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Friday May 27
Meet @ Toronto City Hall Square
Bay and Queen
Solidarity march on the financial district with CUPE-Ontario
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)- Ontario are marching on the banks at Bay and King to challenge their agenda of privatization and austerity and OCAP will be marching with them. Ontario Hydro, health care, public housing, the delivery of social services - governments are preparing to try and sell all of these off to the banks and corporations. This means increased costs, reduced services and deeper poverty.
Thursday, June 23, 5:30pm, Regent Park Community Health Centre
Downtown East Women Rally & March to End Violence Against Women &
Gender Based Violence
In memory of women who have died on the streets - Stop the violence, Reclaim the Streets!
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.
Visit the campaign website for End Immigration Detention Network to learn about our struggle against detentions: www.endimmigrationdetention.com
Start: Apr/22/2016 - 1:30 pm Start: Apr/22/2016 - 1:30 pm
April 22, 2016
April 22, 2016
Federal Liberal HQ (10 St Mary Street - Yonge & Charles)
Join us on Friday, April 22 at 1:30pm at 10 St Mary Street (Yonge & Charles) for a demonstration of rage, music, art, grief, and remembrance, and with a message loud and clear to the Liberal Government. Immigration detention is indefinite, unjust, and deadly. It must end.
April 22 will mark exactly one month since the family of Francisco Javier Romero Astorga, a Chilean man who died in immigration detention, issued an open letter asking for help in finding out how Francisco died. They are still waiting for answers. Read their open letter here.
No One Is Illegal - Toronto condemns the Trudeau government's continuation of Canada’s colonial violence towards Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island. Indigenous communities have time and time again proven their resilience and strength, finding ways to resist and reassert their sovereignty in the face of ongoing displacement, dispossession, and cultural genocide. This violence has occurred for centuries and remains integral to Canada’s policies and practices today. Lack of drinkable water, housing, adequate health and social services, and a continual mismanagement of funds by the Canadian government has left Attawapiskat First Nation and countless other Indigenous communities across Turtle Island without adequate supports to thrive and exist with dignity.
Start: Apr/14/2016 - 2:57 pm Start: Apr/14/2016 - 2:57 pm
WHEN: Sunday, May 1 at 1 PM
– Indigenous Sovereignty and Self-determination
WHEN: Sunday, May 1 at 1 PM
WHERE: Yonge-Dundas Square
WHAT: Every year on May 1st grassroots organizations in Toronto rally and march to mark International Worker’s Day, for migrant and worker’s rights and in support of Indigenous people’s struggles. Themed around the most pressing issues of the day and committed to people’s struggles against oppression and exploitation, May Day unites people’s struggles for self-determination and liberation. We continue this tradition in 2016, rallying and marching against colonial and capitalist attacks on our communities here and Canadian imperialism’s plunder and attacks on peoples across the world.
This year, May Day organizing seeks to highlight the struggles of resistance to anti-black racism, police brutality, and issues deeply affecting black communities. All themes will center these struggles (with the exception of the first):
– Indigenous Sovereignty and Self-determination
– Migrant workers’ struggle against border imperialism
Start: Jun/02/2016 - 12:00 pm Start: Jun/02/2016 - 12:00 pm
WHEN: Thursday, June 2 at 12 PM
WHEN: Thursday, June 2 at 12 PM
WHERE: Queen's Park, Toronto
WHAT: In Spring of 2016 Grassy Narrows people will travel 1,700 km to Toronto to call on Premier Wynne to finally clean up the 9,000 kg of mercury that were dumped in our river in the 1960’s. Join us as we demand justice for our people and protection for the waters and forests that give life.
To all land defenders and people in struggle for indigenous liberation,
Please join us in Toronto on June 2nd, 2016 at noon at Queen's Park, for a rally to force Kathleen Wynne and the Ontario government to take action.
Image description: Black and white photo of two signs. Both have a silhouette of a house on them and read SHELTER NOW
March 23, 2016
To the Members of Toronto City Council:
We are concerned agencies, organizations and individuals that work directly with people experiencing homelessness and who struggle to access safe and adequate shelter on a nightly basis. We are writing with regards to the city’s lack of response to the homelessness crisis and the dangerous, overcrowded and unacceptable state of the emergency shelters in the city.
Recently the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) released a report, entitled Out in the Cold: The Crisis in Toronto’s Shelter System, that details the experiences of over 100 service users in shelters and Out of the Cold programs. The report highlights concerns about unsafe conditions and difficulties with access. It also confirms that despite a promise made by city council to keep occupancy rates at 90%, shelters across all sectors continue to operate well above that each and every night.
Let us explain. First, 64 year old Burundian refugee Melkioro Gahungu committed suicide in immigration detention where he had been jailed without charges or trial for at least a year, possibly more.
Then four days later, on March 13th, we heard of the death of Francisco Javier Romero Astorga. All we knew at that time was his name.
Image description: The lower third of a Canadian hundred dollar bill, broken up into puzzle pieces
Both the Federal Government and the Wynne Regime in Ontario have been making noises of late about the notion of introducing a system of Basic Income. The Provincial Budget even suggests that a pilot project will be set in motion in a community to be determined. Clearly, a significant development in the area of social policy is possible and we must ask ourselves how we should view this.
