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From "Lysander Zimmerman" <LAMZ@sympatico.ca>
Date Fri, 3 Aug 2001 03:48:44 -0400 (EDT)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

> From: Ontario Coalition Against Poverty <ocap@tao.ca>
To: <announce@ocap.ca>
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2001 5:44 PM

> Dear Sisters and Brothers,
> CAW National President, Buzz Hargrove, has decided to cut funding to the
> Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP). This follows an eviction action
> we carried out at the office of Tory Finance Minister, James Flaherty.
> Hargrove was apparently offended that participants in this action may have
> damaged some of Flaherty's furniture.
> For a poor peoples' organization like OCAP, the loss of the CAW's $10,000
> a year is a serious blow.  This situation is further impacted because we
> have received this money every September for the past five years and have
> come to rely and base our annual spending on it.  To lose it on this short
> notice threatens our ability to operate our two small offices and pay our
> staff.  It endangers the work we do to defend people facing such abuses as
> eviction, deportation and denial of benefits, and it generally undermines
> our struggles for the rights of the poor and homeless. Of even greater
> importance, ever since our March on Queen's Park last June, OCAP has
> pressed for a renewed united struggle against the Harris Tories based not
> on outdated models of 'protest' but on methods of real resistance. We have
> initiated a call for an economic disruption campaign to hurt the corporate
> cash registers of Ontario to the point where a price tag is put on the
> Tory Agenda that makes them cost ineffective in the eyes of their wealthy
> backers. We have traveled throughout the Province visiting First Nations
> communities, union halls, schools, universities and community centres.
> This has led to the formation of a common front of over sixty
> organizations ready to launch a counter attack on Harris that will sweep
> across Ontario during October. Our ability to carry on organizing in this
> most vital area of our work is also at risk as a result of Hargrove's
> funding cut.
> That the media, the cops and the Durham Crown Attorney's Office were
> ready to label our action at Flaherty's Office an act of 'terrorism', to
> attack us and throw our members in jail was no great surprise.  However,
> that Buzz Hargrove was so offended by our pitching a Tory minister's
> office furniture out in the street was astounding to us.  Unlike the
> homeless who've died on the streets, the sick who are denied adequate
> health care, the victims of the Walkerton disaster and workers
> who will be prevented from refusing unsafe work, Flaherty's filing
> cabinets felt no pain. Very frankly, as much as we respect the CAW, the
> stand taken by its National President is out of touch with the tasks that
> face us if we are to build a movement that can stop the Tories. The
> political thugs at Queen's Park just don't understand the language of fair
> play and respectability that Buzz wants us to use on them but, when they
> know we're ready to fight back just as seriously as they're prepared to
> attack us, that's when they'll understand us perfectly. When we launch
> that kind of an uncompromising struggle, that's when the
> defeat of the Harris Agenda will be on the table.
> Has so little been learned from Quebec City that the best we can hope for
> in Ontario is token protest and a refusal to 'go to the fence' by those
> whose full fledged support would be decisive? OCAP strongly believes that
> we simply can't allow the old patterns of compromise and accommodation to
> hold us back any longer. Moral arguments and passive indignation bounce
> off the Tories without effect. Their Government must be thrown into
> political crisis by a social mobilization that massively disrupts their
> workings, threatens their support base and undermines their whole ability
> to proceed with their attacks.  But we can't help to build such a
> mobilization without your help. On this basis, we are asking union locals,
> community organizations, activists and all who support OCAP's struggles,
> to help us rapidly repair the damage done by Hargrove's unfortunate
> decision.
> In Solidarity,
> Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
>        **
> Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
> 249 Sherbourne Street   Toronto, Ontario   M5A 2R9
>      416-925-6939   ocap@tao.ca   www.ocap.ca
>        **

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