The #occupation has been a preoccupation for me, a protest mainly against income inequality, but with environmental implications. I have followed the #occupyToronto movement since it started 40 days ago, and its removal as I write this. It is a typically Toronto response; like the first day of the G20 last year, there isn't a Robocop in sight, just the friendly cops in their bike tights, yellow bike jackets and yes, bike helmets. (But no bikes, they walked here) It's the new Toronto gimmick; how can you be mad at a guy in a bike suit? My favourite tweet:
Police on loudspeaker ask Occupiers to leave park. Occupy responds: "Thank you for being here on such a beautiful morning."
The others, in the lighter yellow jackets, are City of Toronto employees picking up the mess, labelling tents and putting them in bins for storage. Some #occupiers are demanding that as members of Local 416, the workers should be standing in solidarity; given that Mayor Ford is going to be locking them all out in January in an attempt to bust the union, and that they will probably be camping around a fire outside City Hall most of the winter, I am surprised that none of them took up the offer.
The last few #occupiers are making a last stand at the library yurt; two are chained inside and others have locked arms around it. But city employees have just tagged it, and will be taking it down at 9 Eastern. The police are saying that protesters are free to keep protesting after 9:00, just don't set up a tent.
There are a dozen or so protesters left, promising to defend the last library yurt. It reminds me of the first day of the G20; the police were all on bikes in spandex. By day 3 they were Robocops kettling innocent bystanders. I hope this one has a better, if not happier ending.