AUSTERITY WEARS ITS ‘POVERTY REDUCTION’ MASK
OCAP members picket the Liberal poverty reduction consultation in 2013. In the foreground, a person holds a sign reading "Talk is Cheap - Yours is Worthless"
‘Poverty reduction’ is, of course, nothing new to any of us. The Provincial Liberals have kept this farce up for a truly astounding number of years, even as they imposed great levels of poverty, inequality and austerity on communities throughout the Province.
There is really no need to engage in any major examination of the City’s document for the simple reason that it is fluff. It lays out a ‘strategy’ that consists of pious hopes and meaningless statements of intent while,at the same time, carefully avoiding the very issues that could and should be addressed at the municipal level in order to challenge poverty. It proposes, for example, to work to ‘enhance investments in repairs to existing social housing’. The last federal and provincial budgets set aside not one penny for this purpose. What strategy is suggested to overcome this scandalous state of affairs? None at all because no one seriously expects this ‘goal’ to pursued.
Today we marched through the Downtown East End. We got to the Distillery District and were told it was closed. We made our way inside anyways to find hundreds of rich people hanging out, eating dinner and shopping. The police continue to protect the rich while poor people go hungry and die in the streets.
More updates to come.
We marched because we believe:
- all of us should have decent, affordable, accessible housing.
- the massive expenditure of public resources for the Pan Am Games when we are told that there is no money for housing, shelters or social assistance shows that governments can find resources if they want to.
- the targeted policing of poor people and communities of colour is wrong and that social cleansing and police brutality must end.
- if $3.8 million can be spent on lighting a bridge for the Pan Am Games, money can be found to replace the 124 beds lost by the closure of the Hope Shelter.
- sports provide fun and rewarding experiences for people of all ages and athletic resources should go to recreation programs rather than elite level competitions.
- if 10,000 people can be housed in the athlete’s village, more than 243 units can be turned into affordable housing after the Games.
- in social justice and fighting to win.
Thanks to everyone who made #RiseUpTO such a big success! We got up early, we warmed up our voices and we hit the streets to the sound of "We believe that we will win!".
Lowdown: We split into teams and blocked the intersections of Front & York and Wellington and Bay for up to an hour and despite police barricades we blocked the front entrance to the Royal York Hotel, letting no one in and no one out. In effect, we shut out all car traffic in to the hotel and forced the delegates to scurry in the underground path system while being escorted by the police.
We then marched up Bay street, occupying King and Bay, declaring "We hold them accountable! We know who's responsible!". We said we would give those attending the Pan American Economic and Climate Summits a different sort of welcome and that we did.
July 8, 7am.
Meet at Berczy Park.
Surround the Royal York. March up Bay Street
On July 8th, the Pan American Economic and Climate Summits will meet at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto. That morning, the elites in this city will welcome with open arms some of the people most responsible for destroying our planet, pushing communities out of their homes, and making us poor. We will be there to give them a different sort of ‘welcome.'
On the morning of July 8th, we will come together rise like the swell of the ocean; and surround the Royal York Hotel. Together, we will assert our dreams of better worlds.
Some of the leaders of destruction that will be in attendance at the summits:
*Shell's CEO, head of Precision Frac (leading Fracking Company), head of CAPP (Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, head of corporate Cap and Trade groups..
*US, EU, Canada and Ontario Chambers of Commerce, Tony Clement, HSBC CEO, E.L. Rothschild, BNP Paribas, TD Group..
*Head of OECD, David Johnson (Canada's Governor General), the Inter-American Development Bank, Felipe Calderon..
* Shimon Perez, Garda..
We need to move quickly! We must spread the word and get organized. Please do these three things right away:
* Invite people to this facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/562140067258155/
* Share this image on facebook: https://goo.gl/qa68e7
* Download posters, flyers, and social media below and share them widely. Click here for materials.
The Mayor’s Office in Toronto is today occupied by a much slicker operation than it was during the years of dysfunctional, bigoted buffoonery that unfolded under Rob Ford. Mayor John Tory has resumed the drive toward a fully fledged neoliberal city but has the basic political skills to frame his twin agendas of austerity and upscale redevelopment in the language of inclusiveness. He has been sufficiently proficient at this to rapidly create what Michael Laxer has termed an “austerity consensus” supported by the overwhelming majority of the Council, including its left wing.
