Eleven People Arrested at OCAP Rally Released on Bail; Fight Against Cut to the Special Diet Continues...Submitted by ocap on Thu, 07/22/2010 - 02:02.
Click here for more photos.
On Wednesday, July 21st, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP)
demonstrated against the devastating cut to the Special Diet benefit and to demand that the Liberal Government raise welfare rates by at least 55% - the minimum amount required to restore rates to where they were before the cut by Harris in 1995.
During the rally, over 300 people took to the streets, while a smaller group of people went in to the Liberal Party headquarters, to deliver an invoice to the Liberal Party “demanding full re-payment of benefits taken from people living on social assistance.The delegation of people who entered the Provincial Liberals HQ went to deliver a message about the impact of the cuts on poor people. Rather than receive this message, the powers that be chose to enforce their austerity measures with police action. Shortly after the group entered, Toronto Police arrested all 11 people, OCAP members, allies, and labour activists. Two people were released, while the other 9 were held overnight at 52 division and appeared for bail hearings in College Park Court Thursday.
There was a large presence of supporters from many organizations across Toronto in defense of the detainees. Represented by Movement Defense lawyer, Mike Leitold, all 9 were eventually released Thursday July 22 with sureties, and on conditions including to not be within 50 metres of the Liberal Party Headquarters.
Saturday, June 19th
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)
On June 26th the G20 met in Toronto with the government spending over $1 billion on the summit. This money funded the militarization of our city, security fees, promotional stunts involving a fake lake, lavish dinners and hotels for world leaders and their entourages. That weekend, in response to the G20 meeting, tens of thousands of people demonstrated on the streets of Toronto despite police violence and extreme intimidation. We know all too well that these attempts to criminalize and brutalize will continue in the daily violence that poor communities, people of colour, and First Nations communities face.
On June 25th – 27th, we demonstrated not just against the cost of hosting the G20 meetings in our city – but against the plans and decisions that were being made behind the security perimeter inside that armed camp. We protested because we know that the policies of the G20 affect poor people every day: decisions to fund security and prisons instead of schools and community centres, decisions to cut public services, childcare and welfare at the same time as giving huge tax breaks to corporations and banks. Decisions that serve the interests of wealth at our expense.
Thanks to Maggie Hughes from the Hamilton 'Campaign for Adequate OW & ODSP rates' for recording audio at this rally, which you can listen to here
DAY OF ACTION AT LOCAL MEMBERS OF PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT
OFFICES ON THURSDAY MAY 20th
The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) is challenging the decision to eliminate the Special Diet for people on welfare and disability. We are demanding this vital benefit be left alone and that the Government Raise the Rates now!
Coming out of the momentum of April 15th, we are organizing a series of
actions to build up resistance to the attack on the Special Diet. To
ensure that the fight is taken into as many communities as possible, we
are calling for a day of action at local Liberal MPPs' offices on
Thursday, May 20.