• warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/nefacnet/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 351.
  • warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/nefacnet/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 351.
  • warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/nefacnet/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 351.
  • warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/nefacnet/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 351.
  • warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/nefacnet/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 351.
  • warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/nefacnet/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 351.
  • warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/nefacnet/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 351.
  • warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/nefacnet/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 351.
  • warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/nefacnet/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 351.

Toronto: OCAP Opens The 'Gatekeeper Squat'.

Hey all,

Some pics from Saturday's 'Gatekeeper Squat' action by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty can be viewed online at http://graemesgallery.tripod.com/Squat

Following a noon-hour meal and rally at All Saints Church in downtown Toronto, close to 500 people (including many homeless folk) took part in a spirited march toward the east end. As we were passing the Toronto (Don) Jail, the march abruptly changed course, surrounding an old building near the jail grounds as banners dropped from the windows.

Things got kind of tense at this point, as the arriving marchers scrambled to join their comrades on the inside. Four people were arrested and a 2 1/2 year old boy was snatched by the cops after his mom was taken down. (Fortunately the boy's father was there as well and after some rather tense back-and-forth with the police was able to regain custody of his son). Finding themselves facing a large and enraged crowd, the cops surprised everyone by retreating in a hurry and leaving us with undisputed control of the building for several hours!

The object of the action was to bring immediate pressure to bear on Toronto's new incoming Mayor (a municipal election will be taking place Monday the 10th) but instead we ended up getting a Liberal MP named Dennis Mills, who showed up on the site sometime after 3 PM. (This is the same guy who at one time proposed that the United Nations ought to relocate their headquarters to Toronto). In a truly bizarre turn of events, this character offered to resign his seat in the House of Commons within one month if he was unsuccessful in getting this building converted into social housing! He actually wrote this down and signed it while the media and scores of witnesses looked on. (It is intended that he will be held to this commitment).

Things were looking pretty tense at this point, what with the riot cops massing up near the jail and periodically unfurling large banners stating that force would be used to clear the area. The Dennis Mills affair had provided us with an opportunity to leave the area for the time being without a bloodbath and a lot of arrests, so after a short discussion on the inside the squatters decided to come out and disperse with the rest of the crowd. Aside from a cyclist being ticketed on some bogus charge and one of OCAP's flags being confiscated by a belligerent cop, this happened without incident. Three of the earlier arrestees were released from the police station late that evening, with a fourth person being held overnight for a Sunday morning bail hearing.

-------------------

Monday - OCAP housing/city election action

Following the success of the squat action...

we are meeting 7pm monday at the ocap office 10 britain street (between queen and richmond and east of sherbourne) to visit whichever winning mayoral candidate and wish them good luck and remind them of Toronto's housing crisis at 7pm on monday

Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

NEW ADDRESS!: 10 Britain St. Toronto, Ontario M5A 1R6

416-925-6939 ocap (at) tao.ca http://www.ocap.ca

-------------------

Releated news articles:

Corporate media:

OCAP Thunders Into Mayoral Campaign With March (City TV) * Video footage too*

Mills puts career on line (Toronto Sun)

MP's vow ends protest (Toronto Star)

Indymedia:

OCAP Squat Leads to Housing Victory - Nov.8.2003 (With links to photos)

Quickie Toronto squat update

ACTION ALERT: STOP INCIPIENT POLICE ASSAULT IN TORONTO