Posts Tagged ‘ activism in KW ’

Ontario Liberal Convention, 2014

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                                   When Our Pots Are Empty, They Become A Weapon

March 22, 2014:  Raise the Rates organizations from across the province converged on Toronto to march on the Ontario Liberal Convention.  Joined by No One Is Illegal, Fair Wages Now and Labour allies, the messaging of the day emphasized the need for solidarity between poor people, migrants and other working people.  Poverty Makes Us Sick organized free buses from both Kitchener and Ottawa.  PMUS is thrilled to now be operating in both cities. The Ottawa bus also joined our friends and allies in Kingston Coalition Against Poverty for the trip. The march and rally was attended by a few hundred people, who banged their empty pots and pans – and the windows of the convention centre – to the beats of Rhythms of Resistance.

Jointly, we demand an immediate increase in social assistance rate by 55%, the full restoration of the Specials Diet Allowance and CSUMB, no OW/ODSP merger, access to services and access to a living income – beginning with an immediate increase in minimum wage to $14.      In the case of ‘failed’ Refugee Claimants, seeking acceptance on Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds, we demand access to income itself. 

The Ontario Liberals, under “social justice” Premier Kathleen Wynne, have continued escalating their attack on the poor, overseeing the further degradation of and already inadequate social assistance regime and leaving full time workers below the poverty line.  We resist their assault.  This march and rally, along with OCAPs disruption of the Liberals $1500 a plate gala earlier in the week, serve as but one public front in a daily struggle to end this injustice.  We choose to survive the death sentence of their welfare.  We will endure their indignities and their beatings and we will win our just demands.

In addition to PMUS’s new work in Ottawa, where a re-energized Raise the Rates mobilization is rapidly taking shape, organizers with PMUS Waterloo Region have been bottom-lining work with the Community Coalition On Refugee and Immigrant Concerns, the Sanctuary City Network and members of No One Is Illegal (Toronto), to build a Sanctuary City campaign in Kitchener.  Initiated by PMUS, the work has been ongoing for some time and is about to have a public launch including the formation of a community steering committee.

Poverty Makes Us Sick remains committed to economic justice for all. 

Check out this video of the march and rally, disrupting the Ontario Liberal Convention!
Posted on Toronto Media Co-op by our friends and allies at the Kitchener Ontario Animal Liberation Alliance:
http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/video/anti-poverty-march-disrupts-liberal-convention-tor/22267

 

Raise the Minimum Wage: a look at where our food comes from – October 14

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Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage event Launches Raise the Rates Week Of Action in Kitchener!

Hundreds attended a community meal infront of Kitchener City Hall as part of the monthly Province-wide day of action demanding an immediate increase in minimum wage, from $10.25 to $14/hr.

PMUS partnered with Waterloo Region Labour Council (WRLC) and Kitchener Ontario Animal Liberation Alliance (KOALA) to offer an opportunity to break bread together and reflect on this months theme: A look at who’s putting food on our tables.  Speeches highlighted that the folks bringing us our food are receiving poverty wages.  From Migrant Workers in the agriculture sector through wait staff at restaurants, many are infact earning below minimum wage and are denied pay for over time hours. This injustice was spoken to passionately by Dianne Hartman of KOALA, who’s intersectional analysis calls for total liberation and justice.  Marc Xuereb, President of WRLC brought greetings and the SPOT collective took on a range of tasks to make this event awesome!

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Dianne Hartman speaks on behalf of KOALA

Tempeh and hotdogs were enjoyed while children played with $14 Now balloons.  It was a wonderfully uplifitng event with an amazing community response.  100’s of postcards, addressed to Premier Wynne, were signed and media came calling from Stratford and Kitchener. Our message was heard loud and clear:  Fair Wages Now!

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Together we can win a victory of an immediate increase in Minimum Wage to $14/hr.  We must continue to fight daily for Migrant Workers and others being exploited by this unjust system.  Who’s putting food on your table?  They deserve a raise!

For more info, to sign a petition and to use social media to win an increase, see: raisetheminimumwage.ca

Check back for more pictures from this and other events from this week of action!

Wynne Delivered Raise the Rates Demands in Person – report back

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Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, holding mallet and enjoying a drink as anti-poverty activists repressed a few feet away.

On Friday October 11, Poverty Makes Us Sick and allies acted quickly to mobilize a response to Wynne’s appearance at KW’s Octoberfest.  Earlier in the day Wynne announced $400 million for horse racing and gambling, but calls for spending on the most basic and vital needs of poor people were met with violence.  Police and security details choked, beat and sadistically contorted a PMUS organizer.  A PMUS friend and supporter was able to get closer at a different time and brought forward our message:  ‘No OW/ODSP merger, raise the rates now, restore CSUMB and Special Diet, autonomy for First Nations – the blood of the poor is on your hands!’  

Wynne was slightly amused by this all, but was unaware that yet others in our mobilization were being increasingly well received in their leafleting efforts – the polices violence, silencing and intimidation was happening in view of 1000’s of witnesses and the Octoberfester’s  grew increasingly curious about our message.  The attempts to silence us increased our voice. 

We are in no way deterred. Our bodies are under attack 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by way of malnutrition, restricted access to care, institutional and structural violence, constrained choices, interpersonal violence, homelessness and unhealthy living conditions.  A public beating at the hands of police is perhaps a more visible manifestation of the attack on the poor.  We will achieve our just demands.

See more details here.

The Raise the Rates Province-Wide Week of Action is happening now!  Join in!

See events across the Province here.

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