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We are the 99 percent

Occupy Toronto: Blockade in Response to Police Violence

Posted 12 years ago on April 1, 2012, 7:07 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Last Friday, Occupy Toronto was brutally evicted from their new encampment at Osgoode Hall at the Provincial Court buildings near City Hall. After holding their new home for four days, Toronto police moved in. Five Occupiers have been arrested and two required hospitalization after the unnecessary violent police attack. One person was arrested while delivering an explanation of the rights of protesters, and two more were arrested while filming. One woman was thrown to the ground and punched in the face by police in an incident being investigated for excessive force.

Yesterday, Occupy Toronto erected a blockade on Dundas Street in front of 52 Division for over eight hours beginning around 5:45pm. Today, they will continue. The blockaders are making four demands:

  1. Unconditional Release of three Occupiers still being held in Toronto Jails.
  2. All charges dropped against all those arrested on Friday.
  3. A Public Inquiry into Toronto Police Violence on Friday.
  4. The officers involved must be tried in civilian court.

Ways you can help:

  1. Come on down and join the blockade!
  2. Bring food and warm blankets, toques, gloves, drinks, & chairs, couches, tents, furniture, etc.
  3. Spread the word to your friends and via social media.
  4. Be creative! Police violence in Toronto has to end now!

On Facebook. On Twitter: @occupybaystreet @OccupyToronto @OccupyTO @OccupyTOMedia



Read the Rules
[-] 3 points by Ruckasse (28) from Norwood, NC 12 years ago

Keep going OWS. The police must stop being the judge and jury of public actions. Their violence is uncalled for, and people will come to see that they are paid well by the corporations and bankers.
Look at your neighbors. Is one of them a policeman? Does he drive a newer car, have a better home, and his children have all that they need? If the policeman has these things, crime might pay for some, but POLICE VIOLENCE against unarmed, peaceful citizens may put money in his pocket as well.
We have seen too many of these videos with policeman beating up protesters to not suspect money rules here, not freedom.

[-] 3 points by jimevanhoe1 (55) 12 years ago

Time for Governments to Step Down.........NOW MAY DAY MARCHES NATIONAL & GLOBAL OCCUPY Submitted by Jim Evanhoe on Sun, 04/01/2012 - 10:10am National Marches and Marches around the Globe We must take back Our Country's Government & Financial Systems. Those that destroyed through Public Corruption and Financial Fraud, must be prosecuted and imprisoned, they are absolute traitors, traitors who destroyed our lives, our neighborhoods, our children's futures. Organize, Lead, Control the Avenues in a 360 degree manor. It would be worth the time to organize how marches move, not just down a certain avenue, but to be able to move around and down many avenues fast, very fast. Design how to draw authorities away and keep moving forward. Divide them at all cost. Certain individuals must be able to direct and communicate with what ever works....if the corrupt authorities jam electrics then use original colored flags, and or chimes. More than one direction, more than one course of action. The days leading up to the May Day Marches Globally....Occupy must watch the build up of all authorities....from the roof tops, inside store fronts, hiding, and along the avenues. See the equipment their using and design effective count measures. Every aspect of their movement must be filmed and released over the internet Globally. If they use gas and rubber bullets those in the front must learn how to combat their violence. The front group can drop back and the well protected can move forward with in seconds. Major violence by the authorities must be filmed and released globally at once. Medical Teams must be in place for full on violence by the authorities ... and the 1% they represent. This is Class Warfare plain and simple anyone that doesn't understand this fact is fooling themselves. IT is time to demand Our Governments to Step Down, ALL of THEM, NOW! From Spain to Greece to New York and Washington D.C. They have failed and their complete failure warrants removal from power. Corrupt Government, Corrupt Financial Systems .....public corruption out of control. GET YOUR TEAMS READY.............really ready....thoroughly ready. OCCUPY..... James P. Evanhoe




[-] 2 points by Jameshetrick (1) 12 years ago

Police are TERRIFIED these days of not being in control for even ONE MOMENT!!!!! They are training them this way, I believe, and their despotic behavior is "justified" because they are just "taking control" of the situation! Anything they have to do in order to do so is "legal."


[-] 2 points by AnnieB (2) 12 years ago

I think that the police brutality has an objective and their method is proving successful. They want the people who would go out there, ordinary citizens, to be frightened to go out there. When the average, decent, mainstream person sees the police punching people in the face and then trumping charges against them and the judicial process doing nothing to mitigate the injustice, people get frightened. It is a form of terrorism and it is working. How do we make it not work for them when the judicial process is making it work for them? It will either fizzle out from fear or escalate to riots. Neither of those are good alternatives. What to do? What to do?


