By Venus Mosadeq
Despite the court’s decision to deny Occupy Toronto’s request for protesters to remain in the park, students at Ryerson are still strongly supporting the movement.
On Nov. 21, Justice David Brown ruled to move forward with eviction on the basis that the protesters didn’t have the right to take over the public space and exclude the rest of the community from the traditional use of the park.
But Farid Azadian, co-chair of the Ryerson New Democrats, sees no justification for the eviction.
He plans to continue his efforts by attending meetings of Occupy Ryerson, a support group that has been created for students. Azadian attended their first meeting on Nov. 4.
“We are an informal group of Ryerson students critically engaging with the Occupy movement, as well as determining Ryerson School of Social Work’s activist role in fighting for social and economic justice,” reads the description on their official Occupy Ryerson Facebook page.
Some protesters packed up their bags and left the five-week long camp to avoid arrest but other protesters stood their ground.
The city has not yet taken action to evict the protesters. Mayor Rob Ford has asked the protesters for their cooperation in leaving.
Sam Romero, a second-year social work student, was at the camp on Nov. 21 right at midnight, the supposed night of eviction.
“I was there last night,” said Romero. “I know of the group Occupy Ryerson. I’m not really involved with them, I’m just a concerned citizen and I was at the rally a few weeks ago too.”
The last rally, “Evict Ford,” took place on Nov. 19 and was promoted on campus by Occupy Ryerson beforehand.
Protesters demanded the right to stay in the park and spoke out against the eviction and social inequality.
Romero has been actively involved with the Occupy Toronto protest and helps out at the camp once in a while with various activities.
“I don’t think Judge Brown had justifiable grounds. I think they are finding ridiculous excuses and laws as reasons to silence people,” he said.
“Occupy is not about a place; it’s about a belief. You can’t evict ideas. Their opinions are just as important as someone who makes millions of dollars or who is a lawyer, or who may work on Bay street.”
The park will still be used for assemblies and breakout groups and some individuals have considered renting out a space for the movement to continue