Fwd: Aug. 22nd Demo - Support & endorsements

Graeme Bacque (gbacque@idirect.com)
Wed, 12 Aug 1998 09:34:53 -0700


---------forwarded message---------
HANDS OFF
STREET YOUTH!

This summer, everyone is talking about the "squeegie kid problem." Mel
Lastman has declared war; the Tories have asked the Crime Commission to
come up with solutions to this "problem"; and the police have been
harassing people on the streets.

The city is also threatening to pass the "anti-panhandling" by-law, which
would give police more power to harass people on the streets. Similar laws
have been passed in other cities, but are now being legally challenged,
such as in Vancouver.

In Toronto, supporters and squeegeers have been organizing various efforts
to make the streets as safe as possible and to fight the propaganda war
being waged against the poor.  We have done this in response to the calls
for a police crackdown, and in response to the evidence that a crackdown is
in full effect.

On July 14, a city council committee voted to advise the council to reject
the anti-panhandling by-law.  Immediately, police pressure on people on the
streets stepped up.  Since that time, police have arrested over 30 people
that we know of, written up hundreds of tickets, woken people by kicking
them, and have illegally searched and seized the property of people on the
streets.  In one incident, a police officer even shot the dog of a squeeger
in the jaw!

Attacks on the poor increased when Mike Harris came to power. Now Lastman
and the police are joining him in a more visible campaign to rid Toronto of
homeless people, but not of homelessness. If the politicians are successful
in driving squeegers out of Toronto, they will keep harassing people on the
streets, targeting one group after another by creating one "crisis" after
another. Let's make it stop here!

We want police to stop the harassment of people struggling to survive on
the streets!
We want an end to fines for squeegeeing!  We want an end to fabricated
charges!
We want the police to stop behaving like thugs!

We want everyone in Toronto to know that thousands support the squeegers
and others on the street!

The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, Active Resistance and Anti-Racist
Action, along with squeegeers, are organizing a rally and march on Saturday
August 22. Our message to the police, to Mel Lastman and his buddies, and
to Mike Harris, Jim Brown and the Crime Commission is: HANDS OFF STREET
YOUTH!

Please help us show that squeegers have a wide base of support.  We hope
that your organization will endorse this event.  We want you to come out on
Saturday, August 22 with your organization's banner and/or placards.  We
will meet at the south end of Alexander Park (Dundas and Bathurst) at 3
p.m. There will be a few speakers and then we will march to 52 Division,

>where will close with a couple more speakers.

For more information, please contact the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
(OCAP) at (416) 925-6939 or Anti-Racist Action at (416) 631-8835 or email
ARA: ara@web.net

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Anti-Racist Action (Toronto)

P.O. Box 291  *   Station B   *   Toronto, ON   *   M5T 2T2   *   Canada
by phone: (416) 631-8835   *   web-site:  http://www.web.net/~ara

In Toronto, tune into to "Radio Antifa",
around 7:30 every other Monday night on CKLN 88.1 FM.


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