Toronto, ON – A group of concerned citizens is staging a peaceful sit-in outside Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s house this Sunday May 26th starting at noon, with the goal of pressuring Ford to answer direct questions about the video that apparently shows the Mayor smoking crack cocaine and using racist and homophobic language.
Fed up with the pattern of avoidance and denial that seems to follow in the wake of every scandal with Ford at the center, the organizers are looking to break the script and hold Ford accountable.
“Every time there’s a scandal, Rob Ford uses the same strategy,” says organizer Trevor Coleman, “Quicky deny everything and then refuse to answer questions. There’s only so many ‘Rob Ford said nothing’ stories that the media can write, so eventually the press has to cover something else and the public moves on.”
This protest aims to change that by taking the issue to Rob Ford’s house and staying there.
“If he won’t answer the media’s questions, then maybe he’ll answer ours,” says Coleman, “He’s always inviting people to call him at home and we decided it was time to take him up on the offer.’
Rob Ford has a history of inadvertently bolstering community relations among his supporters. An all-night council session in 2012 quickly turned into something of a slumber party where community-minded people from all parts of Toronto came together to express their vision for the city. Instead of being exhausted by the all-night session as Mayor Ford had hoped, the city came away invigorated. The organizers of the sit-in are betting that something similar will happen Sunday afternoon.
“We’re hoping to have fun with it,” says Coleman, “We’re hoping people will come down and make a day of it. We all know how Mayor Ford likes to host barbeques, so we might bring a hibachi or two, maybe some board games. We’re hoping to get some music going and have a good time. We’re encouraging people to bring lawn chairs, as we’ll probably be there a while.”
With the attention of the world’s media trained on the mayor, it seems likely that this protest will gather significant media attention, that’s something that the organizers are counting on.
“I think Torontonians are pretty dismayed to see the name of their city dragged through the mud in the international media. Right now every story is about how we elected a crack-smoking Mayor. I don’t feel that accurately represents the city I live in, and I think there’s a chance here to present a different side of Toronto to the world, one we can all be proud of.”
More details can be found on the event’s website: http://rob-ford-sit-in.squarespace.com