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Toronto Activists Camping Out In Nathan Philips Square Face Fines Of Up To $10K

They’ve been there for over two weeks now.

A trespassing order has been given out to campers at Nathan Phillips Square and they face up to $10,000 in fines. The city of Toronto has issued the order to the “Afro-Indigenous Rising (AIR) Collective" group that has been camping out for the past two weeks. The Toronto activists had set up tents on June 19 after a peaceful protest at the square.

According to CP24, the notice has warned the group that the city has the right to enforce this order.

Measures that can be taken under the directive could include removing property like tents and other belongings at Nathan Phillips Square.

“Under the Trespass to Property Act, every person who engages in an activity on the square that has been prohibited under the act, is guilty of an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine of not more than $10,000,” states the order.

“The City of Toronto recognizes the rights of any group or individual to participate in lawful expression and gatherings at the square. To be clear, the requirements of this notice do not prevent any person from engaging in lawful gatherings and protests.”

However, officials have not stated what their plan entails, whether it will be through forcefully removing the encampment or not.

No timeline has been given, either.

Narcity has reached out to the city for further clarification, as well as to AIR.

In the meantime, The AIR Collective has a GoFund Me set up to help support their fight against police brutality. It already has over $47,000 in donations.

"Our communities have experienced so much hurt and trauma, and we want to take a breath and centre the vibrancy and success that grows within our communities," reads part of their statement on the GoFund Me page.

"We want to provide art, music, food, and healing to the public, while honouring the diverse and valid emotional responses that each individual experiences."

Any additional funds they are able to raise would potentially go towards other efforts like family support and scholarships for "children of those taken by state-sanctioned police violence."

The group would also look to facilitate rent relief, bail funds, and cultural education for youth, adds the GoFundMe message.

Protests have previously sprouted across the city and on a global scale, rooted in the outrage after the deaths of Regis Korchinski-Paquet and George Floyd.