At first glance, especially as the impact of austerity and social cutbacks throws ever more people into poverty, the idea that everyone should be guaranteed a certain minimum level of income that lifts them out of poverty is enormously appealing. If that was all we were considering here, the matter would be very clear cut and Basic Income would have our unqualified support. Sadly, however, things are less straightforward and the issue raises some alarm bells. In this regard, there are several questions to consider.
Image description: Black and white photo of two people walking past a grocery store window. Signs in the window say "INFLATION SALE!" "ALL PRICES 4% HIGHER" "ALL VEGGIES INCREASED BY 18%", "OW/ODSP RECIPIENTS NOT WELCOME" "FOOD BANK USE UP 12%" and "THE RICH GET RICHER, THE POOR GO HUNGRY"
Rally for Food Security and a Raise in Social Assistance Rates!
Saturday, April 9
Meet outside Food Basics at 238 Wellesley Street East (between Parliament and Sherbourne)
3rd Thursday of every month
St. Luke's Church (Education Centre)
353 Sherbourne Street
Free Event with: Dinner, Childcare, Wheelchair Access, Tokens
Once a month, join OCAP for a new, free speaking series on a bunch of topics central to organizing around poor people's issues! A new topic will be presented every month and all events are open to the public. Come on out, invite your friends and please share widely!
May 19th - Organizing and Disruption
Speakers: Chanteal-lee Winchester and John Clarke
- What are examples of people winning what they need?
- Why is disruption important?
- How do we fight to win?
Image description: Map from 1890, yellowed with age. At the corner of Elm and Elizabeth Streets, there is a large building occupying 8 blocks labeled "POOR HOUSE"; this is the House of Industry mentioned below
The warehousing of homeless people in Toronto in overcrowded and vile conditions has a long history, as this collection from the past shows. Under the impact of austerity and redevelopment, the situation in 2016 is especially dreadful. The appalling levels of overcrowding are lethal at the moment and constitute an assault on health and dignity. OCAP is demanding that the Federal Armouries be opened to provide emergency shelter, as they were at various times in the 1990s and again in 2004. Pressure must be take off the system and we and our allies are working hard to prevail up Mayor John Tory and the City Council to act immediately.
Image description: Infographic titled "Rising Canadian Food Prices". Text includes: onions - +17%, carrots - +14%, potatoes - +14%, beef - +14%, celery - +46%, apples - +12%, macaroni - +13%, soup - +11%, grapefruit - +23%. Image courtesy of Calgary Food Bank; data from Statistics Canada
The 2016 Ontario Budget provides an increase for those on Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) that is pegged below even the official rate of inflation, let alone the real cost of living increases that poor people are experiencing.
The Budget provides a wretched 1.5% increase to those on social assistance, with an extra pittance for those with the lowest incomes of all, single people without children on OW, that will provide them with a total additional payment of $25 a month. At present, they are seeking to survive on a maximum of $681 a month. These increases will not even kick in until September and October.
Image description: Cover of the Out in the Cold report: A picture of a gymnasium full of sleeping mats and chairs, along with backpacks, sleeping bags and garbage bags. Above the picture on an orange background are the words "Out in the Cold: The Crisis in Toronto's Shelter System"
A survey and study of Toronto's shelter system backup, the volunteer-run Out of the Cold (OOTC) program, conducted last month by members of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty has been publicly released today and is already driving discussion around the ongoing implosion of the emergency shelter system.
11th Annual Strawberry Ceremony for Indigenous Women, Girls, Trans and Two-Spirits
Sunday, February 14
Toronto Police Headquarters (40 College Street)
Image description: Graffiti on a white wall in black letters that reads REFUGEES WELCOME!
Over the last few weeks, the OCAP office has taken a lot of calls from people living in poverty who question whether refugees should be allowed into Canada when so many are experiencing homelessness and hard times. An expression we keep hearing is that 'we should take care of our own first'. This is our response to such ideas and to those who want us to blame the refugees rather than look at the real reasons why there is poverty and homelessness.
Canada has, of course, been shaped by immigration and the history of the people who have come here is hardly a picture of easy times and luxurious treatment. Those fleeing persecution and poverty have always experienced discrimination and super exploitation. At the same time, immigrants have always faced the lie that they were somehow 'queue jumpers' enjoying special treatment. Refugees coming here today from Syria and other countries face the same slanders. Lots of hateful and false claims of refugees getting special treatment are all over the internet. One widely circulated offering, for example, suggested that refugees are provided with $2,470 per month when this figure included a one time start up payment and presented it as monthly payment. Those who are privately sponsored, moreover, don't get government assistance. The free ride for the refugees is a racist myth you should take with a whole salt mine.
As 2016 begins, we take stock of the past year to celebrate our victories (victories always won by a movement much greater than ourselves) and recognize our mistakes (mistakes we alone are accountable for). Taking stock gives a snapshot of where we as an organization stand within a struggle that began the day the first colonial flag was staked, the first treaty was broken, the first slave ship sailed. It’s a struggle to end colonialism and capitalism, to destroy its illegitimate borders, to support anti-racism, indigenous sovereignty and Black liberation, for gender justice and against homophobia and to build cities and communities of solidarity. The few-dozen members of No One Is Illegal - Toronto (NOII-TO) are a small part of that enormous struggle, but we’re accountable to thousands of allies and a movement of millions.