Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) is one of the most successful organizations alive today in terms of integrating the anarchist ideas of direct actions with the day to day concerns of ordinary people. Molly is subscribed to their list-serve, and the following is their latest notice about upcoming actions down Ontario way.

Two Important Actions This Week‏
Please note: our lists are down a lot right now. Please check our website for updates.
Also, please note the time and location change for the action on Wednesday. More information below.
Wednesday, June 18
Eglington West Subway Station (inside turnstiles)
(tokens will be provided)
Come tell Minister Matthews to stop wasting our time with consultations and start doing something about poverty!
Saturday, June 21
Allan Gardens Park (Carleton and Sherbourne)
Meals Provided
Park Takeover - Come tell the City to stop tickets and harassment, end the safe streets act, and give us food and shelter now.
Bring a sleeping bag if you have one.
Wednesday, June 18
Eglington West Subway Station (inside turnstiles)
(tokens will be provided)
Come tell Minister Matthews to stop wasting our time with consultations and start doing something about poverty!
We don't need to waste our time in secret consultations. We need a government that is actually going to do something about poverty. We know what the problems are. Welfare and disability rates are too low, we need a livable minimum wage now, we need more affordable housing and we need the housing we do have to be in decent repair.
The Liberal government would like the public to believe it will make real and substantial changes in people's lives. Instead, this government continues to quietly chip away at crucial money and services. While they talk about reducing poverty, the Liberals continue to let welfare and disability rates lose ground to inflation. They slashed the Special Diet supplement that let thousands of people eat healthier food, and they introduced the confusing Ontario Child Benefit that means parents probably won't be able to buy coats for their kids this winter. This is not a government that actually cares about poor people, it is a government trying to get political capital by talking a lot about us, but doing nothing for us.
Come out and tell Matthews to do something about poverty and quit stalling.
Saturday, June 21st
Allan Gardens (Jarvis and Carleton)
Free Meals
Stop tickets and harassment.
End the Safe Streets Act.
Food and shelter now.
The Mayor, the cops and the rich are pushing poor people out of the downtown core. The shelters are full but people are ticketed for sleeping in parks. In the past 2 years, we have lost over 300 beds and tens of thousands of meals. As we fight for housing and adequate income, we must have our basic needs met - we need food and shelter now.
As the oversupply of housing for the well off creeps into poor areas of the City, as a ruthless drive to push out the homeless gathers force. People are targeted by the cops who are dramatically changing the downtown core. Our corners are monitored by video cameras that watch us go hungry while the cops get budget increases. Panhandlers and other poor people are ticketed on an almost daily basis and at a rate that has increased nearly 300% in the last 3 years. This isn't about catching 'criminals', it is about social cleansing - driving poor people out of the neighbourhood.
OCAP has taken the lead in resisting this outrageous situation. We held a mass panhandle in the underground 'Path' commercial network. We have taken delegations to City Hall to expose and challenge the neglect. We set up a special night of shelter to coincide with the end of the 'Out of the Cold' program. This laid bare the fact that hundreds more have nowhere to turn and must go back to the streets.
Nine years ago, in response to the homeless crisis, targeted policing and gentrification, OCAP held a Safe Park in Allan Gardens. Tragically, now nearly a decade later, things are even worse.
We will be taking Allan Gardens over and making it a safe place for people to eat and to sleep. We will hold the park as a place of safety and solidarity for people denied shelter from the wind, the rain and the cops.
Come out and show your support for the poor people on our streets and demand food and shelter for all!
For Information, to make a donation or endorse this event please contact:
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain St.
Toronto, ON
M5A 1R6

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