Saint John — City solicitor Stacey Graham confirmed to The Manatee that on Friday, July 22 at approximately 4 p.m., she received a cease-and-desist order from a group called Long Wharf Seagulls & Pigeons Housing Collective. The group argues that although they have never reached a formal agreement with the City of Saint John, the principle of adverse possession (commonly referred to as “squatter’s rights”) applies, and the installation of the “container village” thus infringes on their housing rights.
After waiting in uptown Saint John for over an hour, holding a half-eaten slice of pizza, a Manatee reporter managed to reach the seagull who filed the order. Caw McFaw, who normally specializes in Maritime law, is a 2nd-year associate at McIinnes Cooper.
“This is a wakeup call to all of the other seagulls and some of the pigeons who call Long Wharf home,” said McFaw. “I’d say at least half of the community is seduced by the promise of food trucks moving in to the area… they don’t even realize what is happening around them.”
McFaw provided cellphone footage of a protest that was held before dawn, Saturday July 23. The footage shows dozens of seagulls and pigeons flying in a formation of solidarity. Suddenly the formation descends into chaos and the video abruptly ends. McFaw alleges that at that point, the Saint John Police released a falcon and that several protestors were injured. The video is unverified and cannot be released to the public.
Saint John Police media relations officer Sgt. Laura MacPherson denied that SJPF were responsible for the falcon. “If I had to speculate, I would say it was an agent provocateur, meant to win sympathy for their organization in the court of public opinion,” she said.
The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission has informed The Manatee that they have reviewed the footage and are investigating the event.