Occupy Toronto protesters currently camping out at St. James Park have been issued notices of eviction. Signed by City Manager Joe Pennachetti, the letters order the occupiers to remove their items between midnight and 5:30 a.m.
Digital Journal reported Monday regarding the Anonymous YouTube video threatening the City of Toronto. In the video, the computer generated voice threatened to remove Toronto off of the Internet if Mayor Rob Ford removes the Occupy Toronto protesters from St. James Park.
Speaking to reporters at city hall Monday afternoon, the Toronto Mayor said the eviction notice will soon be given to the Occupy Toronto protesters.
By Tuesday morning, bylaw officers, accompanied by Toronto police officers, posted sheets of paper to tents ordering the demonstrators to remove all items from the encampment area between midnight and 5:30 a.m.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (L) and Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.
The letters stated, according to 680 News: “Regarding the use of St. James Park by Occupy Toronto and others, the purpose of this letter is to (notify) that all those who are occupying St. James Park, the time has to come for you to remove your tents, structures, equipment and personal belongings from the park.”
Many are taking their stuff and leaving, while others have either ripped up their notices or set them on fire.
The National Post reports that some of the Occupy Toronto protesters have been discussing the possibility of moving to Nathan Phillips Square.
Ward 40 Scarborough-Agincourt Councillor and Chair of the Parks and Environment Committee Norm Kelly told Digital Journal in an email that since the City has visited the area daily to both clean it and monitor it; there have been “no major issues to date.”
“As for costs,” said Councillor Kelly, “what might the cost be of a resisted eviction?”
City Manager Joe Pennachetti delivering the 2011 budget to the council chamber
Ward 27 Toronto Centre-Rosedale City Councillor Krystyn Wong-Tam told Digital Journal in an email there must not be any violence when working with the Occupy Toronto protesters.
“There is no room for violence in the City's dealing with Occupy Toronto and we must not become a government that sends in police in a pre-dawn raid to evict dissenting voices from public spaces,” said Councillor Wong-Tam.
“Democratic practices are not always easy and quick, but until we have exhausted our means of mitigating the impact of protest on local businesses and residents, we would only be inviting more anger and frustration by forcibly clearing the park,” added the left-leaning councillor.
When asked about Anonymous, she said that the City should take it seriously because online resources offered to Torontonians, visitors and businesses are “vital” to ensure services offered are accessible and secure.