TORONTO, Ont. – Occupy Toronto protesters spent the night at Simcoe Park in downtown Toronto.
The occupiers said they intend to protest the Barrick Gold’s annual meeting, which is being held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre at 10 a.m. Wednesday. They said they will rally at the park, which is across the street from the centre.
On Tuesday, Occupy protesters marched to Simcoe Park where they say they plan to take over the space for 24 hours.
“For 24 hours we will transform the financial district. We will occupy the heart of the beast,” one of the protest leaders announced to the crowd at City Hall through a megaphone, Tuesday afternoon.
Toronto’s Parks and Recreation department said the protesters will be allowed to stay in the park overnight; however, Toronto police Const. Tony Vella said Toronto police plan to enforce the city bylaw which prohibits tents from being set up on public property between midnight and 5 a.m.
Three people were charged with “prohibited activity” shortly before midnight when they tried to build a tent in the park. Police pulled the structure down and told 680News the protesters will receive a fine and be released.
A press release sent out Tuesday evening by the Occupy movement said they plan to transform the site into a space for education, conversation, and protest. They will set up info booths, political film screenings, a free school, a kitchen and sleeping areas, including a women’s safe space.
Occupy Toronto said they are protesting against mining companies Barrick Gold and New Gold, both of which have shareholders meetings in downtown Toronto on May 2.
The protest began on May 1, also known as “May Day,” which is the international day to mark workers’ rights.
A coalition of groups organized an anti-austerity protest marched on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office in Ottawa.
In Toronto, a series of events started at 11 a.m. Occupy Toronto also rallied at City Hall at 4 p.m. They then marched to Alexandra Park at Dundas and Bathurst streets.
Protesters were urging people to call in sick — calling it a day without the 99 per cent — with no work, no shopping and no banking.
Among other causes, organizers said they want to show respect for aboriginal sovereignty, urge more public services, and push for an end to corporate handouts.
Organizers have called specific attention to Chicago, Ill., because the city is hosting the NATO summit on May 20.
In New York City, protestors are calling for a day of civil disobedience and trying to bring business to a standstill. Police said the white powder mailed to several bank branches was non-toxic, but it’s believed it came from someone in the Occupy movement.
In San Francisco, Calif., protestors have backed away from a plan to block the Golden Gate Bridge.