Chris Caple says it was Rob Ford’s flap about removing the Pride flag from Toronto City Hall last month that got him to start his sit-in campaign in front of the mayor’s office.
The flag was raised Feb. 7 to support LGBTQ rights during the Winter Olympics, but the mayor, who has been criticized for being homophobic, didn’t agree and wanted instead the Canadian flag.
Caple said the inspiration behind his campaign was a group of mothers and children who did a sit-in themselves last fall after Ford admitted to smoking crack during one of his drunken stupors.
“I saw that [sit-in] online and I thought that was great,” the freelance website developer told CityNews.ca. But “let’s do that all the time.”
Caple sat in front of the mayor’s office for the first 12 days but he has since been joined by about 150 people of all stripes who volunteer their time during the week and weekends. Click here to join.
“It’s a peaceful demonstration just to show essentially Ford directly that we don’t agree, that the people of Toronto don’t agree with what he’s done, and want him to go. Hence Rob Ford must go.”
He and his participants write entries on their website and tweet about their observations at city hall. Posts have touched on Ford’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the media frenzy at city hall when the latest details about the crack video were disclosed on Wednesday and the excitement at city hall when Olivia Chow entered the mayoral race last week.
While Caple hasn’t spoken to the Ford brothers, some of the participants have and say the encounters have been cordial with one woman even getting a tour of the mayor’s office by Doug Ford.
Caple, who voted for George Smitherman in the 2010 election, says the campaign, now in its 36th day, will continue until Ford leaves office. And while he doesn’t know who he’ll vote for next October, it won’t be for the current mayor.