Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday October 15, 2011
Hours later, Occupy Toronto takes to the streets
After nearly a three-hour discussion of if and when they should march, Occupy Toronto demonstrators finally took the streets and marched to Dundas Square. Their occupation lasted only 10 minutes, before the group walked back to St. James park.
The group chanted “we say fight back” and “we are the 99 per cent” as they marched on the roads, while also stopping at traffic signals.
The next general meeting at 6 pm will likely focus around plans for Monday as the financial district reopens for business.
Occupy Toronto demonstrators want to discuss and make decisions collectively, but the large group size without a hierarchy speaking order means discussions frequently are tangential and meander between logistics, political rhetoric and procedural issues.
As one participant said in frustration, “I’m not even sure what we are discussing right now.”
“This is really frustrating,” said another participant Michael Goodbaum, 23. “I don’t even know why we are trying to reach consensus on the structure of the protest, when we should actually be out protesting. But I don’t really want to criticize the movement, because these are just growing pains.”
The group also ditched the people’s mic system – where the crowd repeats everything a speaker says – for a short while in favour of using a megaphone for “accessibility issues” for people who find the repetition distracting and difficult to understand.
Others were concerned that some of the participants might have more control over the group’s actions, because of their involvement in the action or facilitation committees. (Continued: Globe & Mail)