It is so pretty, the blue of the tents against the autumn leaves, and it was supposed to be over last week in the coordinated assault on #occupy camps across North America. But in Toronto the #occupiers got an injunction and a stay of eviction until a judged looked at the issue, and this morning he came down on the side of the City.
No real surprise there; the big question is, what does the City do now. The #occupiers have been "asked to leave" and bylaw officers, escorted by police, are handing out notices now. But the events of last year's G20 debacle are still in everyone's memory, and no doubt the video of last Friday's actions at UC Davis are on their minds.
The Charter does not permit the Protesters to take over public space without asking, exclude the rest of the public from enjoying their traditional use of that space, and then contend that they are under no obligation to leave. By taking that position and by occupying the Park the Protesters are breaking the law. Such civil disobedience attracts consequences. In this case the civic authority which represents the Toronto community now seeks to enforce the law. It wishes to re-open the Park to the rest of the city to enjoy as was done before. That is what the City sought to do by serving the Trespass Notice last week. For the reasons which I will set out below, I conclude that the Trespass Notice is constitutionally valid. The City may enforce it. I dismiss the application.
The #occupiers have posted their own notices. I will update the post as events unfold.