remained standing on Thursday morning in the park on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside after the deadline to vacate the park came and went without incident on Wednesday night.

Campers were up early this morning discussing their options, with many starting to pack up their belongings.

But others have told reporters they would not be taking down their tents because they have nowhere else to go.

Tenters at the Downtown Eastside park had until 10 p.m. Wednesday to leave, according to a B.C. Supreme Court injunction granted to the City of Vancouver last week.

As the deadline came and went Wednesday night, the protesters gathered to sing together. When a couple of police officers did stroll through the camp, they were heckled by the campers.

Earlier yesterday Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said city engineering staff, park rangers and support workers had been on site finding alternate accommodation and helping campers remove tents,

The city said over 100 people had already moved to shelters and housing units ahead of the deadline, including about 20 on Wednesday, and the process of relocating them would continue into Thursday, with shelters open earlier than usual.

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