It could have been a mess as the police moved in to kick #occupy Toronto out of St. James Park. I covered the morning at #OccupyToronto Yurts Dismantled, #Occupiers Removed, Not A Robocop In Sight and finally got to the site of the protest around 2:00 in the afternoon, and there really wasn't much to see other than a ring of police in bicycle gear and city employees cleaning up the park. It was an interesting choice of wardrobe; a policeman in spandex and a bike helmet is a lot less intimidating.
A few stragglers put up a brave show for the day, drumming and occupying the gazebo, but it was pretty halfhearted. The police were walking about, talking to the newspeople. One was admiring my Strida bike and I asked him if he had seen what happened in UC Davis on Friday with the pepper spray; he had not, but told me that they had planned this carefully, to be as non-confrontational as they could possibly be.
The left-leaning Toronto Star editorial today notes that the #occupy campaign isn't over:
The campaign to plead the cause of “the 99 per cent” has banked some goodwill as it looks to reshape a static protest into a dynamic one. “We are not giving up. We will reoccupy,” organizer Kevin Konnyu vowed. While the days of park camps may be over, activists now plan to target politicians, financiers and other power brokers with “direct action” in the form of flash mobs, publicity stunts, marches and sit-ins. They will continue pushing for “a world where people and the planet come before profit,” as Konnyu put it early on.
The Star concludes:
The Occupy movement’s radical experiment in grassroots protest must now adapt, or fade away. It needs new and innovative tactics as well as more specific remedies. And it could profit from more coordinated action with progressive political parties, trade unions, church groups and other agents of positive change. But that is for the campaigners to decide.
Forty days on, they’ve got our attention.