[-] 2 points by OccNoVi (415) 12 years ago

To what extent do Occupy Toronto's tactics leverage the moral and spiritual high ground of nonviolence? There is a broadly accepted Occupy adaptation of Gandhi and King's Pledge For Nonviolence.

Pledge For Nonviolence

  1. As you prepare for Occupy Wall Street, please open yourself to life, love and the blessings of faith, hope, and charity.
  2. Refrain from violence of fist, tongue and heart.
  3. Walk and talk in the manner of love; for truth and love are the core of life, neither ambition nor the temptations of control.
  4. Sacrifice personal wishes that all might be free.
  5. Observe with friends, with false friends and with your foes the ordinary rules of courtesy.
  6. Perform regular service for others and the world.
  7. Pray or simply ask within to be moved so that all men and women might be free.
  8. Remember that nonviolence seeks Justice and Reconciliation – not victory.
  9. Strive to be in good spirits and in good health. We are the 99% and we must go in peace.

"Nine Principles" adapted from Dr. M.L.King, Jr., and M.K. Gandhi

Where Occupy generates a conflict, this should be done carefully. Thoughtfully. Always refrain from violence of fist, tongue and heart; walk and talk in the manner of love; for truth and love are the core of life.

Where you are arrested for civil disobedience, plan ahead to do this in a manner that respects the humanity of the officials who are carrying out the arrests.

We are the 99% and we must go in peace.

[-] 3 points by mikepsl (46) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

While I agree that the movement ought to remain non-violent, we should not fall into the ideological flaw of promoting nonviolence as a principle. It is merely a tactic, not a moral position. It seems that many folks have tried to promote this tactic to a moral position or a characteristic of the movement itself, and I think this is problematic for many reasons (including the fact that MLK and Gandhi are often cited, which ignores that their movements were not singularly nonviolent)

[-] 1 points by OccNoVi (415) 12 years ago

Nonviolence with Gandhi extended to this: "Love your enemy." Both Gandhi and Dr. King were indeed singularly nonviolent -- with no exceptions. As to tactics, the lesson was clarified by John Lennon:

-- "When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you – pull your beard, flick your face – to make you fight. Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor."

Nonviolence must be established as a moral position. That is all that matters.

[-] 1 points by mikepsl (46) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

Yet your flaw here is assuming that MLK had a monopoly over the Civil Rights movement, which is false. Or that Gandhi was the only player in securing the independence of India (also false).

Both figures had counter parts in the same movement that did not adhere to nonviolence.

Nonviolence is simply a tactic, it's just frustrating to me to see try to make it an ideology or a moral position: it's not.

[-] 1 points by OccNoVi (415) 12 years ago

No one claims that Gandhi or Dr. King monopolized those movements.

What was unique was that Gandhi originated the "Nine Principles" and put them in use before 1921. Then Dr. King authored the American version that SCLC and others used as the "Pledge to Nonviolence" -- a required sign-off for participation in the main civil rights marches.

Nonviolence is NOT a tactic. For tactics, you need to go to Gene Sharp or to the Serbians. It is also not a strategy. Nonviolence has to do with what you are -- even more than with what you do.

[-] 1 points by mikepsl (46) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

So if they didn't monopolize those movements, we need to be clear that nonviolence itself isn't "the reason" those movements were propelled forward.

And this is where I disagree, how is nonviolence not a tactical choice?

Groups like the BPP (and the later incarnation of SNCC) that rejected nonviolence didn't do so because of moral reasons, but they rejected it for tactical reasons.

Also a rejection of "nonviolence" isn't support for violence necessarily.

[-] 1 points by OccNoVi (415) 12 years ago

Maybe you would have to have been there.

Insisting that nonviolence is "tactical" reflects a separation from the community spirit that accompanied the civil rights marches. Read the "Pledge for Nonviolence." That is where our strength arose, as much as anything.

"Love your enemy" is a difficult proposition.

[-] 1 points by mikepsl (46) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

The BPP was just as much a part of the Civil Rights movement as those who were committed to non-violence

And for you to attribute the nonviolent aspects alone to the strength seems to ignore that the movement was not exclusively non-violent.

[-] 1 points by OccNoVi (415) 12 years ago

The main effect of the Black Panthers was to fuel white backlash. Similar to what happened with John Brown and Harper's Ferry. Southern white militias expanded and intensified all out of proportion to Brown's tiny force. Black Panthers gave corporate media a boogey-man. You can idolize them if you want, but at the time they were a circus with bad language and rough handling of women.

