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September 9, 2011, by

Update on Dufferin Grove Park closure

Toronto Stop the Cuts Network’s flyer for tomorrow’s meeting in
Dufferin Grove Park

by Aislinn Rose

Earlier today, a communiqué was released because The City of Toronto appeared to be trying to shut down a meeting in Dufferin Grove Park, organized by the Toronto Stop the Cuts Network.

The meeting was intended to bring Torontonians together for refreshments at 12pm, and then break into smaller groups from 1pm to 5pm to come up with a “a clear set of demands to deliver to City Hall”. The Facebook event can be found here.

The Toronto Stop the Cuts Network, a group made up of community organizations and individuals, released this statement:

In a blatantly anti-democratic move that smacks of Rob Ford’s authoritarianism, Toronto City is attempting to stop the Mass Meeting to Stop Ford’s Cuts from taking place. The city is shutting down programming at Dufferin Grove Park, where the meeting is scheduled from 12pm to 5pm on Saturday, September 10. Organizers from the Toronto Stop the Cuts Network say they are expecting thousands of residents to attend, to write a Toronto Declaration, ‘a vision for the Toronto people need and deserve’.

You can read the entire post here.

After a call to Councillor Ana Bailão’s office, I learned that the Toronto Police had issued a demonstration alert, and that the plan to close the park and its services was seen by the City as a “safety measure”. However, Bailão’s office felt this was unacceptable, and have ensured that the park will instead by kept open all day.

The park’s regular services will also be running in the morning and in the evening, but will be stopped only during the 5-hour meeting organized by Stop the Cuts. Bathrooms, however, will also be kept open during the meeting.

When asked why a demonstration alert would be issued for a meeting, Bailão’s office said they also believed the event to be a meeting rather than a demonstration, but that postings about the meeting on other sites had raised concerns.

Let us know your thoughts on these issues in the comments section. We also welcome anyone who has any updates regarding Stop the Cuts and their meeting in Dufferin Grove Park, to post them here.

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