Occupy Toronto Live: Saturday, October 15

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Occupy Toronto Live: Saturday, October 15



Live streams from hundreds of Occupied cities listed here.

9:08 PM: It was after dark when I left and people were setting up for the night. I didn’t see an exodus from the park as night fell, it looks like most people are staying. Several meetings were well-attended and ongoing. I saw a group of people walking out of the park, asked them if they were leaving, they replied they were going on a mini march to Bay Street, City Hall and back. I met a retired auto worker from Oshawa setting up his tent, he worked for GM from 18-48 and never wanted for anything, but now he sees how unfair it all is on the workers of today. Miles Storey

6:01 PM: I think that if what we’ve seen is just the first step, it’s very possible that we haven’t seen anything yet. One volunteer facilitator said to the general assembly that this specific form of grassroots organizing—and the local, but globally-focused politics it represents—is new to all of us. We’re all in this together, he said, and we’re all learning. The inclusive democratic process I’ve seen today is growing in proportion to its numbers, it seems. From the way it has been expressed and executed today, and from watching it span the globe in waves, I really do think we’re watching history. Todd Aalgaard

5:28 PM: More than five thousand are occupying Vancouver; thousands in New York City are taking Times Square. 46000 in Madrid. These are some of the updates being announced at the general assembly. Todd Aalgaard

5:03 PM: General assembly about to get underway. Todd Aalgaard

Photo by Todd Aalgaard/Torontoist.

5:00 PM: Three minutes before the general assembly, a beat sweeps through the drummers, as all assembled cheer and chant, “The people united will never be defeated.” Todd Aalgaard

4:37 PM: The drum circles have come together to create a bigger one near the King Street entrance. Discussions overheard have addressed the meaning of this kind of social organizing in the larger encampment, suggesting that the greater movement’s success requires all these different occupations to do the same. Todd Aalgaard

4:03 PM: Portable toilets getting set up. Hamutal Dotan

3:43 PM: Near the edges of the encampment, you’ll occasionally see what seems from afar to be a nervously tense encounter between demonstrators and police: lots of body language, etc. Each time, though, it’s all smiles and ease when you get closer. Here’s hoping this trend prevails. Todd Aalgaard

3:40 PM: Spotted recently: city councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina); NDP MP Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina); and freshly minted NDP MPP Jonah Schein (Davenport). Hamutal Dotan

3:38 PM: Police are telling media that camping overnight will be permitted, no tickets for sleeping in the park. Hamutal Dotan

3:25 PM: An OPSEU van just delivered three gas-powered generators. Stephen Michalowicz

3:22 PM: Overheard: “Seems that there’s more minorities documenting this than there are protesting.” Also, though some people are leaving there seem to be an equal number arriving. Christopher Drost

3:19 PM: A peaceful group meditation near the drum circle, at the Adelaide entrance to the park. “Welfare shouldn’t have to be a career choice,” “We are one!” and “There is no economy” are among the signs. Todd Aalgaard

3:15 PM: Some poor couple is also here for a wedding at the church. The members of the party do not look happy. The protesters are being very nice, but still…they are kind of noisy. Stephen Michalowicz

3:04 PM: My guess is that there 2,500 to 3,000 in the park. It’s really hard to make any kind of estimate as people are constantly coming and going. Stephen Michalowicz

2:50 PM: A drum circle is hammering a solid beat directly opposite the cluster of tents near the King/Jarvis corner of the park. If you’re into spontaneous communities, you might want to check this out. Todd Aalgaard

2:45 PM: There is someone standing guard at Bay and King directing any lost protesters to the park. I imagine quite a few are mistakenly heading to the nexus of Toronto’s financial district. Stephen Michalowicz

2:34 PM: Seeing some of the same signs and people that I saw at the G20. The gentleman who was carting around the “Jobless Wanted” sign at the G20 is back, except now he has changed from “American Jobless Wanted” to “Global Jobless Wanted.” The mood is completely different though. Stephen Michalowicz

2:32 PM @Scaachi: This feels like what protesters last summer wanted the G20 to be: peaceful, joyful, but with a message.

3:53 PM @accozzaglia: #Occupy is a privilege. Consider residents who can’t do it cos A) legal status & risk to deportation; B) can’t take time from survival work.

2:23 PM: The only real complaint so far? It’s really creepy when you see a Guy Fawkes mask on the back of someone’s head as they walk away. It’s like the eyes follow you *everywhere*. Todd Aalgaard

2:06 PM: Peggy Nash (who is widely rumoured to plan a run for the NDP leadership) is here. She told us that “like any great gathering at first, it’s a little chaotic,” referring to the emergent atmosphere down here, “but then, that’s democracy.” Countering frequent crticism of the movement, she said that it’s not even about any one specific issue—what’s important is the people here, especially youth, rallying against an unfair system, saying “enough is enough.” Todd Aalgaard

1:59 PM: The tent city here is coming together sporadically around the park. The best displays of camaraderie have been as community members are setting up, it’s seemed — joking with one another, singing, and frequently chanting things like, “Down with corporate greed!” Todd Aalgaard

The medical tent in St. James Park. Photo by Todd Aalgaard/Torontoist.

3:03 PM: The, uh, other encampment—

Photo by Todd Aalgaard/Torontoist.

1:44 PM: There was a wedding going on as these guys marched past, participants in either gathering waving, wishing one another well. Honks of solidarity starting to become more frequent along King. Todd Aalgaard

Photo by Todd Aalgaard/Torontoist.

1:39 PM: Right now, it’s sort of a tentative vibe—people are still trickling in, so the whole atmosphere is very positive but with the sense that a footing is still being established. Lots of seemingly friendly encounters between police and demonstrators, so far. Todd Aalgaard

1:37 PM: Of course, Occupy Toronto is part of a global wave of Occupations. A report on protests from around the world today. Hamutal Dotan

1:33 PM: Police haven’t given me an estimate on the size of this gathering, but it’s more or less a sea of people from Adelaide South, at St. James Park. Todd Aalgaard

1:07 PM: The rough timeline for later today: general assembly at approximately 5 p.m.; food to be served around 6:30 p.m. Hamutal Dotan

1:01 PM: For those who are concerned about their (legal) rights, there is a legal workshop starting now on east side of the park. Hamutal Dotan

12:49 PM @mattbraga: The mood here feels far more jovial, in a sense, than the #G20 gatherings ever did. Let’s hope that bodes well.

12:42 PM: From Occupy Ottawa, the CBC’s Kady O’Malley reports: “Rogue Senate Page is here, and leading the chant! Yes, everyone chants every sentence. I was warned about this.” The protest there got underway at noon. Hamutal Dotan

12:31 PM @joshuahind: If #OccupyTO can arrange for 1000 loaves of bread a day on no budget, maybe the protest could fan out and…I dunno…feed the hungry.

12:27 PM: Because every camp-out needs provisions, here are some of the plans for feeding Occupy Toronto. [via the Globe]

12:19 PM: “I think there is a strong sense that the gap between rich and poor is growing…people are falling behind.” Bob Rae at Occupy Toronto. “We live in a country where we take care of each other; that’s the definition of a good country in my view. And right now we aren’t doing a good enough job.” Hamutal Dotan

12:16 PM: And, first drops of rain. Some taking cover under trees. Some taking cover in trees. (Please get out of the trees!) General assembly coming soon, we think. Hamutal Dotan

12:11 PM: VIDEO: Stephen Harper commenting last night on the Occupy protests. [Canadian Press via the Globe]

12:05 PM: Crowd estimates inching up, now well over 1,000, and some news reports saying “thousands.” Many now coming into St. James Park. Weather report: calling for showers and serious wind gusts (up to 80 km/hour) this afternoon. Hamutal Dotan

11:54 AM: @justinsb No fat cats.


11:24 AM @DougSaunders: It’s nice of everyone to occupy all those business districts on Saturday, so as not to disturb anyone’s work.
11:06 AM: Occupy Toronto destination: St. James Park. There will be marshals wearing orange armbands to help direct people as they march. Hamutal Dotan

10:48 AM: About 1,000 people here now; very positive crowd in front of the TD tower has moved out across Bay Street. Dean Bradley

10:46 AM: And from the TTC: Bay buses are diverting around Occupy Toronto from Queen to Front; Bay now closed south of Adelaide. Hamutal Dotan

10:41 AM: General assembly procedures! General assembly = basically like an open mic for activists. Everyone gets to say why they are there, and people who hear repeat it so those farther away can hear. (It takes a while.) There are hand gestures to signal approval/disagreement/etc. Hamutal Dotan

10:23 AM: Good morning Toronto. G20 finance ministers are meeting right now to talk about the debt crisis, as maybe a few hundred protesters are gathering at King and Bay. They’re waiting to hear more details about the plans for today, and especially to receive directions as to which part of the financial district they will be occupying. We’re hearing there are also plans to set up a tent, and to hold so-called general assemblies twice a day. Hamutal Dotan

In the financial district earlier this week, rallying for the cause. Photo by {a href="https://torontoist.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/20111014occupy1a.jpg"}kilowa{/a} from the {a href="http://www.flickr.com/groups/torontoist"}Torontoist Flickr Pool{/a}.

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