[Hpn] Fwd: Unions support OCAP, July 26, Toronto Star

Bonnie Briggs s248_1132@hotmail.com
Wed, 26 Jul 2000 12:08:26 -0700 (PDT)

Hi all,
  Support for OCAP among the Unions is growing. As soon as I find out the 
court date, I'll let you know.
>  Toronto Star     July 26, 2000
>  Unions back poverty group despite violence
>  Major supporters say they'll keep funds flowing
>  By Vanessa Lu
>  Workplace Issues Reporter
>  Labour unions are continuing to back the Ontario Coalition
>  Against Poverty and its leader John Clarke, despite the
>  riot-related charges group members are facing.
>  The group's three biggest supporters - Canadian Union of
>  Public Employees, Canadian Union of Postal Workers and
>  Canadian Auto Workers - say they will continue to fund it
>  despite the violence that erupted at a homelessness protest
>  on June 15 at Queen's Park.
>  ``I don't always agree with John's tactics because he does
>  push the edges of the envelope,'' said Sid Ryan, CUPE's
>  Ontario president. ``But I do cut him a lot of slack
>  because he is dealing with a group of people who have been
>  completely marginalized: people who have lost their homes,
>  people who have lost their families and in some cases, they
>  have lost their health.
>  ``They have nothing to lose.''
>  Ryan, who handed OCAP a cheque for $2,000 last week, said
>  he opposes violence of any kind, but supports its goals.
>  He added his union has committed another $4,000 this year
>  despite the Queen's Park riot.
>  ``I was horrified like everybody was at the violence, but
>  there's two sides to the story,'' Ryan said. ``It isn't
>  strictly, OCAP came looking for a fight. . . . You had police
>  gearing up in riot gear, and making a massive confrontation.''
>  Clarke, 46, and three OCAP activists were arrested last week
>  for participating in a riot along with other charges.
>  When the men were released on bail, strict conditions were
>  imposed. They include not going within 500 metres of Queen's
>  Park, not going within 50 metres of Allan Gardens, not
>  participating in protests, and staying away from members of
>  OCAP and each other.
>  Peter Bailey, president of the Toronto local of postal
>  workers, which raises thousands of dollars a year for OCAP,
>  said the conditions were ridiculous.
>  ``It's not like OCAP is an outlawed organization. We're not
>  talking about the Hells Angels or an organized crime outfit,''
>  Bailey said.
>  CAW president Buzz Hargrove, whose union gives $10,000 a
>  year plus funding for OCAP projects, called the restrictions
>  an attack on the poor.
>  ``The work of OCAP is not just one demonstration at Queen's
>  Park. The work of OCAP is appealing for people who have
>  been cut off welfare unfairly, stopping evictions by
>  landlords and day-to-day representation of poor people,''
>  he said.
>  Hargrove said barring Clarke from the organization he works
>  for is ``like telling me I can't be the leader of my union.''
>  OCAP organizer Sue Collis said, ``These unions support us
>  financially, but they also support us in the sense their
>  members are engaged in the activities we organize.''
>  Although some labour leaders have criticized the violence,
>  Collis said her group is an autonomous body.
>  The four OCAP members are scheduled to appear at old city
>  hall court today.
>  (Three are scheduled to appear at 3:00 pm, July 26,
>   to set a trial date)
>    .............................................
>    Bob Olsen, Toronto      bobolsen@interlog.com
>         Freedom is participation in power
>    .............................................

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