'Occupy' protesters hold rally outside City Hall
Web staff, cp24.com
Published Saturday, October 22, 2011 4:47PM EDT
About 1,000 protesters involved with the 'Occupy Toronto' movement marched from St. James Park to City Hall this afternoon.
A number of speakers addressed the crowd at Nathan Phillips Square on issues ranging from Rob Ford's budget cuts to the rising inequality between the rich and the poor.
The protesters stayed for about 45 minutes before leaving peacefully around 4:15 p.m.
It was one of several marches since the movement began one week ago. Other marches have seen groups of a few hundred protesters march to Yonge-Dundas Square, Ryerson University and the Toronto Stock Exchange.
"Everyone here shares one thing in common and that is that they want change and think they can make a difference and that is such a hopeful message," Trinity Spadina MP Olivia Chow told CP24. "We need to stay hopeful because the way things are just are not fair in a rich country like Canada."
The Occupy Toronto movement began last Saturday as a spin-off to the month long Occupy Wall Street campaign being held in New York City. Initially about 2,000 protesters marched from the Financial District to St. James Park to protest growing wage inequality, with many of them choosing to remain in the park as a sign of solidarity. Though numbers decreased through the week, CP24's Katie Simpson estimated as many as 200-300 tents were set up at St. James Park Saturday.
"There is a real connecting of the dots going on here," City Coun. Shelley Carroll told CP24 Saturday afternoon. Carroll wasn't planning to take part in the march, but was at St. James Park lending her support beforehand. "They started this protest speaking to members of the financial services sector about real change, but we have to be global. We can't be making bad decisions in the public sector and hope to affect real change in this world."