[Hpn] Fwd: Unions support OCAP, July 26, Toronto Star
Wed, 26 Jul 2000 12:08:26 -0700 (PDT)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
> Freedom is participation in power
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