‘Occupy’ protestors march at Toronto stock exchange

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, October 17, 2011 19:13 EDT
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TORONTO — Anti-corporate demonstrations in Canada ran into a third day Monday, including outside the country’s main bourse here, with some people vowing to keep up the protests through the bitter winter.

About 300 activists marched through Toronto’s downtown, stopping at Ryerson University to join a rally for social justice. Hundreds also held demonstrations in downtown parks in Montreal, the capital Ottawa and Vancouver.

Several activists spoke at the Toronto rally, including Brigette DePape, who gained notoriety across Canada in June when she interrupted the governor general’s speech to parliament outlining the government’s agenda.

DePape was working as a page in Canada’s Senate when she held up a sign reading “Stop Harper,” a reference to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“As we come together in the streets to take action, we become a living, breathing force for change,” she told the rally, according to a statement.

Several protesters in Toronto’s Saint James Park said they were prepared to stay well into winter.

Joe Scalia, 24, from Windsor, Ontario spent the past two nights camping at Saint James park for “Occupy Toronto.”

“I’m a graduate of a college, twice over, I can’t find a job. I was in student government, I’ve got a nice resume — I’ll put it that way — and I still can’t find a job,” he said. Scalia, who studied broadcasting, plans to stay downtown at the park for the next week.

Alisa Gayle, 39, marched alongside her mother.

“I’m part of the 99 percent, and it’s time for people to speak out against all the injustices,” said Gayle, referring to the figure popularized by Occupy Wall Street movement in New York, who say they represent 99 percent of the population.

“I’ve talked to a lot of people, a lot of friends who are working full time, but they’re underpaid, and they’re not able to necessarily be here, but they’re very much in support of it,” said Gayle, who works as a fitness instructor.

Earlier, about 20 activists also protested outside the Toronto Stock Exchange as the markets opened.

They sang songs and held up signs decrying alleged corporate greed.

“I’m here because we’re calling out the fat cats who have all the dough and they’re squeezing the middle class down to the bottom rung, which is where I’m at,” said Eddie Tilley, 60, who is currently unemployed. Tilley worked in construction before he was injured, and leaned on a cane during the protest.

Others saw the “Occupy” movement in a different light.

“I’m actually not interested in the protest and the blame and judgment side of it, but more in the possibility of this new communion, this new possibility of governments, business, institutions, global civil society coming together and wondering about how we can co-create something other than what we’ve co-created thus far, which doesn’t seem to be working,” said Peter Bromley, a business consultant.

Bromley said he had participated in the “Occupy” protest on Saturday.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
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