Rob Ford must go, say protesters camped out at mayor's office
A permanent sit-in until Ford out of office
Chris Caple wants to see Rob Ford leave office. So the 38-year-old web developer is going sit on the floor in front of the mayor's office until Ford leaves.
"I can't take any more of it," says Caple of the mayor's tenure. Caple began a Twitter account and website called Rob Ford Must Go, with the purpose of sitting in silent protest until the mayor resigns.
Caple intends to sit down at Toronto City Hall today beginning at 1 p.m. He may leave, but he wants the protest to remain. That means having someone sitting in front of Ford's office at all times.
"This is one of those 'if you build it, they will come' type of things," he says. "We had five large public protests in Nathan Phillips Square to demand his resignation and he completely ignored them. The idea here is to have a protest that he can't ignore — a protest that's always right there, directly in front of him, every day, all day."
The sit-in comes as Ford continues to try to get a rainbow flag symbolizing gay rights taken down from outside city hall. The flag is flying in support of gay rights in Russia during the Olympic Games in Sochi.
"His open campaign against the LGBT community in Toronto has pushed me over the edge. It's not what this city's about, and I can't and won't allow him to do it," says Caple.
When Ford spoke earlier this week, a protester yelled out "homophobe" as he was talking. Ford turned around and went back inside his office. He said the protesters must leave before he speaks again.
Caple hopes that will not be an issue with the sit-in.
"I'd personally prefer it to be a largely silent protest, consisting mostly of holding up signs and exerting a kind of moral force through increasing numbers. I envision ultimately several hundred people packing the 2nd floor hallway at city hall, silent, each holding up a sign with one word: resign."
Caple says he's received a deluge of support on Twitter and via email. He believes the protest will grow beyond his involvement.
"This is a peoples' protest. I'm putting a site together and getting the ball rolling, but I'm not in charge of it," he says. "Whoever is there at any given time — it's their protest. It's our protest. It's us. Toronto."
On Sunday, LGBT activists staged a "kiss in” outside of Ford’s office to protest his bid to lower the gay pride flag.