Occupy Toronto Day Two

Day two of Occupy Toronto

Day two of occupy Toronto got started with the bells of St. James Cathedral slowly drawing demonstrators from tents scattered around the park of the same name. Although it remains difficult to estimate precisely how many people spent the night — participants really are quite spread out — after touring the site at midnight and again at 8:00 a.m., my guess would be 150-200. I expect the park will get increasingly busy as the day wears on.

Despite worries (and rumours) that police would evict demonstrators in the wee hours of the night, it was status quo when the sun came up. There was a small law enforcement presence outside the park, but they left the occupiers to manage the situation inside the park. With volunteer groups picking up trash and no outbreaks of violence, they appear to be be doing a good enough job.

Occupy Toronto

It might be a different story as the work week begins. Toronto protestors plan a return to the Financial District where they will "make a very large statement," according to Niko Salassidis, one of the demonstrators who stayed the night. "Today's going to be a major day for planning a large impact for Monday...when the Stock Exchange opens."

The group has yet to reveal specifics — they'll be working on those throughout the day — but there's some talk of occupying Toronto's major bank buildings. That'd make some sense, but it'll be interesting to see whether or not such a strategy will erode the goodwill currently shared between the police and protestors.

We'll keep tabs on the park throughout the day, and update this post whenever we get noteworthy information. For a complete rundown of yesterday's action, check out our previous post.

Update (10:00pm):

Some thoughts and photos from Scott Snider, who visited St. James Park this evening:

Occupy Toronto
  • I went by a little after 6pm, at which time there were a couple of hundred people at the bandstand having a General Assembly, and another 50 or 60 randomly distributed in various areas around the park.
  • At the meeting they were discussing some logistics and needs, and thanking those who had donated food. "Thank you to the people who have been donating apples (scattered applause)... We need oranges (cheers and laughter)!"
  • There was an announcement that there's some sort of event happening at Ryerson tomorrow at which some representatives from Occupy Wall Street would be present; these individuals were interested in working with the Occupy Toronto group and would be having meetings after the Ryerson program with a delegation at the park.
  • It was then announced that the General Assembly would finish at 7:40 p.m. because "we're going to a party tonight! (whoops and cheers)." No specifics were given, though.
  • Interestingly, there was no mention of any action tomorrow morning on Bay Street. I suspect that specifics related to this will be passed along in a less public way.
  • The atmosphere away from the meeting was quiet and introspective, with small groups of people standing or sitting around chatting.
  • As has been the case throughout the weekend, the police presence was negligible: a couple of command vehicles parked on Adelaide near Jarvis, that was about it.
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Update (9:00pm):

Here's a montage of photos from blogTO Flickr member Richard Gottardo.

Occupy Toronto from richard gottardo on Vimeo.

Update (2:45pm):

Here's a gem from Rob Ford's former chief of staff, Nick Kouvalis. It provides an implicit set of instructions on how to be a cliché. That a boy, Nicky!

Nick Kouvalis Twitter

Update (2:30pm):

As expected, St. James Park has filled up over the course of the day. Although not, perhaps, as lively as yesterday, spirits remain high here as the occupiers plan for tomorrow's action back on Bay Street. The first couple of photos are the first look we've had at the protests from above (though CP24 did have a helicopter out earlier yesterday). The occupation is a bit bigger than it might appear here, because trees block out some of the other encampment areas (and the gazebo).

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This batch of photos by Tom Ryaboi

Originally published at 11:00am

Photos from this morning:

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