VANCOUVER - Vancouver's police chief has issued a public warning to Occupy protesters, ordering them to disperse after an overnight scuffle that sent two officers to hospital with human bite wounds.
Chief Jim Chu says a fight broke out when firefighters moved in to the protest camp to extinguish a fire in a barrel around midnight.
He says police stepped in when people in black masks and others he says were intent on violence formed a human chain to prevent the firefighters from doing their job and began to push them around.
Officers were then punched, kicked and bitten, while one had his ammunition clip stolen.
However, according to Canada's Globe and Mail, a video of the incident shows police officers shoving some boisterous protesters. The police arrived to extinguish an open fire, which a few Occupy Vancouver participants nicknamed "a sacred fire." A couple of the Occupy participants ended up on the ground from the scuffle. The video can be seen here. (Warning: Video contains offensive language.)
Chu urged legitimate protesters to leave immediately if they wish to avoid arrest, though he refused to say how or when officers might move in to clear the site.
Lawyers for the city of Vancouver were scheduled to appear in British Columbia Supreme Court Tuesday asking for an injunction.
Last Saturday, a woman in her 20s was discovered "unresponsive" the Occupy Vancouver camp, and later pronounced dead, according to authorities. The cause of death has yet to be determined, but Lauren Gill, a protest organizer, said it appeared that the woman died of a drug overdose.