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Posts tagged ‘toronto’

Mass Demonstration Calling for Public Inquiry into G20 Summit

This post was prompted by @dam, my friend. 🙂

(The following is copied from the facebook site)
08 January · 14:00 – 17:00
Location    Queen’s Park

The police and governments of Toronto, Ontario and Canada, have now proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they THINK can literally round up hundreds of citizens, gathered together to exercise their Charter rights to protest, for no real, legal or discernible reason – AND THAT WE THE PEOPLE OF TORONTO, ONTARIANS AND CANADIANS WILL SIMPLY STAND IDLY BY.  Suspension of civil liberties. just snatch and grab them off the streets, and throw them in a cage, in many cases without access to legal counsel and in a few cases after being threatened or physically harmed by the police services. The arrested citizen then has to bear the cost of trying to defend themselves. If the police acted illegally where is the accountability? The citizens of this city again have to bear the cost of trying to prove that, and the public pays the damages – not one single person in government or police agencies has been held accountable.  So in fact, the police are totally and utterly unaccountable.  The bureaucrats who made the decision to round up peaceful protesters, or just people walking down the street, are unaccountable. The politicians are also unaccountable, and apparently they have veto power over investigating themselves and apparently don’t even have the guts to conduct any kind of investigation, instead some semblance of an investigation has to be conducted by the Ombudsman. Who the hell is accountable?  So if the police can illegally detain Canadians without any kind of accountability or oversight, how is this in any functional way for the citizen, any different from a police state? Arbitrary arrests and detentions on the basis of secret laws that nobody knew about, with no accountability. That is the very definition of a POLICE STATE. WE THE PEOPLE are still absolutely appalled by what we saw on that weekend and shaken to the core by the hundreds of examples of police brutality that we witnessed and experienced and utterly disgusted by the silence and sheep like acquiescence from the people who are supposed to be representing all of us in Toronto and Ottawa.

Additional Links:

Weaving Spider – Click here

Playlist of illegal arrests – Click here

Volunteer Appreciation Night

I volunteer at South Riverdale Community Health Centre and they had a party for US!  The volunteer’s night off!

We had a game of bingo where we went around the room and had to find out who had done what at the centre… a way of getting us to talk to one another, meet new people, and to find out more about what is offered at the centre.  After we filled in the entire sheet, we put our names on them and put them in a box.  These were later pulled out and the person who filled out that sheet got a prize! 😉


There was some Karaoke!  One of the people I volunteer with can sing!  I never knew. lol  You learn something new everyday!

Jungle… he does the face painting at outside events and also runs the bike clinic. 🙂

Drew…my friend who can really sing!  What a great surprise!

There was a poster designed by someone at the centre – we all wrote on sticky notes a statement about what volunteering meant to us and the community and stuck them on the poster.  Later they are going to redo the poster and incorporate these ideas into it!  The lady in the picture is Maria… she’s lovely!

We had some cake… and a couple that has been volunteering for 20 years got to cut the cake.

There was a wee bit of wiggling about – commonly known as dancing!  We can always count on Harold to do some dancing!  🙂


And when we left?  We all got a South Riverdale mug filled with chocolates… how can you go wrong?

A Different Kind of Colors!

And here’s the other thing I found. lol  Colors, but in a different way!

New Colors!

I was in a different part of Toronto today and I scored some real goodies!  The colors were phenomenal!

November 15th, Rally! Do the Math Challenge

Click on poster to see a larger image.

Click here to follow Put Food in the Budget!

Click here to see the Events Page on Facebook!

Take Back the Night

I attended a rally and march.  This isn’t my *usual* kind of march.  This one is about women taking back the night, their streets, their dignity, strength and safety.  It’s against violence, rapes, killing of women – and children.

It started off with many people in attendance at Dundas Square.  There was laughing and dancing and music on stage… speakers, drummers.  All very pleasant.  It was the 30th year for this march.  At eight pm we prepared to march the streets of Toronto.  OUR streets.  The woman on stage announced the beginning of the march by telling the men that we all thanked them…those who had turned out to support the women in their lives.  It was appreciated, but it was time to take to the streets… she said,

“it’s for women and children only… and Men?  WE’VE GOT THIS!”

It was by far the loudest march I’ve been on this year.  It was rather something!!  We had people directing us, but a very small show of police (compared to all year at other marches).  It was a huge crowd and it was loud, angry, strong, confident and did I mention, huge?  The line of people marching, at times, covered three roads.  As we turned a corner to a new street you could look behind and see that the *snake* of people were on the street you were leaving and still turning from the street behind that.

