Occupy activists protest at Barrick Gold meeting
A group of Occupy Toronto activists gathered outside a meeting of Barrick Gold Corp. shareholders on Wednesday after an overnight rally in a downtown Toronto park.
Demonstrators jeered and shouted as they gathered in the street outside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, where Barrick Gold Corp. was holding its annual general meeting.
The protesters accuse the gold company of human rights and environmental abuses in various countries where it operates gold mines.
Inside the meeting, Barrick Gold chairman Peter Munk acknowledged the protest outside and outlined for shareholders the charitable work the company did in Canada and abroad.
Various reports suggested some protesters confronted shareholders as they left the meeting and others spotted pushing and shoving outside a nearby hotel.
The protest comes after activists and members of the Occupy Toronto movement spent the night in downtown Simcoe Park, where three people were arrested after an attempt was made to set up a tent in a park.
Police say two women and a man were arrested in Simcoe Park, on Front Street, and charged with trespassing. They were issued $65 tickets and released, according to Const. Tony Vella.
The park occupation began late Tuesday after more than a thousand people held a day of rallies and marches to mark International Workers' Day, also known as May Day.
About 75 people remained in the park overnight, sleeping in lawn chairs and holding occasional dances. After the arrests, no further attempts to erect tents in the park were made.
The Occupy Toronto movement released a statement early Wednesday declaring a victory in their occupation of the park. According to the statement, 200 people gathered in the park and occupied it overnight, despite pressure from police to clear out.
"We are so proud of the determination showed by the two hundred our so people who refused to leave in the face of police orders, because they are committed to the cause of a more just and equal society for all people," Paul Castrodale, an activist with Occupy Toronto, said in a statement.
The largest gathering on Tuesday caused delays and traffic jams on city roads as about 500 people gathered at City Hall at 4 p.m. and then started moving west along Queen Street, shortly after 5 p.m.
Marchers made their way along Queen Street to Spadina Avenue where they staged a sit-in, blocking traffic at the busy downtown intersection, before settling in to Simcoe Park.
With files from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney