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Mounties snooped on Occupy protesters

The Mounties compiled a dossier on the Occupy Ottawa movement, scouring social media sites and even quizzing campus security after protesters held planning sessions at a university, newly released documents show.

Meeting notes show there were also plans to monitor the Confederation Park protest site using a camera mounted to the nearby offices of the National Capital Commission.

The camera is normally pointed at Ottawa's city hall, the notes say. However, the NCC says it does not operate the camera and it did not use the device to monitor the protests from its offices.

The documents show NCC staff did keep close tabs on the makeshift encampment throughout the occupation, snapping dozens of photographs and reporting on the protesters' activities.

Details about the surveillance tactics are only now coming to light, some 14 months after police ousted the Occupy Ottawa protesters from Confederation Park in late November 2011. It took the NCC until last week to provide documents in response to an access-to-information request from The Canadian Press.

The Occupy Wall Street activists who set up camp in New York City's financial district in September 2011 spawned a global movement over what protesters perceived to be the widening social and economic gap separating the wealthiest one per cent from the rest of the population.

Soon similar protests spread to Canadian cities, including Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

The Canadian Press


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