[-] 1 points by mikepsl (46) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago


Are you trying to say that MLK didn't fuel racist backlash?

[-] 1 points by OccNoVi (415) 12 years ago

Dr. King went to great lengths to minimize white backlash.

You post comment after comment, implying that you have a detailed understanding of the civil rights movement. But your opinions never connect to the main flows of what happened.

That is hard to do. You'd almost have to get something right, sooner or later. Did you get this stuff from Roger Ailes ?

[-] 1 points by mikepsl (46) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

What on earth are you talking about?


[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 12 years ago

The violent aspects of MLK & Gandhi movements were not of the protesters making but of the powers that be initiated and then the protestors defending. Non-violence is our best friend. We do not promote violence just free speech and the right to legal protest. To do other then that would be self defeating.

[-] 1 points by mikepsl (46) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

Defending against violent state attacks is not non-violence. For example, the Black Panthers rejected the non-violent tactic, yet they engaged simply in self defense.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 12 years ago

Not true. Not all of the BP violence was defensive they also planted bombs, not all of them but some, at the same time there were other non-black groups that did the same. These violent tactics only hurt the innocent bystander and hurt the causes for peace and justice as well as the groups identified as being responsible. Defending ones self when attacked is unavoidable.

[-] 1 points by mikepsl (46) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

When did the BPP ever do such a thing? I think you're confusing the actions of the state with the actions of the BPP.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 12 years ago

Back in the day Vietnam protest & MLK movement.

[-] 3 points by mikepsl (46) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

Again I think you're mistaken. Also the BPP was formed in 67 and MLK was murdered in 68 so there wasn't all that much overlap.

Perhaps you're thinking of the Weather Underground?

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 12 years ago

Both. The BP really got stoked after the assassination. There were all kinds of radical groups. The Black Panthers started out as non-violent and then went militant, they had an internal split because of the disagreement in the group to go militant.

[-] 2 points by mikepsl (46) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

Are you sure they "started as non-violent"? They founded as "The Black Panther Party FOR SELF DEFENSE" and got their funds selling Mao's little red book to buy shotguns...

(Just a disclaimer, I think the above parts of the BPP's history I just mentioned are not bad things exactly, they also started free breakfast programs and engaged in political education: that is their legacy)




[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

In Canada, at least they look into some of the injuries police cause.

When will we begin to do that in the US?


[-] 1 points by ikki6 (11) 12 years ago

LOL, what a troll

"I am not resisting!!"

lol, he was resisting at the start of the video, that was so obvious. He did that to himself, he deserved it. I also love how no videos ever show what he did. Also, watch the end, it is obvious that someone also knocked over a police officer

[-] 1 points by mexicael (23) 12 years ago

Great Quebec Student Speech with English subtitles : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_-39Vve3iY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkXI4CIFxcg

[-] 1 points by JRG (4) 12 years ago

Below are links to a social movement that I believe give us this direction for positive change. Please check it out and watch the movies, ask questions, spread awareness, and act!




[-] 1 points by OccupyToronto (0) 12 years ago

Thanks Guys... #SOLIDARITY from #OccupyToronto.

Our collective rights are being eroded away. Our nations are in process of amalgamation. All Occupys should unite in #GENERALSTRIKES! Let it start with May 1st... but we need massive ones... buy nothing, don't go to work, school....We have 300k students protesting in Montreal. #Occupy must unite by continent. Collective action to hammer points home similar to #OccupyPorts. How do we go about doing this?

[-] 0 points by GypsyKing (8708) 12 years ago

Young people, who are more computer fluent than my generation, must use social media to it's full extent to promote the May 1 general strike. They must also do their best to influence all of those in their families, in the older generations to see it's necessity. I mean really put the pressure on!

For better or worse the burden of sweeping social movements has always fallen disporportionately on the young, and moreso in this case, because of the technology gap.

Older people are often simply worn-out from the battle to hold things together on the family level, in ever increasingly difficult times to be socially tuned in.

Young people have to be the Paul Reveres of this movement. But, if that takes place it will rekindle the embers of 60's rebellion in the world weary. Time simply takes a toll on people. But many of us who are older and no longer so energetic can contribute what we have learned from over time, and also when the time comes add our weight on the streets as well.

For now, the battle lies largely in the field of public opinion, and we must put our energy and knowhow to work through social media and every means of communication at our disposal to counter the huge media machine that works to silence, frighten, confuse and disempower the weary majority, and keep them compliant.


