Occupy Toronto gets crushed by the man, then fights the power and actually wins (at least, momentarily)
The campout will continue. After the city served Occupy Toronto with an eviction notice yesterday morning, it looked like the party was over. Written by city manager Joe Pennachetti, the notice ordered occupiers to “remove immediately any tent, shelter, structure, equipment and debris” from the park and to stay out between 12:01 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. The protesters began hashing out a series of contingency plans, while a group of sympathetic left-leaning councillors issued a letter to Mayor Rob Ford calling for more discussion. But after a day of frantic action, a last-minute injunction spared the group from eviction—at least until Saturday.
According to the Toronto Star:
The emergency court ruling capped a tense day for protesters, who had spent most of the time discussing how they would resist the city’s plans to forcibly remove them at midnight.
But rather than clashes with riot police in the park, the movement’s next battles will be fought by lawyers in court.
Justice David Brown ruled the city must allow the 24-hour occupation against social inequality and corporate greed to continue, at least for a few more days.
Occupy Toronto’s lawyer argued that the tents are inherent to the demonstration; so forcing protesters to take them down is an infringement on their right to free expression and assembly. We already wondered if some crafty legal folk might come to Occupy Toronto’s defense in its time of need, and they did, big time. The protesters could still be forced out of the park when the judge rules on Saturday, but this kind of fourth-quarter rallying is an all-star protest move. It’s no secret that the group is well supported—its gas-powered generators, yurts, professional food truck and steady supply of donations are evidence of that. The judge will hear arguments from both sides on Friday and make his decision Saturday. But regardless of what he rules, expect the resistance, in whatever form the protesters decide it should take, to continue.
• St. James Park protesters allowed to stay [Toronto Star]
• Occupy Toronto eviction delayed by courts [Toronto Sun]
• Judge issues injunction against the city’s effort to oust Occupy protesters [Globe and Mail]