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Halifax man pleads not guilty to charges stemming from Occupy protests

An Occupy Nova Scotia protester pleaded not guilty Thursday to a pair of charges laid after police shut down the month-long demonstration in downtown Halifax.

Miles Howe, 34, was arrested Friday as officers dismantled tents belonging to protesters at Victoria Park. He was charged with obstruction of justice when he refused to leave his tent.

The following day, Mr. Howe was arrested again at Grand Parade, a public square that had been the protesters' initial campsite. Howe went to the square to protest the city's decision to tear down the tents.

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He was charged with violating a condition of his release stipulating that he can't go to public parks.

Mr. Howe is to return to court Nov. 22 to set a date for his trial.

Speaking outside provincial court, Mr. Howe told reporters his lawyer, Gordon Allen, plans to use the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to challenge the charges.

Const. Brian Palmeter, a spokesman for Halifax police, said Thursday that police have no concerns about the actions of its officers against those who resisted arrest.

Another protester, Eric Antolick, was freed from custody Monday after being charged with obstructing justice. The 23-year-old has said he also intends to plead not guilty.

A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named, entered a guilty plea Monday in youth court to breaking the conditions of his release during Saturday's protest. He was sentenced to time served and released.

Police who tore down the tents Friday were acting on a municipal bylaw that prohibits overnight camping in a public park.

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