Reaction roundup: local media have a difficult time saying anything interesting about Occupy Toronto
The Occupy Everywhere movement spread to Canada on Saturday, with protesters setting up camp in St. James Park in Toronto, among other spots across the country. So far the protests have been entirely peaceful—unlike the displays witnessed during the G20, which some feared might be repeated. But without that kind of journalistic low-hanging fruit, the local media have focused most of their attention on how Occupy Toronto lacks cohesion or a singular message. We round up who’s saying what, after the jump.
• The Toronto Sun seized on the opportunity to call for “fiscal prudence,” while surprising all of nobody by also pointing out that the protesters lack focus and a coherent message. The paper also reminded readers that the “taxpayer isn’t your parents’ wallet,” which left us scratching our heads. Is Sun for or against the Occupy movement?
• Finance minister Jim Flaherty has written off the Occupy protests as unorganized, asking rhetorically, “What are these demonstrations actually about?” That Canada didn’t have the widespread bank bailouts of the United States gives the Conservatives some cover here; however, high-profile members of the opposition (like Brian Topp) have already used the news as a reason to call for higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy.
• One user on Reddit.com had an interesting suggestion for prospective protesters. The writer pointed out that issues like austerity and service cuts could actually be traced to the federal, provincial and municipal governments. Or, to put it in the words of SeniorHuevos, “Dear Occupy Toronto: Why the fuck are we going to Bay Street and not City Hall?”
• Self-professed “child of the ’60s” Joe Fiorito stopped by St. James Park to wax nostalgic and give protesters a history lesson on rebellion. The Toronto Star columnist also called Occupy Toronto “the start of a sweet revolution” and said anyone who’s old, poor, disabled, broke or hungry should get involved. In other words, Fiorito wants the Sun’s editors to be even more frustrated and confused.
• Many protesters have been reluctant to speak to the media on behalf of the entire group, noting that they can only speak as individuals. The Globe and Mail spoke to a few such individuals and, fortunately, none of them appear to be 9/11 truthers, the protest’s version of an uninvited party crasher.
• Fiorito: A new Upper Canada Rebellion [Toronto Star]
• Bay Street waits as a handful of activists arrive [Toronto Star]
• Occupy protesters lack real focus [Toronto Sun]
• Occupy movement a protest no politician can afford to ignore [Globe and Mail]
• Occupy: A movement in search of a destination [Globe and Mail]
• Small group of ‘Occupy Toronto’ protesters gather outside the TSX [Globe and Mail]
• Occupy Canada protests persist as workweek begins [CBC]
• Dear Occupy Toronto: Why the fuck are we going to Bay Street and not City Hall? [Reddit.com]