#savetoronto

November 13, 2013

The cold had a real bite to it today, but Torontonians were too angry to stay home.

I arrived early, and funnily enough one of the first people I saw was a former coworker of mine named Mark, holding the great sign above.  We had a brief chat to commiserate about the ridiculousness of the situation, and how long the laundry list of offences had to get before Canadians would say “enough is enough”.  Some people managed to maintain a sense of humour to offset their anger:

Protester at Toronto City Hall

Protester at Toronto City Hall (c) Allyson Scott

The crowd was sparse at first, and I feared people wouldn’t be able to make it to the protest on a work day, but within minutes they were pouring into the square on their lunch hours.  There was no mistaking the overriding sentiment.

Rally at Toronto City Hall to oust Mayor Rob Ford

Rally at Toronto City Hall to oust Mayor Rob Ford (c) Allyson Scott

Rally at Toronto City Hall to oust Mayor Rob Ford

Rally at Toronto City Hall to oust Mayor Rob Ford (c) Allyson Scott

If you’ve been avoiding the oversupply of Rob Ford news and don’t get the “bobblehead” reference on the signage, our mayor had 1,000 of them custom made in his own corpulent likeness, and signed them all yesterday in the lobby.  Proceeds went to the United Way – and no doubt the event had been planned long in advance of recent revelations – but his jovial behaviour offended many who feel he hasn’t taken the multitude of complaints about him seriously.

Individuals took turns at the bullhorn, rehashing just a few of the mayor’s well-known transgressions while in office.  With so many specific, documented instances of egregious behaviour and offensive statements (including homophobic and racist slurs), it is impossible to understand how anyone would want Rob Ford to stay on as mayor.

Protester giving speech at rally

Protester giving speech at rally (c) Allyson Scott

Rally at Toronto City Hall to oust Mayor Rob Ford

Rally at Toronto City Hall to oust Mayor Rob Ford (c) Allyson Scott

Rally at Toronto City Hall to oust Mayor Rob Ford

Rally at Toronto City Hall to oust Mayor Rob Ford (c) Allyson Scott

Protester at rally

Protester at rally (c) Allyson Scott

Piles of colourful chalk lay on the stairs behind the podium, and many people stopped to scrawl messages for Rob Ford.

Toronto City Hall graffiti

Chalk messages at Toronto City hall during Ford protest (c) Allyson Scott

Toronto City Hall graffiti

Chalk messages at Toronto City Hall during Ford protest (c) Allyson Scott

Picket sign on stairs at City Hall

Picket sign on stairs at City Hall (c) Allyson Scott

Coffin for "Ford Nation" at City Hall

Coffin for “Ford Nation” at City Hall (c) Allyson Scott

Protesters on stilts at City Hall

Protesters on stilts at City Hall (c) Allyson Scott

Once the speakers were finished, protesters made their way en masse to the doors of City Hall, chanting to the beat of snare drums, “Hey hey!  Ho ho!  Rob Ford has got to go!”

City Council was in session during all this, debating and voting on a motion recommending that Rob Ford take a leave of absence.  His smug, arrogant attitude of invincibility was on display even as the councillors debated his fitness for his position, and he physically blocked and intimidated the man who had put forth the motion.

Rob Ford and Denzil Minnan-Wong being separated in council

Rob Ford and Denzil Minnan-Wong being separated in council (from CP 24 website)

Even the landslide vote in favour of that motion (37-5) has no real effect, other than to show Rob Ford he has far more detractors than supporters.  New information about his job performance is being released daily, but he continues to refer back to his insincere blanket apology with each revelation.  “I’ve already apologized, there’s nothing else I can say.”  If pressed, he becomes indignant and defensive, never contrite: “Well maybe you’re perfect, but I’m not.”

Picket signs at Toronto City Hall

Picket signs at Toronto City Hall (c) Allyson Scott

Disgrace indeed.

1 comment

  1. Comment by Pam McDonnell

    Pam McDonnell Reply November 13, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Thanks Ali – well done. I cannot begin to tell you how angry I feel at all the nonsense going on and allowing this arrogant, asinine man to stay in office is nothing short of criminal. It makes Toronto, and, Canada for that matter the laughing stock of the world. I am so ashamed to be associated with Toronto especially when I get comments from relatives and friends in other parts of the world as to how we can let this man run a City and not oust him.

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