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Death at Occupy Vancouver sparks strong reactions

A young woman died at the Occupy Vancouver site on Saturday afternoon, triggering strong responses online. But many official websites remained quiet about the incident.

The death was reported in mainstream media including The Globe and Mail, CBC News, the Vancouver Sun, and The Province.

At #Occupy Vancouver, a flood of tweets expressed a range of reactions. Some asked why an overdose death at the site would cause such a response when similar overdoses happen routinely on the Downtown East Side. Others reported that Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson had said the site must be closed down.

Early Saturday evening, the Vancouver Police Department had not posted anything about the incident on its website. Nor had it tweeted about the death. The City of Vancouver was also silent, and Mayor Gregor Robertson had not yet tweeted about it.

Adbusters, which triggered the Occupy movement in July, was tweeting about a dispute with the New York Times but had nothing to say yet about the death at Occupy Vancouver. #bcpoli had very few tweets about it.

The name of the young woman was not officially released, but some tweeters referred to her as Ashley.

At Occupy Together, which collates information from Occupy sites around North America, nothing was said about the death.

More details and reactions can be expected on Sunday and into the coming week.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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