[-] 0 points by OccNoVi (415) 12 years ago

Adopting the heart and disciplines of nonviolent community action will be more likely to achieve successes than "massive" actions that proceed without design..

The initial occupation at Zuccotti Park succeeded by pure dumb luck (landing on Zuccotti, for one, which was not planned) and then tapping America's innate cussedness: "Don't Tread On Me!" These follow-up occupations will need more in the way of structure to accomplish something positive.



[-] -2 points by hitintheheadgirl (-73) 12 years ago

Occupy is descending into little more than grubby 20-somethings and socialists that get together once in a while to provoke police. Getting arrested and then screaming about abuse is all that's left.

[-] 1 points by mikepsl (46) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

I think the way you describe this is clearly meant as an insult. But I do think that some folks place too much value in the number of arrests at a particular demonstration. The outrage that we saw after October 1st or the raid just isn't happening any more, so the idea that arrests and brutality will "awake the people" need to be called into question.

But Occupy "descending into...socialists" would be quite a positive development in my opinion ;)

[-] -2 points by hitintheheadgirl (-73) 12 years ago

No doubt, there's a small part of society that wants that sot of thing.

But every "protest", every picture, every incident with the police just paints a clearer picture. They each make it ever clearer that the protesters are a tiny minority (not nearly everyone) mostly of unkept and directionless 20-somethings and some tired socialists. Each incident just reveals it as the fringe that it is.

[-] 3 points by mikepsl (46) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

Well it may "reveal" that to you, but for others it reveals that the State is willing to use force to protect itself from opponents.

And if you think Occupy is mostly "unkept and directionless 20-somethings" then you clearly haven't been around it much.

[-] -1 points by hitintheheadgirl (-73) 12 years ago

But I've seen with my own eyes and others have too. You story was easy to peddle the first week or so, but the images that say otherwise keep piling up and the behavior with the police keeps confirming what it's about. Every protest, every image, every incident with the police simply serves to better define those people for the public at large.

[-] 1 points by mikepsl (46) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

Please enlighten me to these "images you've seen." And a source that is different from Fox News would be appreciated.

And how do images of the police dealing with protesters violently confirm your claims about the protesters themselves and not the police?

[-] 0 points by hitintheheadgirl (-73) 12 years ago

Sure, how about in person, on TV, and via internet news. I observe young people and grubby people. I observe also a pattern, just like at other protests like WTO. They deliberately provoke police and then scream brutality. It's a tired tactic to get attention. Come one, you have to expect your audience to learn.

[-] 1 points by mikepsl (46) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

So this comes down to YOUR particular perspective then. There are plenty of folks who have the same experiences and come to different conclusions.

[-] -1 points by hitintheheadgirl (-73) 12 years ago

Yep, mine, but not mine alone. If you get to London, stop by Finsbury Square. It's the Island of Misfit Toys, only it's not an island, it's a park they've turned to mud, and is isn't toys, it's some utterly lost 20-somethings.

[-] 1 points by mikepsl (46) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

Of course there are others with your perspective, like the Druge Report, Fox News, etc. (Not that it's theirs alone of course ;) )

[-] -1 points by hitintheheadgirl (-73) 12 years ago

Sure, it's all just imagined. Every time you occutards show up, you just reveal yourselves for who you are. The protesters should start showing up in disguises, maybe try that. LOL


[-] -1 points by mikepsl (46) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

So you claim that this is "what people think" and after I point out that you're just sharing a right wing media perspective you post a Wall St Journal article? Please

I'll take that seriously in this context if you take an article by Liberation News seriously in this conversation

[-] -1 points by hitintheheadgirl (-73) 12 years ago

Fine, ignore the impression you're making. I wouldn't expect people like this to get it. Be sure to get on TV. Let the public see you. Maybe you can be screaming at a cop when you do it. Look like a homeless person. Heh, maybe a face piercing too. LOL. Deepen the impression that OWS is just the whacko fringe that it is.

[-] 2 points by mikepsl (46) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

What exactly am I "not getting"? And are you the appointed spokesperson for how "the public" sees the movement? You realize that the movement is made up of folks from "the public," right?

Again your depictions of the "average OWS protester" are not based in reality and are nothing more than immature name calling attempts. Sad.

[-] -1 points by hitintheheadgirl (-73) 12 years ago

See you on TV. I guess you'll be the one in clean clothes that looks like you have a shot at working somewhere that DOESN'T seem hemp. LOL.