OCAP protesters: Toronto city's homeless task force a farce FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Sat, 23 May 1998 06:32:05 -0700 (PDT)

Will this demo, and the way the media portrayed it, help or hurt homeless
people's prospects for material gains?  Why?

FWD  Toronto Sun - May 23, 1998



     By DON WANAGAS -- City Hall Bureau

    Homeless protesters spewing profanities stormed the City Hall office of
the woman searching for solutions to Toronto's housing crisis yesterday.

   "We don't want your f---ing charity, we want some goddam justice," one
female demonstrator screamed at Anne Golden, chairman of the city's task
force on homelessness, as she tried to calm the angry mob.

   About 100 street people and their supporters spilled out of the
elevators near Golden's office on the 12th floor of City Hall following a
noon-hour memorial rally at Nathan Phillips Square for their deceased
"brothers and sisters."

   Golden, who's also president of the local United Way, addressed the
crowd, but made little headway in her efforts to explain the work and goals
of the task force appointed by Mayor Mel Lastman earlier this year.

   "As far as the homeless people are concerned, your task force isn't just
a farce, it's more than a farce. It's an agenda to hurt people," shouted
John Clarke from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.

   Clarke claimed the task force has a New York-style plan to "warehouse"
street people outside the city where they won't bother the wealthy. And he
accused Golden's group of failing to consult the homeless about solutions
to their housing problem.

   The task force chairman denied both charges and said conditions in
hostels and shelters she has visited were "more than terrible" and left her
with "memories that will never leave."

   "The situation is appalling and deplorable," Golden said of the
homelessness crisis. "It is unacceptable."

   But when she refused to give specific solutions to the homeless problem,
the crowd unleashed a barrage of expletive-filled criticism in her

   "One, 2, 3, 4, we won't take this s--- no more," the protesters chanted.


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