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Bench and Picnic Table Removal Protest in Downtown Woodstock

Demonstrators will gather in Museum Square on Thursday to protest Woodstock City Council's decision to remove benches and picnic tables from the downtown core.

WOODSTOCK - Protestors will be taking over Museum Square in Downtown Woodstock.

Vice President of Unifor Local 636 Melissa Holden says they're upset with councils decision to remove benches and picnic tables from downtown core.

"I don't see how removing seating, solves the problems downtown. I think that having security is really going to be the better intervention there. I feel, personally and others feel this way too, that removing the benches and the picnic tables is a punitive action. It's not meant to solve anything, except to punish people and to say that only the homeless are the ones sitting on those benches. I'm not up town all the time, so I wouldn't want to speak to that specifically but I do know that I personally have used those benches and I do know other people that have used those benches. The people that we are speaking about, the less fortunate in our community, they don't really need benches to sit on, I don't think that is going to keep them away from the downtown." 

Holden says this is only a band-aid solution and will do nothing to help solve the bigger issues downtown. 

"We want to draw some attention for the need to beautify our downtown and not restrict people's ability to enjoy the downtown. I don't think removing the benches does anything, other than penalize the people are already suffering." 

The protest is happening this Thursday at 1:00 p.m. 

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