11/04/2011 09:30 EDT | Updated 01/04/2012 05:12 EST

Occupy Calgary: Mayor Naheed Nenshi Says Demonstrators' Rights Must Be Respected


CALGARY - Calgary's mayor says that the city's Occupy demonstrators have been peaceful and the city has no right under the charter of rights and freedoms to force them out of a downtown plaza.

Naheed Nenshi says that regardless of what other cities have experienced, the protest has not created a hardship for Calgarians.

He says any suggestion the issue is a crisis is ridiculous, adding it doesn't rank in the top 10 concerns for Calgarians.

About a dozen people are living in tents in the city's Olympics Plaza.

Temperatures have dropped below zero and snow fell Thursday night, but it hasn't deterred the protesters, who have not delivered any particular demands to city officials.

Nenshi says the charter of rights and freedoms trumps any civic bylaws so the only thing police can do is write ticket and not arrest the protestors.

Nenshi hopes the situation will be settled through negotiation, but he says that could be difficult as the group has no real leader.