[Hpn] Fwd: The OCAP Letters, June 18, 2001
Fri, 22 Jun 2001 18:33:39 +0000
Here are some letters to the editor about OCAP's action in Whitby. It
seems people support that action. People are finally waking up. There's even
a call for a revolution in one of these letters. Down with the Government!
> The OCAP Letters.....
> The OCAP Letters.....
> The OCAP Letters.....
> OCAP symbolically evicted Jim Flaherty, Ontario’s Minister of Finance
> and Deputy Premier, from his constituency office on Wednesday,
> June 13, 2001. That eviction raised a storm of comment in the media.
> The following 4 Letters to the Editor appeared in the Toronto Star,
> Jun. 18, 2001
>1. From: D'Arcy McLenaghen, Toronto
>What choice do we have? The recent vandalism to the Ontario finance
>minister's GTA office by anti-poverty activists is regrettable. Such
>actions do not belong in a civilized society, but they are inevitable
>when a government attacks its own people.
>If we want people to abide by the rules of our society, then we need them
>see that the rules benefit them in some way, that our society provides them
>the opportunity to build a life for themselves.
>As a society, we have rolled back labour laws that protected our most
>vulnerable citizens from exploitation. We have cut funds to adult
>to public schools, to public health care and even to the protection of
>air and drinking water.
>The government we elected has wilfully broken lives Ń robbed countless
>people of the means to provide for themselves food, clothing, homes and a
>future. We must regret the events that saw a government office damaged in
>revolt, but it was damaged in a war that was started by its masters Ń
>against a people that has tried every other means to be heard and included
>in its own society.
>When a window and a few desks are broken by a few desperate people who have
>nothing, we call it outrageous vandalism. What, then, do we call the
>predatory destruction of those people's lives and their futures by the very
>government ministers that we entrusted as the caretakers of our society?
>"Vandalism" hardly seems strong enough.
>D'Arcy McLenaghen, Toronto
>2. From: Rich Knuckle, Brantford
>Jun. 18, 2001
>Peaceful demonstrations have never yielded results
>Re Violence tarnishes message, Editorial, June 14.
>Your editorial chastised the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty for its
>recent ransacking of Jim Flaherty's constituency office. The point of this
>editorial was that, "peaceful protest is the only legitimate way to
>dissent." Further to this, the editorial suggested that the distribution of
>pamphlets on sidewalks in front of MPs' offices would be a more effective
>method of affecting change. I'm not a historian, so I must ask this
>question: When, in the history of this country, has a peaceful protest ever
>yielded the desired results?
>I'm not advocating violence, but with governments ramming through 20 and 42
>per cent pay hikes, the time for pamphlets is long past. It's about time
>somebody had the guts to stand up to these leeches that make all sorts of
>attractive promises during their campaigns and then turn around and
>introduce completely self-serving legislation that was never previously
>mentioned in any party handbook or policy brochure.
>Peaceful protests against this type of pig-trough politics have failed
>miserably, time after time. It is time to find a successful method of
>challenging the whims of these politicians who have lately been demanding
>accountability from everyone but themselves. I suggest that every public
>sector union in the country vote against its next labour contract unless it
>contains a 20 per cent pay hike. And then, when it is turned down, be
>satisfied only with a complete abolishment of this Orwellian legislation.
>Finally, the editorial claims that aggressive demonstration has no place in
>a democracy. My response would be that the governments and politics that
>Canadians have been subjected to over the past decade or so have no place
>a democracy either. Politicians have lost sight of the fact that this is
>country, not theirs, and it is time we take it back from them.
>Rich Knuckle, Brantford
>3. From: Ian Pettigrew, Toronto, Jun. 18, 2001
>Canucks don't know protest
>Although OCAP has been reviled by some for its tactics in the past, I, for
>one, support its efforts.
>I think many are missing the point: that the "protest" phase has now
>into a "revolutionary" phase. How else do you get an apathetic government
>listen? Maybe that's what we need here, a full-on revolution, storming the
>gates and all.
>Without so-called civil disobedience, there would not have been the French
>or American Revolutions. More so in the case of the French. That was
>rebellion against an incompetent government and a society ruled by the rich
>to keep down the poor. Sound familiar?
>Canadians are far too complacent. If Mike Harris ruled in the U.S., or most
>European countries, he'd have been tossed out by now. They know how to have
>a damn good protest. I don't think a "government for the people, by the
>people" should be too much to ask. Yes, Harris' time will come at the
>but in the meantime, how much more are we supposed to take? How many
>hospital beds have to close? How many of the poor have to die on the
>How many evictions can we tolerate? How many Walkertons will it take before
>the people finally rise up?
>I fully support OCAP's tactics. We've moved beyond our little marches up
>University Ave. Join the revolution.
>Ian Pettigrew, Toronto
>4. From: Sarah Blackstock, Toronto, Jun. 18, 2001
>Harris and Co. ain't seen nothing yet
>Re Labour gearing up for battle, June 17.
>As your article illustrated, the campaign of economic disruption and direct
>action that the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty has called for is not
>It's not just about the labour movement, either.
>As a delegate to the OCAP Assembly this weekend for Toronto Mobilization
>Global Justice, I was struck by just how few OCAP members were actually in
>While this has something to do with the fact that a number of OCAP members
>and organizers were recently arrested, it is also because a growing number
>of people in this province — from students, to union activists, to First
>Nations communities, to anti-globalization activists, to feminists, to
>queers, to housing activists — are organizing to challenge the Conservative
>provincial government in profound and hard-hitting ways.
>Toronto Mobilization for Global Justice recently signed on to the campaign
>of economic disruption that will begin this fall. We realize that Premier
>Mike Harris, with his agenda of privatization and deregulation, is the
>We are mobilizing anti-globalization activists, who have become well known
>for our direct-action tactics and decentralized ways of organizing — most
>recently demonstrated during the FTAA summit in Quebec city — to take an
>active role in fighting the Conservative government.
>What the police, the government and the media don't seem to get is that
>isn't just about OCAP anymore.
>Indeed, this weekend's meetings to plan the fall campaign were incredibly
>fruitful with OCAP's two main organizers in jail.
>Because there are thousands of us who are building this campaign.
>And it's a campaign that will employ a tremendous diversity of tactics and
>will not rest on the shoulders of a few individuals or even a few
>Attempts to target and isolate OCAP will not be successful in diminishing
>the mobilization and militancy of people Ontario.
>Nope, this isn't about just OCAP.
>This is about people all over Ontario refusing to retreat any longer.
>Sarah Blackstock, Toronto
> Bob Olsen, Toronto email@example.com
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