10/28/2011 07:56 EDT | Updated 12/28/2011 05:12 EST

Occupy London won't be forced from park; group has been camping there for a week

LONDON, Ont. - Mayor Joe Fontana has promised Occupy London protesters they will not be forcibly removed from Victoria Park.

The group of around 50 was at city hall Friday afternoon for a special council meeting to discuss the merits of their occupation of the park.

Fontana agreed to arrange the committee of the whole meeting after speaking to protesters during a virtual townhall session Thursday afternoon.

Demonstrators applauded London for being the first Canadian city to offer protesters a chance to meet with local politicians.

Failed economic policies, inadequate services for the mentally ill and a shrinking of the middle class were all discussed.

Members of the Occupy London movement have been camped out in Victoria Park since last Saturday, violating a city bylaw that prohibits camping in city parks.