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The Globe and Mail

Hundreds of Toronto Occupy protesters descend on City Hall

A member of Toronto Fire Services checks to makes sure the smoke alarm is still working in the barricaded library structure at the Occupy Toronto site in St. James Park in Toronto on Nov. 22, 2011. Two people have chained themselves inside.


Hundreds of Toronto protesters left St. James Park Tuesday evening and marched to City Hall as evicted Occupy campers and five former G20 defendants, who had charges dropped earlier in the day, joined forces.

The group left the park at about 4:30 p.m., blocking traffic on King Street before heading north on Bay Street en route to City Hall. At the intersection of King and Bay, protesters paused and yelled about it being the site of G20 violence.

The tone of the march was harsher than those at the beginning of the Occupy Toronto encampment starting in mid-October.

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Chants included, "Jail our friends, evict our tents, we'll tear down your f---ing fence."

Outside City Hall, the group chanted "We're hungry, we're angry, we won't go away." About 10 police and security officers stood between protesters and the doors.

The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty began speaking to the crowd outside.

Dhanan Bhim, a media volunteer with Occupy Toronto, said some members of the group are looking for places to relocate and some have set up at Queen's Park already. He said there will be relocation discussions at an evening general assembly.

By late Tuesday afternoon, the St. James Park camp had cleared out considerably compared to the day before. The medical yurt structure was taken down while a barricade remained around the library yurt, where two men had chained themselves on Monday.

Marching protesters held placards reading "Our resolve is stronger than their prison walls" and "END G20 REPRESSION." Occupy facilitators presented the former G20 defendants with a cake outside City Hall before turning back to the park.

Mr. Bhim said some protesters, who were either willing to be arrested or would wait to leave until being threatened with arrest, remained at St. James Park. Police had walked through the park earlier in the day but have not revealed enforcement plans or deadlines.

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