I took a moment and looked at the women around me.  All that strength and love.  I felt the unity, empowering and joining us.  We were as one.  And I felt sad.  I felt sad that these people all felt so safe, but tomorrow when they ventured out of their homes – they would not have 200 or so sisters beside them, protecting them – not even in theory.  I felt sad that women often go against one another.  What would the world be like if we all stood as one, everyday?  Not just on a special occasion?  If we weren’t all suspicious of one another, pitted against one another.  If we realized we are all humans… and as women, loving and strong and very compassionate.  It saddened me because it gave a false sense of security – these women were no safer in their day to day lives… and they won’t be – so long as there isn’t a change that involves everyone.  It took years and years for people to develop these misconceptions and beliefs, it won’t change overnight.

What if one day we all realized that society pits women against one another. … that women are objectified in every magazine, in commercials… pictures of this piece of a woman’s anatomy to sell this product, or that bit of a woman to sell another?   Making women seem to be bits and pieces, rather than a whole… What if we realized that the media tells us to be thin, in words and in pictures… and being as thin as *they* want us, makes us weak.  It makes us physically weak, and unhealthy.  Unable to have children or proper monthly cycles, or confidence or able to fight back against a patriarchal society.  What if we did stop listening to them and fought back?  The backlash would be incredible..they don’t want to give up their perceived power.  What if we realized that a woman is not a sum of their size alone, that we are actually humans.  Does anyone remember that women are meant to have curves as they bring life into the world and their bodies need food as fuel to live and to give life.  Do men have the same opinion of their bodies that women have?  No… men think a beer belly is just wonderful and they parade it around – they are often proud of it, announcing to the world at large that it’s *all bought and paid for*, but as soon as a woman does this… people make comments, they snicker under their breath.  It’s a form of control and it affects us all.  Women aren’t the only ones that lose when they believe they must be thin to be loved.

Do women know that at one time women were considered very attractive when they were curvy?  Rubenesque… like the artist (Peter Paul Rubens) that painted women as they were meant to be, and they were very popular!


Peter Paul Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens

Do people realize or know that at one time women were the head of each household?  That they were revered?  Adored?  That women ran the house while men hunted and gathered? Women were considered goddesses… and loved.  Held high, with love.  Appreciated for their real worth and for being the bringers of life – as gods do.

We touched many lives on that night of the march… but did we touch enough?  Did others look around and see the strength, the courage to tell a story, to fight, to live a life even though you were victimized?  To be survivors?  To invite other women to fight beside them, as friends, as someone worthy of a dignified, healthy life?

Wouldn’t it be incredible if we never needed a 31st year of this march?

Random Pix

Just a couple of pix I collected yesterday – not nearly all of them… but a couple. 🙂

Have a great day!

Chinese Structure

Chinese Structure

Not sure… err.. what this is.  But it’s beautiful.  It’s new and they built it in one of the mainly *Chinese* areas of Toronto – Broadview and Gerrard…

Church On Broadview

Church On Broadview

This is the top of an old church on Broadview Avenue… I was curious about the loudspeaker?  lol  Did they used to announce things?  Did they play music?  Hmmm….

Tunnel On Queen Street

Tunnel On Queen Street

This is a tunnel on Queen Street.  I forget the name of the road it is beside..but they got folks to paint pictures of animals on both sides.  I walk through here all the time, but this time I stopped to look.


This is actually where I’m going tomorrow..
but I just got this email and it’s mentioned below… South Riverdale
for a meal then a march to Don Jail. 🙂


August 10th, 2010 marks the 35th anniversary of Prisoners Justice Day.
On August 10th, 1974 Eddie Nalon bled to death in a solitary confinement unit at Millhaven Penitentiary in Kingston, Ontario.
The emergency call button in his cell failed to work.
An inquest into his death found that many call buttons in the unit were broken.
The guards had also deactivated the receiving mechanism in the control tower.
In 1975 on the first anniversary of Eddie’s death, prisoners at Millhaven went on a one-day hunger strike,
refused work and held a memorial service, even at risk of punishment.

On May 21, 1976 another prisoner, Bobby Landers, died in the same
segregation unit at Millhaven. Landers, active in the struggle for
Prisoners Rights at Archambault Penitentiary, was involuntarily
transferred to Millhaven and thrown in the hole.  He had a heart attack,
but the call buttons had still not been repaired and staff ignored his pleas.

