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Occupy Toronto Staying Put – For Now

On Monday, the “Occupy Wall StreOccupy Toronto St James Parket” protesters at Zuccotti Park in New York were evicted. “Evicted” means made to leave. Anyone who didn’t leave the park was forcibly removed by the police.

The people in the park had been there for months. It was a peaceful protest against what they see as the gross differences in wealth between the “one per cent” of very wealthy people and everyone else (the “ninety-nine per cent”).

Zuccotti Park is owned by a company called Brookfield Properties. Brookfield had allowed the protesters to camp there since September.

Now that the protesters are gone, Brookfield is cleaning up the park. Brookfield said in a letter to New York’s mayor the park had become “unhealthy and unsafe.”

Although the protesters in New York have left Zuccotti Park, they say they will not stop protesting. They are using websites like Twitter and Facebook to communicate with each other and plan future protests.

“Occupy Toronto” protesters have been camping out in St. James Park in downtown Toronto since early October. On Tuesday, Toronto by-law officers handed the protesters eviction notices. The notices said “the time has come to remove your tent, structures, equipment and personal belongings from the park.”

The notices said everyone had to be out of the park by midnight on Tuesday. It also said the protesters can’t rebuild their tent city in St. James Park or any other Toronto park. Protesters were told that if anyone breaks the rules, they can be fined $2,000 for trespassing. Trespassing is when a person is on someone else’s property without their permission.

But the protesters in Toronto never left St. James Park. Instead, a lawyer who represents them got an “injunction.” An injunction is a court order that stops someone from doing something. In this case, the injunction stopped the City from kicking the protesters out of the park.

The protesters’ lawyer said the people should be allowed to stay in the park, because evicting them would go against their civil rights. In this case, she said, the protesters have a right to “peaceful assembly” and “freedom of expression.” The lawyer is arguing that by gathering in the park, the protesters are expressing their views.Occupy Toronto tent city

A judge will decide whether the protesters have to leave St. James Park, or can keep camping there. The judge will make a final decision by Saturday at 6 p.m.

Events are unfolding quickly with this story. For instance, when we published this article the Zuccotti Park protesters were told they may be allowed to move back into the park. Stay tuned to your local news for more information.

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Do you think the protesters involved in the New York and Toronto protests should be evicted? Why do you think so?

Reading Prompt: Elements of Style
The author of today’s story included sentences that define important words. Find these sentences and discuss their importance to the text. What do these types of sentences tell you about the author’s writing style?

Identify some elements of style, including voice, word choice, and different
types of sentences, and explain how they help readers understand texts (OME, Reading: 2.4).

Identify various elements of style – including word choice and the use of similes, personification, comparative adjectives, and sentences of different types, lengths, and structures – and explain how they help communicate meaning (OME, Reading: 2.4).

Identify various elements of style – including foreshadowing, metaphor, and symbolism – and explain how they help communicate meaning and enhance the effectiveness of texts(OME, Reading: 2.4).

Grammar Feature: Homonyms
Words that are pronounced the same, but have different meanings, are a type of homonym. For example, today’s article describes the reason for the “Occupy” protests as, “the gross differences in wealth between the “one per cent” of very wealthy people and everyone else (the “ninety-nine per cent”).” The word gross in this sentence doesn’t mean yucky or disgusting, it means large, although the protesters might argue it’s both. 

Use the word bank to define each homonym (2 per homonym).

1. train ____________________                                  WORD BANK
2. skip_____________________                 carry, thin, miss, write on a
3. bear ____________________                  keyboard, to teach, animal, rest
4. type ____________________                 against, a sort, to jump, locomotive
5. lean ____________________

Examples and definition via: