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The Globe and Mail

Canadian version of Wall Street occupation planned

Police officers reach into a crowd of protesters to make an arrest on the Brooklyn Bridge during an Occupy Wall Street march in New York October 1, 2011.


Organizers in Toronto and several other Canadian cities say they plan to follow the example of anti-Wall Street activists in the United States by taking to the streets later this month to protest the global financial system.

The New York activists say they are protesting to bring attention to corporate greed and government-backed bailouts of American banks. Similar demonstrations have already spread to Albuquerque, N.M., Boston and Los Angeles.

In Toronto, activists say they plan to converge in the city's financial district on Saturday Oct. 15. A tentative schedule on a website called Occupy Toronto says the occupation will begin at 10 a.m. ET that day. The group plans to use the weekend to organize itself and says it will wait to march on the streets until the Toronto Stock Exchange opens on Monday.

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Canadian protests are also planned for Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, Ottawa, Montreal, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, according to a website called Occupy Together.

The Toronto organizers are using the same rallying cry as those in New York, saying they are part of 99 per cent of people who are struggling while the wealthiest 1 per cent of the world's population prospers.

The Toronto group held its first organizing meeting on Sept. 29. By Sunday afternoon, 800 people said they planned to attend the Occupy Toronto event, according to its Facebook page.

In Vancouver, organizers say they plan to occupy an area outside the Vancouver Art Gallery. Those attending have been asked to bring tents with them and the group's Facebook page says protesters will stay "as long as it takes."

The Occupy Together website suggests similar events are being planned in Mexico, Australia, Tokyo, about a dozen European countries and more than 40 U.S. states.

On Saturday night, more than 700 people were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge in connection with the anti-Wall Street protest, after a march closed down a lane of traffic for several hours.

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