On October 15, 300 or so Torontonians pitched their tents in St. James Park and began their protest against corporate greed, income disparity and a whole bunch of other stuff they’re not happy about. Ostensibly, they were camping in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street brigade—along with the various other city franchises in the prolific new Occupy chain—but instead of the socioeconomic diversity of the Wall Street iteration, Toronto’s occupation was largely a gathering of the protesting class: semi-employed neo-hippies, G20 rabble-rousers, outraged college kids. The motley collection of signs strewn about the park—“We Are the 99%,” “Stop the Hydro Plant,” “9/11 Inside Job”—testified to a potentially fatal inability among the protesters to agree on one target for their ire, and at times, cameras and microphones seemed to outnumber activists. And then, the weather turned ugly, the news grew tired and the protest dwindled to a core group of diehards still camping at St. James, the faint whiff of hash in the air, waiting for the world to change.
I think they’re tired of hanging out in the park.
That was Councillor Doug Ford telling CP24 why today’s eviction notice really isn’t so bad. According to Ford, apparently the Occupy Toronto protesters have wanted to go home for a while now, but thought it would look bad to bail on their comrades. Hearing their silent pleas, the city has given them all an excuse to go home to their jobs (assuming they have homes and jobs). We thank you on their behalf, Doug—because we’re sure you know exactly how the folks down at St. James Park feel.
Occupy Wall Street is given the boot; Rob Ford follows suit by serving Occupy Toronto an eviction notice
The city said it would make its move on Occupy Toronto sometime this week, and Rob Ford offered yesterday that the protesters at St. James Park would be given notice “soon.” But with the PR motive for playing nice with the protesters essentially evaporated—after other Canadian cities cleared out their own Occupy movements and, most importantly, New York City forced Occupy Wall Street protesters out of Zuccotti Park early this morning—the city decided the time had arrived to serve Occupy Toronto with an eviction notice of its own. Back in New York, there are already reports that Wall Street protesters will be allowed back into the park (albeit without tents and their belongings). But we’re guessing the last thing Ford wants is for the Toronto eviction to be temporary. Follow Toronto Now for ongoing coverage [Toronto Star] »
“They have had a peaceful protest. I think it is time that we ask them to move on.”
That was Mayor Rob Ford, speaking to reporters yesterday on the fate of Occupy Toronto. This is the most unambiguous comment we’ve heard from Ford since he said last week that he and staff were working on “a plan” to deal with the protesters. He also said he plans to meet with police chief Bill Blair, which offers a fairly clear indication of what he’s going to do.
The latest project of the gold magnate Peter Munk is a seaside resort and tax haven for fellow billionaires in the post-Soviet backwater of Tivat, Montenegro. A delirious tour of a world of champagne-drenched parties, supersize yachts and the recession-proof Ultra-High Net Worth Individual
There are birthday parties, and then there was Nathaniel Rothschild’s party this past July. The financier, scion of the prominent banking family and future baron was turning 40 and spent £1 million on the weekend-long extravaganza. The venue: Porto Montenegro, a newly developed luxury resort and marina in the Montenegrin coastal town of Tivat, on the southeast side of the Adriatic Sea. It was the sort of gathering that marks the end of an era or the birth of an empire—and in a way, for Europe’s youngest and smallest democracy, it was both.
Four hundred guests arrived at the village airport on private jets or stepped off the fleet of super-yachts that washed ashore from the world’s most glamorous tax havens—the Grenadines, Gibraltar, Grand Cayman. The attendees were described in the Guardian society pages as “200 ugly rich people and their poorer but more attractive partners,” or, as one guest more generously put it, “plutocrats and the women who love them.” A number of the partiers were so fantastically rich they could bankroll whole armies (which the birthday boy’s family, in its heyday, once did): Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska (who arrived on his £70-million yacht, the Queen K); the wealthy Egyptian Sawiris family (who have embarked on their own Montenegrin development nearby); King Leruo Molotlegi, ruler of a tiny, platinum-rich part of South Africa, who hit the dance floor in a fabulous dashiki; British politician Lord Peter Mandelson; Jimmy Choo honcho Tamara Mellon; the historian Niall Ferguson and his Dutch-Somali partner, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a feminist critic of Islam. There was a healthy smattering of European royalty, as well as members of the Guinness and Goldsmith clans. Read the rest of this entry »
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What might be most remarkable about Sun News and its reporting on Occupy Toronto is that it can denounce the movement as irrelevant while simultaneously doing lengthy segments on it. Ezra Levant recently devoted 25 minutes to discussing the protest with Jacqui Delaney, who said all kinds of nasty things about the occupiers. Levant then did a follow up, commenting on the call-and-response tactic protesters use to amplify one another’s voices. He ignored the origin of the tactic (here’s an explanation) and instead offered that it was evidence of “cult-like behavior.” Levant’s guest John Robson chimed in with his own hyperbolic offering, stating, “I think we are seeing an outburst of rather alarming tribalism.” (The segment, headlined “Mindless Mob,” is filed under the Toronto Sun’s news section, by the by.) Read the rest of this entry »
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Reaction roundup: local media have a difficult time saying anything interesting about Occupy Toronto
The Occupy Everywhere movement spread to Canada on Saturday, with protesters setting up camp in St. James Park in Toronto, among other spots across the country. So far the protests have been entirely peaceful—unlike the displays witnessed during the G20, which some feared might be repeated. But without that kind of journalistic low-hanging fruit, the local media have focused most of their attention on how Occupy Toronto lacks cohesion or a singular message. We round up who’s saying what, after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »
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