The agenda of the developers with regard to the central part of Toronto is to complete the creation of an interwoven hive of business, commerce, upscale recreation and high end housing. Standing in the way of this are enduring pockets of housed poverty and a considerable and growing homeless population. Those without housing, very understandably, have tended to gravitate toward the centre of the city and, over many years, shelters and other services have developed in this area. This situation is resented by those working for upscale redevelopment and not only because visible destitution impacts property values and ‘quality of life’ for those with the money to pay for it. It is also the case that the shelters, drop-ins and service agencies that homeless people turn to are located in areas that the forces of gentrification are laying claim to.
As the Pan Am Games approach, the cops are watching. BUT SO ARE WE.
The Pan Am Games are coming to Toronto from July 10-26, and all levels of government have committed billions of dollars to ensure they go off without a hitch. Unfortunately for the people of the Downtown East End, we are considered the “hitches”, and the Toronto Police will be out in force to harrass, intimidate and arrest the people of this neighbourhood to make certain rich tourists and sports bureaucrats can have a pleasant Games experience, at the expense of our quality of life.
Come out on Sunday, July 5, 1 p.m., Queen's Park (with march to Allan Gardens).
Join us at the front in the justice section (red). Meet at 12:45 at the North East Corner of University and College to help us flyer for the upcoming demonstrations during the Pan Am Games.
Rally & March Thurday July 16
St James Park
(King St east of Church St)
Accessibility Van to follow march
- Housing for All
- More Shelter Beds
- End Gentrification
- End Targeted & Racist Policing
Welcome to the No One Is Illegal - Toronto is a grassroots migrant justice organization. We fight for the freedom to move, return and stay. If you are here us for the first time, visit the About section which will give you an overview of our work, and campaigns.
If you're an undocumented person needing support in your fight against deportations, or because you need to access services, please send us a quick email.
Please note that our website is being revamped, and so some content may not be available.
Image description: A circle of thorns, flowers and leaves, with a red, purple and yellow flower on the left side. In the middle of the circle is a brown fist with red nail polish on the thumb. A banner above the fist reads "END GENDER BASED VIOLENCE" and a banner below the fist reads "RECLAIM THE STREETS"
Rally and March to End Violence Against Women and Gender Based Violence
When: Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
Where: Regent Park Community Health Centre
465 Dundas Street East
5:30pm - Community Meal & Music
*Kid friendly *Free meal *Wheelchair accessible rally space & march *TTC Tokens Available *Our feminism is trans inclusive!
This is transcribed version of words shared by No One Is Illegal-Toronto member Syed Hussan at the March for Jobs, Justice & the Climate Launch.
On July 5th, march for climate and economic justice in Toronto, Canada. RSVP at www.jobsjusticeclimate.ca
Sign up for the No One Is Illegal - Toronto email list here, and join us on July 8th to confront the Pan Am Economic and Climate Summits.
On May 21st, The Toronto Police Services presented a report to Toronto City Hall's Community Development and Recreations Committee saying that their practices of racial profiling, carding, and handing over non-status migrants to immigration enforcement is in line with ensuring access without fear for undocumented Torontonians.
Migrants and their allies mobilized to pack the committee and insist that this report must be rejected and that the City of Toronto needs to step in and demand an end to racial profiling, and police collusion with immigration enforcement.
Racist policing, particularly the practice of carding means that Toronto Police regularly stops Black and Brown people in the city of Toronto. When Police do a warrant search or call immigration, and learn that the person does not have immigration status, they are handed over to immigration enforcement and often swiftly deported.
Similarly, when racialized people call the police, sometimes the Police will ID everyone involved, and upon finding out about someone's lack of immigration status, hand them over to immigration enforcement. Thus the vast number of deportations that take place - about 30 people every day or over 10,000 each year just in Toronto - take place as a result of Toronto Police's actions.
OCAP Occupies Sheraton Hotel to Protest Closure of Shelter Spaces and Gentrification! #HomelessSheraton
Image description: Two OCAP members hold a banner saying "FIGHT TO WIN" in the middle of a hotel lobby. Next to them, another OCAP member is holding an orange sign reading "REPLACE THE HOPE SHELTER". In the background, a security officer looks on nervously
Today, members of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty occupied the lobby of the posh Sheraton Centre Hotel (123 Queen Street West, just west of Queen and York, across from City Hall)! We held the lobby for nearly an hour before being pushed out under threat of arrest.
