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(en) Canada, Toronto, OCAP* 2005 Calendars Now Available and Actions continue...

From OCAP <ocap@tao.ca>
Date Fri, 17 Dec 2004 08:31:08 +0100 (CET)


________________________________________________
A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
http://ainfos.ca/ http://ainfos.ca/index24.html
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In this email…
1. OCAP 2005- 15th Anniversary Calendars NOW AVAILABLE
2. Met Hotel Workers Demonstration this Saturday
3. OCAP will retake the 590 Jarvis Squat!: Take action to support our Ten
Demands for Action on Poverty
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty 15th Anniversary Calendar: Anti Poverty
Direct Action in Ontario since 1990 NOW AVAILABLE!!
To celebrate 15 years of kicking the ass of the ruling class and to help
fund 15 more OCAP has once again produced a fundraising calendar. This
year it contains photos taken from our history, a timeline of OCAP actions
over the years and a glimpse of some of the resistance we have been a part
of through political regimes of all stripes.

If you run a store or are willing to act as a distribution person in your
community please get in touch with us. If you want to order calendars for
yourself please send $10 for each calendar plus $5 for postage. You can
also pick-up calendars from the OCAP office in Toronto.

Ordering and Pick-Up information:
$10 each calendar plus
$5 total postage
cheques to Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5A 1R6

Contact us at 416 925 6939 or ocap@tao.ca to order or for information.

***
Christmas Picket at the Metropolitan Hotel
This Saturday December 18, 2004
4:00pm
at 108 Chestnut Street- south of Dundas, east of University

Support the ongoing struggle of the Met Hotel Workers Committee for union
democracy and workplace justice. There will be a meal served and a picket
of the hotel as they try to put on their happy holiday façade by sweeping
their abuses under the rug.

***
OCAP TO RETAKE THE CITY OWNED 590 JARVIS BUILDING: HELP US CHALLENGE
DAVID MILLER AND THE CONDO DEVELOPERS

When Mayor David Miller took office last year, he did so with promises of
change. People hoped the homeless crisis would be addressed, the police
would be reigned in, and communities would be strengthened. One of the
commitments made by Miller on the campaign trail was to turn surplus city
properties into housing for the homeless. He also made significant
gestures towards building further social and supportive housing in this
city. So far, he has failed to honour his commitments, and the city
government continues to abdicate its responsibility to deal with
homelessness and housing. The City has already sold off what was once an
extensive list of municipal properties and where has the profit gone? Not
into building affordable housing, to say the least.

So, one year after Miller’s election, some four hundred OCAP supporters
took over an empty building at 590 Jarvis Street. The police immediately
responded with force, including pepper spray, to clear the property. 590
Jarvis is owned by the City of Toronto, meaning the police acted on the
instructions of the owner – David Miller and his city council.
These events give lie to David Miller’s pretensions when it comes to
housing and the very future of this City. 590 Jarivs is a six storey
complex in excellent condition. With heat, electricity, water and
telephone lines, it is virtually ready for dozens of occupants. It has
been a police headquarters, a welfare office and a homeless shelter.
Recently, it provided office space for social advocacy groups, who were
forced out when the City decided it would sell the property. Negotiations
are underway to sell it to a condo developer called ‘Great Gulf Inc.’ The
sale is set to take place on February 22, to the tune of $8,250,000.

Not only is the need to house homeless and low income people being
disregarded, but the process of gentrification that pushes up prices and
destroys low income communities is being fueled by this sale of City
property. While people sleep on the streets or contract and die from TB
in overcrowded shelters, there is no ‘surplus’ housing to speak of. The
loss of 590 Jarvis must be laid at the door of David Miller, as must the
forced removal of homeless people seeking refuge under the Bathurst Street
Bridge earlier in the year. The bitter truth is that the agenda of
gentrification and social cleansing that we associate with Mel Lastman has
not changed under Miller. It is just being implemented with a bit more
skill and a lot more dishonesty.

We understand how much some people would like to believe that Miller has a
different vision for this city, but we cannot ignore the fact that elite
interests continue to be given the green light. Unless we’re prepared to
accept a Toronto that is redeveloped in keeping with the demands of
tourist industry magnates, big property owners, and condo developers, we
have to take a stand.

One year ago, OCAP advanced ‘Ten Demands for Action on Poverty’ [listed
below], which we put before Miller and City Council. Despite the
practical and achievable nature of these demands, which seek to address
basic needs and rights of poor and low income people living in Toronto,
the response from the municipal government has been negligible. That fight
can and must continue. Our actions around 590 Jarvis are just one way to
do this. On Febuary 3rd, we are going to Council Chambers at City Hall to
demand answers about city-owned vacant property and if no real response is
given, on that day, we will return to 590 Jarvis. We ask all those who
support the right to housing and oppose the kind of Toronto that ‘Great
Gulf Inc.’ and its counterparts would create to come out and join us. This
City has more than enough condos. It’s time to house the poor.

The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
(416) 925-6939 ocap@tao.ca

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

1. Contact Miller’s office to express your disapproval of the sale of 590
Jarvis. (Tel: 416.397.2489 Fax: 416.696-3687 mayor_miller@toronto.ca)

2. Ask your organization/group/union to pass a resolution to that effect.

3. Join us on Thursday, February 3rd at City Hall.

4. Contact OCAP to endorse the Ten Demands for Action on Poverty.


TEN DEMANDS FOR ACTION ON POVERTY

Welfare Policies to Keep People Housed
1. Toronto City Council must set an example in Ontario by refusing to
clawback the child tax credit from Ontario Works recipients.

2. Stop handing over information to the police for 'welfare fraud'
prosecutions and establish a 2% maximum recovery rate in overpayment
situations.

Housing as a Right not an Empty Promise
3. Ensure that enough social, supportive and accessible housing is built
to eliminate the waiting list.

4. Freeze all condo development in neighbourhoods where low income housing
stock is threatened with displacement.

5. Launch a program to retrofit empty buildings, starting with municipally
owned 'surplus housing', and ensure the impending rental unit inspection
and repair by-law before city council is implemented effectively and
immediately.

6. Inject money into shelters immediately, including shelters for abused
women and children. End all seasonal closing of shelter space. Shelter
space in this city must be brought up to decent, liveable standards.

The Needs of Communities vs. Law and Order
7. Freeze the Police budget, eliminate Community Action Policing and put
the freed up resources into meeting the real needs of poor communities.

8. A strict 'Don't Ask' policy for all city workers towards people
without status and no police resources to go into Immigration enforcement
in our communities.

9. Repeal all municipal by-laws that are used for 'social cleansing' of
neighbourhoods and the persecution of homeless people, such as 'Camp in
Park Without Permit'.

Community Needs and Access
10. Abolish user fees and restore cut services in all municipal community
centres and settlement agencies

For more information or to endorse the Ten Demands contact OCAP at 416 925
6939 or ocap@tao.ca


**
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain St. Toronto, ON M5A 1R6
416-925-6939 ocap@tao.ca www.ocap.ca
===============================
* [Ed. Note: OCAP is antiauthoritarian anticapitalist
direct action social struggle initiative.]


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