Sunday, November 11, 2007

Two days ago (Friday, November 8th) members of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty occupied the offices of Premier Dalton McGuinty.
After gaining access to the inner offices of McGuinty's "policy shop" on the top floor of a secure government building the OCAP delegation announced that work at the office was finished for the day. When security and police arrived a meeting was brokered with Tony Dean, the cabinet Secretary and boss bureaucrat for Ontario. Mr. Dean said that the Liberal Government was well aware of the poverty that exists and was taking steps to correct a "complicated situation". OCAP rejected this and instead told him to tell his boss that unless immediate action was taken the next four years were going to be marked by intense mobilization and fightback.
This occupation was a welcome-back to the Liberal Government and a reminder that they have failed to address the dramatic need for an immediate increase to welfare and ODSP payments in Ontario. The occupation was part of OCAP's campaign to 'Raise the Rates'- a campaign that calls for an immediate increase of 40% to social assistance rates, and has gathered supports from all corners of the province.
McGuinty talks about an "Ontario for All" and his government's focus on poverty introducing "poverty reduction" committees and benchmarks. But when your entire welfare cheque goes to paying your rent, when the only increase to your cheque in four years has been less than the cost of a bag of diapers, you know what you need. McGuinty was just elected for another mandate. We have one too. Let's build a fight that can win real money from this government.
Video from this action will be available from this website shortly.
Molly Note:
To their great and eternal credit OCAP has more than one virtue from a rational anarchist point of view. They push the envelope of "militancy" to its maximum possible extent while at the same time staying on THIS side of "non-violent". They have achieved success with this way of acting that others in the anarchist community have NOT, despite the fact that their "direct actions" appear more militant. They have also limited the goals of their actions to what is actually achievable. This contrasts with the vague "goals" of the travelling anarchist rent-a-riot who think that they can achieve the "overthrow of capitalism" by logging lost fight # 8657 against a local police force. Jesus H. Christ !!!
To their credit OCAP has also, to my knowledge, never bowed to the fashionable leftist idea of "increasing services to the poor". They have never "demanded "more classes in life skills" or other such dreck that benefits only that portion of the working class whose only product is social control and their bosses who are part of our managerial ruling class. Some of you know the scam. "Turn up at work at time with your shoelaces tied and without vomit on your shirt". It's a scam and an obvious scam. You can't train people not to be poor. Everybody knows the bullshit that is taught in these "life-skills" courses. You are forced into them and you endure them no matter what your opinion of the fresh-faced social worker who has much less knowledge than you do.
One of my comrades at the Shagya Blog is much more insistent on this matter than I am. Molly has never had to undergo the degradation of the welfare system in her life and likely never will,considering her advanced age. Looking from the outside Molly finds the whole idea disgusting, particularly the idea that their should be a "gatekeeper class" who have the supreme arrogance to assume that they have anything to teach to the poor. It is an obvious great lie,just as government promises to "eliminate poverty" are. This gatekeeper class has nothing to teach. The whole enterprise a crooked scam. The Shagya Blog recommends a "guaranteed annual income" as an alternative to our present welfare (and unemployment) system. Molly is unsure about the wisdom of this, even though she is immediately attracted because it would obviously increase the freedom of a great number of people in our society. The loss of jobs in social service agencies could always be tolerated. Let them try to convince people about the need for psychotherapy on the free market. Or let them pump gas at Domo or serve Big Macs as per their real skills.

1 comment:

Werner said...

That's certainly fair enough. I'm not sure about a GAI either (sometimes). Probably it wouldn't happen here anyway. I also like the OCAP and their approach.