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(en) Canada, Squats Cracked and Evicted in Eastern Canada*

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 5 Jul 2003 06:05:16 +0200 (CEST)


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> LONG LIVE THE ROBBIE GUEST SQUAT - by KW Youth Collective
On Wednesday July 2nd, the KW Youth Collective announced at
the City Council meeting that they liberated the Robbie Guest
Squat. The squat, an abandoned building on the corner of Cortland
and Benton was held for approximately one hour before youth were
kicked out. Named after Robbie Guest who died in the custody of
Family and Children Services this latest action serves to show that
we will not give up our struggle for housing, shelter and against
gentrification even under severe repression from the state. The
action started at 7pm with Youth Collective members Mark
Corbiere and Romeo Montague announcing that youth have
occupied the Arrow Factory stating:

Given that housing is a right, given that people are sleeping on the
street while many buildings are abandoned - we are taking it upon
ourselves to solve the housing problem.. At this time we have taken
a squat at the Arrow Factory. This building has been abandoned for
over a year and is an eyesore. We will fix it this building - We are
tired of these buildings being torn down and not used for affordable
housing - we hope the city will support us in our task to solve the
housing crisis and serve the interests of all people as opposed to
corporate and business interests - We are going to continue taking
squats, if you don't give them you better guard them.

The city responded to this by announcing that the Arrow building
will be turned into housing -- for the rich. After an invitation for
councilors to come and see the squat for themselves one councilor
stated that he would come only not to show up. However the city
did send security guards to make sure that there was security there
to guard the building and the fire marshal paid a visit after the
squatters were kicked out. Several people stayed outside the squat
with a banner under the watchful eye of four cruisers.

The presentation to council was greeted with support from
observers in the meeting and only one squatter was ticketed for
trespass.

The response from the city demonstrates that the city of Kitchener
is not interested in the housing crisis and would rather build condos
for the rich then put a roof over the heads of those who need it and
clearly shows what side the city is on. We will continue our struggle
for an end to gentrification and for the rights of the people.

Shout out to the Peterbourgh crew and all others continuously
liberating squats!!

Give it or guard it!!

Victory belongs to the People!!

EVICTED SQUATTERS MOVE TO CITY HALL
by PCAP

As of Friday, July 4th, the squatters of 1130 Water Street will be
residing on the lawn in front of city hall. The decision to move to
City Hall was made after the squatters were forcibly removed from
their home at 6:30 am on Thursday July 3, 2003. Half an hour after a
city official and police officer notified the squatters that they were
trespassing and advised the squatters to leave, nine police officers
in full riot gear and gas masks descended upon the building while a
dozen other police officers surrounded the building. The squatters
were later released in a public park without charge.

For many squatters/PCAP members the news of the eviction is a
betrayal. In good faith, PCAP/squatters had entered into
negotiations with the city, the Peterborough Community Housing
Corpopration and the Peterborough District Labour Council and it
appeared that all were close to reaching a deal. Despite this spirit of
cooperation, the decision to evict was made by City Council
following a closed-meeting discussion on Monday night.

After news of the council's decision to evict, an emergency meeting
was called between the squatters, city officials and coucillors on
the evening of Wednesday July 3rd. Although a number of
councillors promised to attend this meeting, not one showed up.
PCAP/squatters attempted to dissuad the city solicitor of the
eviction, but the Mayor advised that the council vote to evict was
not reverseable.

The Peterborborough Coalition Against Poverty (PCAP) and the
squatters are determined to continue the fight for 1130 Water
Street.

PCAP/Squatters are giving the city one week to address the
following demands. Should these demands these demands not be
met by Monday, July 14, 2003, PCAP/squatters will take swift,
decisive public action.

We demand that the City of Peterborough:

1. Provide adequate shelter for the individuals who, following the
directive of City Council, were evicted from 1130 Water Street and
were therefore made homeless.

Since the decision to evict the squatters was the choice of City
Council, the Council must take responsibility for the fact that they
have directly made more people homeless in this city. The onus now
lies on City Council to immediately create and implement a solution
that is agreeable to the individuals who have been turned out onto
the street.

2. Resume negotiations with PCAP/squatters regarding the future
use of 1130 Water Street as affordable housing.

PCAP and the squatters entered into negotiations with the City in
good faith. Although the closed-meeting discussion and subsequent
decision to evict the squatters has severely undermined the working
relationship that PCAP/squatters established with the City, we are
offering the City a further opening for negotiations. Given the
overwhelming public support for the squat, we urge the city to seize
this opportunity to take concrete action to convert 1130 Water
Street into affordable housing.

3. Take steps to increase the funding and supports available to
residents of Peterborough whose hydro has been or will be cut off
because they cannot afford to pay the bill.

Though PCAP/squatters have continually raised the problem of
hydro cut-offs, Council has yet to adequately address this matter.
Given that the above is a modest request that could have enormous
impact on housing security in this city, Council should take
immediate action on this issue.

Home Phone Numbers of Councillors:

Jeff Leal 742-1361
henry clarke 749-3149
margeree edwards 745-5864
glen paggett 742-4595
sylvia sutherland 743-3299
jack doris 745-5939
bill juby 745-4156
doug peacock 741-5435
paul ayotte 742-9835
bob hall 749-0867
john pritchard 741-2313

Petition Regarding 1130 Water Street

WHEREAS, the lack of affordable housing in Peterborough has
reached a crisis state and current strategies to address the problem
are inadequate;

WHEREAS, the Peterborough Coalition Against Poverty (PCAP)
and the squatters at 1130 Water Street have devised a direct and
immediate strategy to create more

affordable housing by repairing the property at 1130 Water Street;

WHEREAS, the city acted in bad faith by forcibly evicting the
squatters while still in the process of negotiations with
PCAP/squatters;

We the undersigned, urge the City of Peterborough to:

Provide adequate shelter for the individuals who, following the
directive of City Council, were evicted from 1130 Water Street and
were therefore made homeless.

Resume negotiations with PCAP/squatters regarding the future
use of 1130 Water Street as affordable housing.

Take steps to increase the funding & supports available to
residents of Peterborough whose hydro has been or will be cut off
because they cannot afford to pay the bill.

Name:
Address & Postal Code:
Signature:

Drop off completed petitions to PCAP: 393 Water St Unit #17,
Peterborough K9H 3S4 Tel: (705) 749-9694

* [Ed. Tote: One of the main projects of the anti-authoritarian
direct action social strugle activists movement of Canada]


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