Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Today the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) held a rally to protest the cuts to the 'Special Diet' in Ontario. When the delegation from the protest entered the Provincial Liberal headquarters to deliver their petition all 11 delegates were arrested. OCAP is calling for a solidarity rally tomorrow. Here is the story from OCAP.
Eleven People Arrested:
OCAP Rallies Against Cut to the Special Diet
WHERE: College Park Courthouse (south-west corner of Yonge & College)
WHEN: 10:30 am (Thursday, July 22nd, 2010)

Today, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) demonstrated against the devastating cut to the Special Diet benefit and to demand that the Liberal Government raise welfare rates by at least 55% - the minimum amount required to restore rates to where they were before the cut by Harris in 1995. During today's rally, over 300 people took to the streets, while a smaller group of people went in to the Liberal Party headquarters, to deliver an ‘invoice’ to the Liberal Party – demanding full re-payment of benefits taken from people living on social assistance.

The delegation of people who entered the Provincial Liberals HQ went to deliver a message about the impact of the cuts on poor people. Rather than receive this message, the powers that be chose to enforce their austerity measures with police action. Shortly after the group entered, Toronto Police arrested all 11 people, OCAP members, allies, and labour activists.

Two people were released, while the other 9 remain in custody tonight.

"I went to the demonstration to demand the the special diet not be cut and that welfare and ODSP rates be raised 55% for those of us on social assistance. Instead, I was arrested and the police called me "a pawn"because I am disabled. I am not a pawn. Disabled people fight against governments that make and keeps us poor every day, and we will fight until we win enough money to eat healthy food and pay our rents," said Anne Abbot, an OCAP member who was released with a trespass summons rather than being charged, because she uses a wheelchair.

This latest arrest and detention of activists comes only a few weeks after the mass arrest of over 1000 anti-G20 protesters.

“The G20 leaders met in Toronto to call for austerity measures just like the cuts to welfare in Ontario,” said OCAP organizer Liisa Schofield. “Nobody should be surprised when the police are once again called in to crush public outcry against these kinds of policies.”

Come out on Thursday morning to support those facing charges.

We demand the immediate release of all people being held and the dropping of all charges.
We demand that the Liberal government raise welfare rates by at least 55%.
Media Contact: 416-826-4796
WHERE: College Park Courthouse (south-west corner of Yonge & College)
WHEN: 10:30 am (Thursday, July 22nd, 2010)
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain St.
Toronto, ON
M5A 1R6


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