Posts Tagged ‘ community start-up and maintenance benefit ’

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

 

September 17th Raise the Rate Rally and Court Support Report-Back

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Our Community Responds to Attempts to Demobilize Resistance

MPP John Milloy’s office partnered with provincial prosecutors in Kitchener in an abuse of power aimed at disrupting our successful and ongoing mobilizing around the Raise the Rates campaign (see background).  With an amazing community response, a rally and court support event demonstrated that when it comes to disruption, our skills far exceed those of the local powers.

Following an uplifting meal and concert at Speakers Corner and a lively march to Regional Council and the police station, a sizable group marched right on into the tiny court house.  A large contingent of police, soft-tops, private security and detectives barred the mobs entry into the courtroom itself but disruption, speeches and chants could be heard by Ian and Julian throughout the closed door session.  The courtroom reverberated with resistance.

Julian Ichim of the SPOT Collective and Ian Stumpf of Poverty Makes Us Sick brought legal proceedings to a close in a manner of their own choosing.  There will be no trial, no fine and no inclusion of the irresponsible and ridiculous claims of hostage taking in the record of the proceedings.

Thanks to all who attended and gave energy to this day of action.  We are honoured to have received statements of support from Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty, Kingston Coalition Against Poverty, Ontario Federation of Labour, Kitchener Ontario Animal Liberation Alliance, Alliance Against Poverty and Common Cause KW.

We look forward to the Raise the Rates week of action, October 14-22!

Our Allies in Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty face two upcoming court dates for ‘trespassing’ tickets received during our joint struggle to save the CSUMB.  The S-CAP 11 are due in court October 28 and 31st.  More to come on this situation.

More photos from the September 17th Raise the Rates Rally and Court Support Action:

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Janice Lee, Singer/Songwriter, Poet, Activist : janicejolee.ca/

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Encouraging Regional Council to Resist the Downloading of the Responsibilities of CSUMB

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Julian speaking at the police station (division one)

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At the Court House – the old County Gaol.  Behind those doors disorder reclaimed the foyer.

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125 folks shared in a meal and concert.  Approximately 45 marched.  Our contributions are but a small piece of the amazing resistance taking place across Ontario.  We stand by Dr Wong and celebrate him for the enormous sacrifice he has made to improve the lives of so many suffering the injustices of social assistance in Ontario.

As Julian mentioned on the steps of the courthouse after the hearing, he is in court again on Monday, September 30th, facing serious charges based on his blog posts reflecting on the pre-G20 infiltration of KW activist networks.  Here is a brief video about Julian and his upcoming trial: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTWqQvH8VCM.

PMUS and allies bring demands to MCSS Minister McMeekin

Friday June 21st, 2013; Poverty Makes Us Sick hosted the Alliance Against Poverty and the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty to visit the Minister of Community and Social Services Ted McMeekin in his constituency office in Waterdown.  Together we took a strong message to McMeekin: We’re angry.  We’re not going to accept endless consultation and studies.  People are dying on the streets and we demand the full restoration of the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit and the Special Diet Allowance, an immediate 60% increase in social assistance rates and an increase in the minimum wage to $14/hr.

Even as the legal system attempts to intimidate PMUS member Ian Stumpf with a fantastically over the top response to a simple trespassing ticket, the group picked up right where things left off with MPP John Milloy (former Minister of Community and Social Services).  Banners filled the office as McMeekin was held accountable for his participation in the assault on the lives of the poor.

McMeekin revealed himself to be condescending, detached, and unabashedly sexist during our rather brief encounter.  Shamefully he interrupted our ally as they shared the story of their friend’s death. McMeekin claimed to share in our concerns, while also defending every last cut.  He completely embarrassed himself by repeatedly stating the ‘the government made these cuts, I can’t do anything.’  He was reminded that he was a Minister.  He was reminded that we will resist.  We demand justice, life and dignity.

There are many important fronts in this struggle.  Today we rattled McMeekin.  We removed from him the comfort of seclusion. We communicated our demands to him.

The government can expect continued resistance.  We will not sit by and watch our friends die.  They cannot expect to live comfortably while attacking us.

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