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A journalist arrested during the dismantling of an itinerant camp rants in Edmonton

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The arrests of a journalist and two others occurred Wednesday during the dismantling by the Edmonton police of eighth homeless encampment deemed illegal.

The Canadian Press

Edmonton police arrested a journalist Wednesday who was covering the dismantling of the eighth and final homeless encampment deemed “high risk” by the city. A man and a woman were also among those arrested.

In a statement, municipal police said that a man and two women protesters were arrested. arrested for obstructing police during the dismantling of the encampment, adding that charges were pending.

Editor in chief at Ricochet Media, Ethan Cox reported that one of his journalists, Brandi Morin, told him from where she was being held that she was at the camp during the police action and that she had been arrested after refusing to leave a prohibited area.

She was conducting an interview with one of the leaders when the police arrived, said Mr. Cox, reporting the words of his journalist. “[The police] set up a huge exclusion zone with tape. Brandi was confronted by a police officer who told her she needed to get out. She said, ''No, I want to be able to see what's going on.'' »

Brandi Morin was then arrested and handcuffed, Mr. Cox said.

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We are very concerned about the fact that Edmonton police arrested someone who identified himself as a journalist.

A quote from Ethan Cox, editor-in-chief, Ricochet Media< /blockquote>

Ricochet Media informed later Wednesday that its reporter had been released on a promise to appear in court.

The encampment destroyed on Wednesday was the eighth and final makeshift shelter which was deemed high risk by the City and which had to be dismantled.

Chad Charland, who lived in the encampment, said residents and their supporters were protesting peacefully when police made the arrests and took some people out of the area. He maintained that one of the arrested men was a mentor and elder to unhoused people.

Mr. Charland said police told him he had to leave the camp. He set up his tent again in the surrounding area.

Most of the camp, with the exception of one teepee, had was dismantled at the end of the afternoon.

We tried our peaceful way; Now I guess we'll see what happens, Mr. Charland said.

The Coalition for Justice and Human Rights filed suit seeking a court declaration that the City's encampment eviction policy violates Charter rights.

In the meantime, the group wants an injunction imposing restrictions on the city's and police's response to encampments when temperatures are extreme, when there is no open space and adequate accommodation and when there is no written eviction notice to the occupants.

An injunction temporary emergency plan put in place last month and covering the eight high-risk camps was due to expire this Thursday, but it was extended until Tuesday.

Police have described the health and safety dangers of encampments in Alberta's capital.

The Edmonton Deputy Police Chief Warren Driechel said Tuesday that officers dismantled 120 structures affecting at least 100 people and removed about 2,000 needles, dozens of weapons and 50,000 kilograms of trash from the sites .

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