On the morning of Wednesday May 6th, we packed the courthouse at the Ontario Court of Appeals for an important legal fight to end part of the injustice of immigration detention.
A group of detainees indefinitely imprisoned in Ontario filed an application in the Ontario Courts called a habeas corpus last December, challenging Canada to prove that their long term detention is justified. Michael Mvogo, one of the applicants, has been jailed for nearly 10 years. Glory Anawa, another one of the applicants, has been imprisoned for nearly two years. Her son, Alpha, was born in an immigration jail and has spent his entire life in prison. The Ontario Superior court recently declined to hear the application. On May 6th, lawyers for the detainees appealed the decision insisting that the Ontario courts must assert jurisdiction.
Raise the Rates Week of Action: Rally at Glen Murray's Office! Thursday, May 21, 12:30PM, 120 Carlton St.
Image description: OCAP members gather outside Glen Murray's former office in November 2013. In the window are pink "Raise the Rates" signs
Stop Liberal Austerity and the War on the Poor!
Rally at office of Glenn Murray, MPP
120 Carlton (at Jarvis)
Thursday, May 21
Free meal served!
Image description: a man with a small child on his back holding a sign reading "Hands off my Special Diet!" with a red hand print in the middle
In 2005, OCAP took up the fight to access the Special Diet for People on Ontario Works and ODSP. Our hunger clinics and actions to demand access to the benefit spread and huge numbers of people in poverty won additional income to protect their health and feed themselves and their families.
Despite all the efforts to limit the Special Diet, which have caused a great deal of hardship to many in Ontario, we suspected that access to the benefit had not been driven back to the point it was at in 2004. Now, figures we have obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, more than confirm this.
For the past ten years, No One Is Illegal - Toronto has organized the city’s Annual May Day of Action for the celebration and reassertion of our commitment to migrant justice struggles and decolonization.
This year, we were part of a coalition of three community groups: No One Is Illegal - Toronto, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, and the Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network (LACSN). For our 10th May Day, we joined thousands of community members, friends, and supporters to rally and march, holding up a banner that read “Migrants don’t steal jobs. Capitalists and Corporations do”.
Although Canada continues to enact policies and legislation that facilitate the global temporariness and casualization of labor by allowing corporate greed and racist border enforcement to collude and entrench a revolving door immigration policy, it is migrant workers who have been wrongfully scapegoated for what capitalism has brought. To this effect, we insisted: #KnowYourEnemy.
On April 29th migrants and allies rallied at the Italian Consulate in Toronto to insist no more migrant deaths! More than 1,750 migrants have died since January 2015 trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to find dignity and safety in Europe. Read more on why, here.
As supporters held up signs reading, ‘Stop migrant deaths. Borders kill. We are all responsible’, Tzazna Miranda of Justicia for Migrant Workers, spoke to those gathered about the connection between Fortress Europe border policies and those of Fortress America where thousands of people perish crossing in to the United States each year. The sombre note was markedly elevated by the presence of four ‘body bags’ on the pavement, symbolizing all the lives lost.
Join us at the Italian Consulate in Toronto on April 29th, at 1:15pm, at 136 Beverly Street (Dundas & Beverly) to insist no more migrant deaths!
More than 1,750 migrants have died since January 2015 trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to find dignity and safety in Europe. European Union border policies shut out poor and racialized migrants, particularly Eritreans, Somalis, and Libyans, forcing them to get on dangerous boats to cross the water. At the same time, funding for search and rescue operations has been cut, imposing a death sentence on many that are making their way to Europe. EU countries (former and current colonial powers) occupy much of North and Central Africa, either through military presence or with EU Border Agency Frontex’s land operations. Their actions are murdering thousands well before they can get on ships to cross in to Europe.
Image description: Two shopping carts against a red background. Both contain yellow arrows pointing upward, saying "Fight poverty now" and "Raise Welfare and Disability Rates 55%". Between them, text reads "Raise the Rates! People deserve a basic income"
Raise the Rates Week of Action Against the Liberal Government’s ‘Invisible Austerity’ War on the Poor
The Raise the Rates Campaign is calling on local communities to challenge MPPs during the week of May 18. During that week, they will be in their constituency offices and this is an ideal time to challenge the austerity and growing poverty that is being imposed in this Province.