THOUSANDS PROTEST CUTS IN ONTARIO.Byline: Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
Associated Press (AP)
Cooperative news agency, the oldest and largest in the U.S. and long the largest in the world.
Tens of thousands of people joined the biggest political march in Toronto's history Saturday, parading to the Ontario legislature to conclude a two-day protest against the provincial government's budget cuts.
En route to the legislature, the marchers - estimated by police at 75,000 and by organizers at 300,000 - passed the downtown convention center where Premier Mike Harris For other persons of the same name, see Michael Harris.
Michael Deane Harris (born January 23, 1945, in Toronto, Ontario) was the twenty-second Premier of Ontario from June 26, 1995 to April 15, 2002. was attending his Conservative Party's policy convention.
A group of masked protesters tried to enter the convention hall, threw rocks at the building and punched a reporter. One protester was arrested on suspicion of breach of the peace. Dozens of police officers restrained the protesters.
As the marchers passed the building, some chanted chant
a. A short, simple series of syllables or words that are sung on or intoned to the same note or a limited range of notes.
b. A canticle or prayer sung or intoned in this manner.
c. : ``Hey, Mike, hey, Harris, we'll shut you down like Paris,'' referring to a general strike in the French capital this month that closed government offices and schools, grounded flights and disrupted rail travel.
Harris, who has cut funding for welfare, hospitals, education and other programs, said he will press ahead with plans for further spending and tax cuts. He said most Ontario voters support him, and several of his aides predicted that the Conservatives would gain support in a backlash against the protesters' tactics.
The protest - organized mainly by labor unions labor union: see union, labor. - began Friday with an attempt to shut down government services citywide and disrupt some private-sector operations.
Pickets deployed at 300 sites and shut down the mass transit mass transit, public transportation systems designed to move large numbers of passengers. Types and Advantages
Mass transit refers to municipal or regional public shared transportation, such as buses, streetcars, and ferries, open to all on a system, although chaos feared on highways and at the main airport did not materialize ma·te·ri·al·ize
v. ma·te·ri·al·ized, ma·te·ri·al·iz·ing, ma·te·ri·al·iz·es
1. To cause to become real or actual: By building the house, we materialized a dream. .
Nine protesters were arrested, including four who are facing weapons charges after police reported seizing slingshots and knives. But, mostly, the protest was peaceful and good-humored.