So much going through my head as I hear, watch and experience the end of the #OccupyToronto village.
I did a walk through on my way into the office this morning around 8:30am after watching the livestream for an hour at home. I watched as the occupiers cleaned up after themselves and many of them packed up and left.
During my lunch time walk through St. James Park I found myself behind the police. I went behind the garbage trucks to get a better shot and found myself facing the protesters gathered on the mound just west of the gazebo.
There was a line of police looking like they were forming a perimeter of sorts, but I couldn’t figure out why. I asked, but while the police were all friendly and polite, I got the feeling the man I was talking to wasn’t sure. He redirected me to someone else who was also polite and friendly and said he’d let me know in a little while. He seemed very focused on what was going on in his ear. The cops were busy after all.
After about 10 minutes, maybe 5, another policeman came and asked who I was. When I said “local business owner” he replied “you shouldn’t be back here” and escorted me outside what was essentially a perimeter of police.
#OccupyToronto is odd. Tense. Union folk in from conference. Protesters calling for them to stay to keep cops at bay. Cops focused but not confrontational. City picking up garbage and cleaning All in all, #OccupyToronto winding down pretty peacefully with very little conflict (that I saw)
After a bit more work I headed over for one more walk through. The park was very full.
Full of media. Full of police. Full of city workers moving trash and cleaning up. Full of watchers and citizens with all sorts of opinions. Bongos were still being played. Everything was mostly gone but the Library Yurt and the signs and barricade around the gazebo were being put into a trash compacter.
I’m glad that it was mostly uneventful (at least to now). I’m glad that it was mostly peaceful. I’m glad that we proved that people can stand up for what they believe in Canada.
But it was sad.
Sad that the police had to be there, and they did have to be there.
Sad that this community, and for all the rest of everything it was a community, was stopping.