Survivor Pride!

Graeme Bacque (gbacque@idirect.com)
Wed, 09 Sep 1998 22:03:56 -0400


The fifth annual Psychiatric Survivor Pride Day will be held in Toronto on
Saturday, September 26, between 10:00 AM and 4:00PM. This event, which was
originally inspired by the lesbisn/gay pride celebrations that occur
annually in many places around the world,  will include an information
fair, speakers, musical and theatre performances and workshops on a variety
of relevant subjects. 

This year events are to culminate with a march and rally starting at 4:00
PM after the completion of the other day's activities. The first Pride Day
saw some 200 survivors and allies marching through the west-end Toronto
neighborhood of Parkdale,  loudly affirming our right as full and valuable
members of the community. (This neighborhood has long ended up as kind of a
human 'dumping ground' for persons being discharged from nearby Queen
Street Mental Health Centre. Survivors living in the area have found
themselves scorned and subjected to harassment from everyone ranging from
the police, to the Guardian Angels and local business and resident's
associations.)  

Subsequent celebrations didn't include a march, but in light of the rapidly
escalating attacks on survivors in the form of vicious cuts to social
assistance and affordable housing, along with the looming threat of
'outpatient committal' and other draconian legislation, the decision was
made to take to the streets once more. The plan is to assemble at
Masaryk/Cowan Community Centre (the site of the Pride Day events along with
the Parkdale Library) at 4 PM, then proceed east along Queen St. W. to the
QSMHC, where there will be a memorial to honor those who have died while in
psychiatric custody, or at the hands of the police.

The day's events are being sponsored by Parkdale Community Legal Services,
with the march/rally component being seperately sponsored  by People
Against Coercive Treatment along with the Ontario Coalition Against
Poverty.  Endorsers to date include  Anti-Racist Action,  QSMHC Patient's
Council,  Street Health (a nursing agency which works primarily with
homeless persons), the Friendly Spike Theatre Band (A survivor-led theatre
troupe who will be doing a performance at the event), and Food Not Bombs
(who will be assisting with food service for the event). 

Masaryk/Cowan Community Centre is located at 220 Cowan Ave. (at Queen
Street. W.)  The Parkdale Library is located directly across the street at
1303 Queen Street W. 

For more information about the march/rally contact Graeme at (416) 368-3366
e-mail: <gbacque@idirect.com>  or Don at (416) 545-0796 e-mail:
<dweitz@interlog.com>.

For more information about the other Pride Day events contact Lilith at
Parkdale Community Legal Services (416) 531-2411.

In solidarity,

Graeme Bacque
for People Against Coercive Treatment