The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Shirtless protesters crash Rob Ford news conference, heckle Toronto mayor

  • Print

TORONTO - A group of shirtless protesters crashed a news conference by Rob Ford on Tuesday, heckling the Toronto mayor by shouting for him to resign.

Ford did not appear concerned by the protest but Citytv reported that his sobriety coach was scolded by a police officer at the event for allegedly kicking one of the protesters.

"If you want me to help you out, you can't be kicking him," a police officer is seen saying partially on camera in video the TV station posted to its website.

"I saw you kick him. I saw it happen," Citytv reported the officer continued saying off camera.

No charges were laid, it said.

Ford was speaking about his opposition to a proposed transit project but was nearly drowned out by the small but vocal group of demonstrators.

The group, inspired by a shirtless jogger whose rant at Ford during a Canada Day event touched off a social media frenzy, stood around Ford and shouted that he should step down.

Ford said he wasn't bothered by the demonstrators — at one point stopping his speech to chuckle — and said "they can protest all they want."

John Furr, who organized the protest via Twitter, said the message of the group is that "average Torontonians are fed up."

"We have to stop the narrative of the Fords that wherever he goes he's treated like a rock star," Furr, 52, said. "He's not. Most people avoid him like the plague."

Furr said this is the second protest organized by the group — the first was on Friday outside the Newstalk 1010 studio where Ford was giving an interview.

Connie Boudens, 52, was among the protesters on Tuesday.

She said there is a lack of transparency in Ford's administration, and "he hasn't taken responsibility for things he's done in the past."

Since Ford returned last week from two months in rehab he has given a handful of interviews, but has not taken questions from city hall journalists about the circumstances surrounding his alcohol and drug use, the company he kept and offensive remarks he has made.

"We all thought when Rob Ford came back from rehab that things were going to change," Boudens said, adding that she still sees his office as "secretive."

"There were all these outstanding questions people wanted answered," she said. "Now that he has come back, it's back to being a circus."

Boudens said Tuesday's protest created a "contentious" atmosphere, with Ford supporters voicing disagreement with the shirtless protest group.

"It was a little bit chaotic," she said.

At the end of the news conference Ford said he would take questions on the transit proposal and answered two about that issue and one about the protesters before leaving.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Maria Aragon performs new single "Nothing but a Beat"

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should panhandling at intersections be banned?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google