Occupy Toronto message missed by media, occupiers say

“I am against any race that is not of my race,” shouts a man standing near the corner of King Street East and Church Street on Nov. 15. “That is the human race!”

A light flicks on, microphones come out and a television reporter stands next to him. The camera’s light acts as a beacon, drawing other journalists.

Nearby and almost completely unnoticed are Alison Stone and Daniel Scrivo. They are taking donations for the Occupy Toronto camp’s kitchen.

One of the issues the Occupy protesters say they face is misrepresentation in the media.

“Don’t pay attention to that man,” Stone says. “Feeding into him makes us look bad.”

Corporate media have to be coming down here interviewing all of these people and then picking the least articulate and printing their comments

—Sharon Howarth

Scrivo says he’s witnessed the media take the actions of one protester and use it to formulate generalizations about the movement.

After receiving eviction notices from the City of Toronto this week, Scrivo says the media became fixated on one protester who folded his notice into a paper airplane and threw it.

“It was on the news for hours,” Scrivo says. “[The media] were saying it was ‘they’, ‘they’ were doing that. And it was just this one guy.”

Former federal Green Party candidate Sharon Howarth agrees.

“Corporate media have to be coming down here interviewing all of these people and then picking the least articulate and printing their comments,” she says.

Most of the protesters are intelligent and well spoken, she adds.

“It’s no wonder [Mayor Rob] Ford or anyone doesn’t want to come own and talk to these people,” Howarth says. “[The protesters] would out talk them with logic, using plain common sense.”

Howarth points to an official press release sent out by Occupy Toronto to many media outlets. In it, she says, the protesters tried to lay out what the movement is trying to accomplish.

“It went out as a press release to all the media,” she says. “Did anyone see it on mainstream [media]? No.

“How could you not print, on mainstream [media], an official notice from Occupy Toronto?”

Media watchers could not be reached for comment by deadline.