Friday, June 20, 2008

Tomorrow is the day that the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) plans to carry out their park takeover down Toronto way. Here's their latest statement on the event.

Hands off the poor! OCAP Park Takeover in Allan Gardens!‏
June 19th, 2008
HANDS OFF THE POOR! OCAP Park Takeover in Allan Gardens!
Saturday, June 21st
4PM onwards
Allan Gardens (Jarvis and Carleton)
Free Meals
On Saturday June 21, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) will gather in Allan Gardens Park to protest the lack of shelter and food, and to call attention to the increased crackdown on poor people, under the so-called Safe Streets Act.
Join us as we hold the park as a place of safety for people denied shelter from the wind, the rain and the cops. As this day marks National Aboriginal Day, we will also honour and recognize the resistance of First Nations communities against poverty and land theft.
In the last three years, the number of Safe Streets Act tickets has increased 288%. Last year alone, the police handed out 10,584 tickets under the Safe Streets Act, which has resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in fines laid against people who are destitute.
Over the last eighteen months, Mayor Miller has closed down five hostels in the downtown area. 312 beds were lost, of which only 60 have been replaced. This has also meant a loss of over 300,000 meals a year. Hostels are now overcrowded, and as a result violence and tensions are on the increase.
Poor people in our community must have access to safe, supportive and affordable housing. They must also have access to an income that meets their most basic needs. Welfare rates are too low and there is no social housing available for people. The existing social housing stock in the city is not being repaired, and these buildings are being left to deteriorate. People living without housing struggle on a daily basis to secure shelter and food.
We are demanding that the city re-instate the beds that have been shut down over the last eighteen months. Shelter and food are essential services. We also demand that Mayor Miller and City Council call for an end to the police intimidation and harassment of homeless people, an end to the widespread and punitive ticketing of its most vulnerable citizens,and a repeal of the Safe Streets Act.
Media Contact: Gaetan Heroux (416) 831-5500 or (416) 807-1531
Saturday, June 21st
Allan Gardens (Jarvis and Carleton)
Free Meals
HANDS OFF THE POOR! OCAP Park Takeover in Allan Gardens!Stop tickets and harassment! Repeal the Safe Streets Act! Food and shelter now!
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain St.
Toronto, ON
M5A 1R6

No comments: