[Hpn] Fwd: Report on the March to End Homelessness - May.06.2000
Mon, 08 May 2000 14:45:31 -0700 (PDT)
Here is what happened at the March To End Homelessness on May 6/2000.
>>from Gary Morton:
>> >Report on the March to End Homelessness - May.06.2000
>> > A heat wave has rolled in and Toronto is under July weather on May
>> >6th. This will be a bad summer for the homeless and most of the hundreds
>> >of protesters gathering at City Hall were wondering just how hot it is
>> >going to get. And if the heat will be worse than the cold that killed 22
>> >homeless people in Toronto this winter. Last year the city promised to
>> >provide cooling centres, then reneged on that promise.
>> > In spite of the heat we marched to Queens Park, being honked at by
>> >supporting cars as we followed a float of a house. For those who aren't
>> >sure just what a house is, it is one of those rare things that used to
>> >be built in Toronto.
>> > At Queen's Park a number of speakers addressed the crowd. Here is
>> >some of the info I gathered as people like Cathy Crowe, Kira Heineck,
>> >Linda Toruney, John Clarke, a welfare mom and others spoke.
>> > The Toronto Disaster Relief Committee has been protesting recently in
>> >Toronto over the death of Jennifer Caldwell, 20 years old. She shouldn't
>> >have been sleeping in the Don Valley but since the shelters were full,
>> >she was there. A fire in the valley killed her.
>> > Fire is now also being used by the Toronto Police. The homeless are
>> >being forcibly moved by police from under bridges near Spadina Ave. and
>> >the police are then setting fires to these areas with gasoline.
>> > At the same time as the housing protest, police across the road were
>> >unveiling a statue dedicated to police officers who died in the line of
>> >duty. 22 homeless people met the reaper this year, and if they had been
>> >police, our politicians would be calling it a catastrophe. When it is
>> >homeless people they not only say nothing. They give nothing.
>> > The Toronto of the past got mentioned. Back in the good old days
>> >there were no food banks or out of the cold programs. There wasn't a
>> >police state for the poor. All of this is new stuff. Uncaring
>> >politicians have created the homeless crisis.
>> > The Harris government just released a budget that didn't allocate a
>> >single penny to the homeless, but they did give major cash to every
>> >corporate sector. Under the Harris budget, the wealth pie has changed so
>> >that even those who do work at a standard wage now give a tax boost
>> >worth 7 days of wages to big corporations. And this is on top of the big
>> >tax benefits corporations were already receiving.
>> > People wouldn't be homeless if the wealth was in any way shared.
>> >Social assistance, workers' compensation and UIC have been slashed to
>> >the bone. At the same time rents are skyrocketing and many Toronto
>> >workers know they are always just one pay cheque away from the streets.
>> >Hundred of thousands of tenants are living on the edge. They can't
>> >afford the rents and the situation is set to explode.
>> > John Clarke condemned the Harris Government for its social cleansing
>> >under the Safe Streets Act, and the City for its part in harassing the
>> >homeless though Target Policing. It is a situation where they not only
>> >make you homeless, but once you're down on the street the harassment
>> >never ends.
>> > Clarke says the Harris Government, which is rolling in surplus cash,
>> >has gone beyond being willfully blind. They are conducting a war on the
>> >poor. We can't appeal to their hearts because they don't have hearts. We
>> >can't appeal to their consciences because they don't' have any. We have
>> >to build a social movement powerful enough to make the government
>> >retreat. The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty in alliance with the
>> >homeless and many other groups invites everyone to join them for a June
>> >15 march to the legislature. A very serious event where citizens will
>> >demand the right to enter and address the legislature.
>> > Other groups have a number of actions planned, I know of a couple but
>> >revealing them in this report would spoil the events.
>> >Toronto Disaster Relief Committee
>> >168 Bathurst St., Toronto, ON, Canada,M5V 2R4
>> >Cathy Crowe (416) 703-8482 (117)
>> >Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
>> >John Clarke, Organizer,
>> >Phone (416) 925-6939
>> >Fax (416) 925-9681
>> >June 15th March - Meet at Noon in Allan Gardens - South East Corner for
>> >the march to the Legislature.
>> >More info on the web
>> >This report written by Gary Morton for
>>Cathy Crowe, RN
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