Prisoners continue to observe August 10th each year. Community groups and family members gather outside prisons in solidarity.
It is a day of protest against all deaths in custody, the inhumane use of solitary confinement,
racist policing, the detention and deportation of immigrants and refugees, the taking of land through colonization
and the criminalization of First Nations defence of their territories, the denial of justice for Aboriginal women
and transpeople, the distructive effects of prison, poverty and homelessness, the separation of families, security certificates,
tasers for prison guards and cops, the over-incarceration for people who use drugs or involved in sex work,
the over-incarceration of people living with disabilities (especially people with mental health issues and learning disabilities)
and the medical neglect of prisoners with HIV/AIDS and the lack of harm reduction in prison.
We would also like to highlight the incarceration of people with disabilities in provincial
institutions, nursing homes, psychiatric facilitites and other abusive institutions.
It is a call for alternatives to incarceration – at a time when governments are enacting repressive
U.S. style get-tough-on-crime laws to build more prisons despite a falling crime rate.

Join us for speakers, performers and a candlelight vigil at dusk when we read the names of prisoners who have died.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 6:30pm
Outside the Toronto Don Jail 550 Gerrard Street East

*Join us for speakers, performers and a candlelight vigil at dusk when we
read the names of those we have lost to the prison system.

Other events on August 10th include:

August 10th is the day prisoners and their supporters honour the memory of
those who have died in prison, and express solidarity with those who
demand changes to a criminal justice system that dehumanizes and
brutalizes them.  As members of the community we are reminded to “hate the
sin – yet love the sinner”, and so we shall gather on this day to honour
every inmate of prisons everywhere and hope you will be able to join us.

Please join us as we honour Prisoners Justice Day

Tuesday August 10, 2010
11 am – 6 pm
Holy Trinity Anglican Church
(10 Trinity Square, Bay & Queen – behind the Eaton Centre)

Sponsored by:
Toronto Bishop’s Working Group on Justice and Corrections
The Bridge Prison Ministry
John Howard Society – Toronto
Toronto Restorative Justice Conference
Toronto Harm Reduction Task Force
Holy Trinity Anglican Church
South Riverdale Community Health Center
August 10th 2010 marks the 35th year of Prisoners Justice Day. On this day
we remember those who have died behind bars. It is a day where prisoners
refuse to work, and communities come together to publicly oppose prison,
police violence, and the criminalization of our communities.

A vigil, discussion and free supper will be held at South Riverdale
Community Health Centre on August 10th  from 4-5:30 pm in the A/B room.
Afterwards we will walk in procession to the Don Jail for the 6:30pm
Please share this information with community members and partner
organizations. All staff and community members are welcome to attend.

If you are interested in volunteering with food preparation and set-up
for this event, please let us know.
Molly Bannerman –
Zoe Dodd –
South Riverdale Community Health Centre
955 Queen Street East, Toronto at Carlaw Street
June 14, 1976
To all Prisoners and Concerned Peoples from across Canada:

On August 10th, 1976, the Prisoners of Millhaven Maximum Security Prison
will stage a one day hunger strike in remembrance of our two fallen
comrades, EDWARD NALON and ROBERT LANDERS, who died in Millhaven
segregation  on August 10th, 1974 and May 21st, 1976, respectively, and in
remembrance of all our fellow comrades and brothers and sisters from
prisons across the country who died in the hands of an apathetic prison
system and its people.Furthermore, it is a protest against the Millhaven
Administration, the Canadian Penitentiary Service, and the Members of
Parliament for their continued indifference to the recommendation of the
Inquest Jury made at the inquest into Edward Nalon´s death. The
recommendations concerned Emergency First Aid Procedure, medical and
psychiatric treatment for solitary confinement prisoners and that the
emergency signal systems in the cells and the time clock which assures
regularity in range patrols be made functional and that steps be taken to
provide that they remain functional. None of these recommendations were
enacted by the above mentioned authorities.We protest against the
continuous inhumane use of solitary confinement  and the repeated
whitewashing by spineless individuals in the Government who are forever
having inquiries into the use of solitary and its effects on a person´s
mental and physical state and then hide the real facts of its use from the
people.We call upon our Brothers and Sisters from all prisons across the
country, and upon all concerned peoples of Canada, to give their support
to our one day hunger strike in remembrance of our comrades and to UNITE

ONE VOICE IN OUR STRUGGLE for better understanding…compassion and EQUAL

Signed, Jack McNeil & Howard Brown
For the Prisoners of Millhaven

Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain St. Toronto, ON  M5A 1R6

Hard to Have Dignity if You’re Hungry

Hard to have dignity if you’re hungry

July 21, 2010

Janet Gasparini
The Hamilton Spectator
Doris Grinspun and Adrianna Tetley
(Jul 21, 2010)

The McGuinty government’s poverty-reduction strategy is not addressing the needs of hundreds of thousands of Ontario residents. In fact, the most recent Ontario budget heightens the food insecurity people on social assistance experience and undermines the well-being of our communities.

