Sunday, June 22, 2008



Yesterday the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty carried out their promised occupation of the downtown Toronto Allen Gardens site to protest the Ontario government attacks on poor people. The Toronto police were instructed to attempt a removal of the protest last night. Despite the attack the people at the site held firm, and they plan to demonstrate at the Toronto City hall tomorrow. Here are two press releases from OCAP about these recent events. The first was released shortly before the midnight attack. The second is from today.

BREAKING NEWS: OCAP Under Attack at Midnight tonight!‏
Sat June 21, 2008
Earlier today, a 30-minute stand-off with police in Allen Gardens took place, before cops on horseback moved in to remove a TARP erected to provide us with shelter from the rain.

City officials are on site in the park, calling the shots about how poor people & their supporters should be treated- in their opinion, apparently,with force & disrespect.

We are here with simple demands: stop police harassment, provide food and shelter for poor people now. And the city has given their response.

At 11:58 tonight, the city has ordered the police to move in and forcibly remove us. If you care about the poor and the homeless in Toronto, come out to show your support...

Come now:
Allen Gardens
(Jarvis & Gerrard)

Update: OCAP holds park for night! Come to City Hall Monday.‏
Come tell Miller to stop the attack on poor people:we demand more shelter beds and meals and a stop to police harassment.
Nathan Phillips Square
(Queen and Bay)
9:30 am
Monday, June 23
Barbecue at Allan Gardens
(Gerrard and Sherbourne)
Noon Monday morning, join us as at City Hall to tell Miller to stop his attack on poor and homeless people.
We held Allen Gardens last night despite a police attack and rain. Shortly before midnight a group of police officers moved in on the protest and violently removed a large tarp-which was protecting people from heavy rain. The police used knives to cut down the tarp while there were people under it. Once it was down, several police slashed the tarp up so it could not be used to keep people dry. In doing so, one officer cut himself badly. By the end of the day, two homeless men had been arrested and one has a bail hearing today.
"Miller has attacked people by closing down over 350 shelter beds,canceling tens of thousands of meals, and increasing the number of tickets laid against people on the streets under the Safe Streets Act by 288%. If Miller won't give us what we need, we will keep fighting until we get it,"says Danielle Koyama of OCAP.
"We need housing for people - too many shelters are getting closed down. There is not enough housing and nothing has changed yet," says Karl Schmidt, a homeless man who as been on and off the streets for years. "The city has to do something - the shelters are over crowded... A bachelor apt costs $500 to $600. How are we supposed to get by?"
We will also be having a barbecue in the park today at noon.
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain St.
Toronto, ON
M5A 1R6

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