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Occupy Toronto Being Gradually Cleared in Calm Police Effort

Police move into St. James Park at 6:30 a.m.; protesters work to dismantle main yurt while City crews begin clean-up effort.

Protesters keeping things calm around 7 a.m. this morning.

Despite fears that police would move aggressively against the Occupy Toronto camp in St. James Park, today’s early morning move by officers to begin clearing out the tents has been markedly slow, measured, and calm. “The most polite assertion of fascism I’ve ever seen,” cracked one protester—and indeed officers have been saying “please” a lot this morning.

The police presence is substantial—officers arrived in several buses, many cruisers, on bikes, and in a mobile command vehicle—but has been characterized by all as very civil. Though it’s too soon to tell how this will end, especially since a knot of protesters is still surrounding the library yurt and expressing their determination to stay, events so far have been reassuring to many in and out of the park, at least temporarily quelling fears of a repeat of G20 violence.

Police have reassured Occupiers that they will be able to return to the park and continue their political protest once the camp has been dismantled, and a general assembly is planned, as usual, for noon today.

We’ll be providing ongoing coverage of events in St. James Park throughout the day.
Follow along at our liveblog.