Food insecurity means everything from being hungry to not knowing where the next meal is coming from to being chronically malnourished due to poverty. The decision to cut the Special Diet Allowance threatens access to healthy food for tens of thousands of people. The Ontario budget also reduces the real income of people on social assistance because the 1 per cent increase in social assistance does not keep up with the rise in consumer prices.

Click HERE to read more!

Stop the Special Diet Cut

July 21: Stop The Special Diet Cut
Submitted by ocap on Thu, 06/03/2010 – 14:25.

* Actions and Demonstrations
* Special Diet

…On June 26th the G20 met in Toronto with the government spending over $1 billion on the summit. This money funded the militarization of our city, security fees, promotional stunts involving a fake lake, lavish dinners and hotels for world leaders and their entourages. That weekend, in response to the G20 meeting, tens of thousands of people demonstrated on the streets of Toronto despite police violence and extreme intimidation. We know all too well that these attempts to criminalize and brutalize will continue in the daily violence that poor communities, people of colour, and First Nations communities face.

On June 25th – 27th, we demonstrated not just against the cost of hosting the G20 meetings in our city – but against the plans and decisions that were being made behind the security perimeter inside that armed camp. We protested because we know that the policies of the G20 affect poor people every day: decisions to fund security and prisons instead of schools and community centres, decisions to cut public services, childcare and welfare at the same time as giving huge tax breaks to corporations and banks. Decisions that serve the interests of wealth at our expense.

…..The $1.2 billion dollars wasted on the G20 summit in Toronto could have:
-Funded the Special Diet Allowance for OVER 5 YEARS
-Housed everyone who is currently homeless in Toronto (10 000 people)
PLUS everyone on the waiting list for social housing (70 000) for OVER A YEAR!

When governments choose to spend money on a weekend of meetings and policing instead of housing and social services – it sends a message loud and clear of what their priorities are. At the Toronto meeting, G20 leaders agreed to cut deficits in half by 2013. They have called for ‘austerity measures’, which is code for massive cutbacks. This agreement is going to mean a major attack on our communities in the way of huge social cutbacks, criminalization, and more. In Ontario, austerity measures have already begun – a key example of this is the McGuinty Liberals’ decision to cut the Special Diet Allowance in the name of ‘reducing the deficit’ in this year’s Provincial budget. This government chose to cut a food benefit for people who live on shamefully inadequate welfare (OW) and disability (ODSP) rates – rates that were cut by Harris in 1995 and have never been restored. People today are forced to try to survive on welfare rates that are 55% below what they should be!

What the Special Diet cut means:
-Poor people lose $200 million for food: the entire Social Assistance program will be cut by 3%
-Single people on OW getting the full Special Diet lose 30% of their income, on ODSP, its 19%
-Dalton McGunity has cut welfare for only the 3rd time in Ontario’s history
-We will see a rapid increase in homelessness, hunger, illness, and desperation
-At the same time, corporations have been given a $4.6 billion dollar tax break over the next 3 years!

These are the G20 policies at work in our Province. The time to negotiate with the Liberal Government has come to an end, the time to challenge them is now. We need to keep our Special Diets, and we need to force a raise in welfare and disability rates now so that people can live with health and dignity.

G20 leaders, the Federal Tories, and the Provincial Liberals think that they can offload deficits on to poor people by cutting funding to programs that we need and gutting the public sector. They are trying to force us to pay for a crisis we didn’t create. In the same way that we came together on June 25th – 27th, we can and must do it again as the government begins to implement austerity measures on the local level. We have to resist them every step of the way; when they say cutback – we say FIGHT BACK!

Get involved in July 21st: Contact OCAP to organize outreach in your neighborhood or to build for a bus or contingent on the day.
Click here to listen to OCAP organizer John Clarke interviewed on OCAP radio about the cuts and how they fit into the neoliberal agenda, and why the time is ripe for us to organize and fight back.

Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) / 416-925-6939

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