Impending Police Sweep of Downtown East an Attack on a Poor Community
-Statement from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty-
Between June 16 and September 8, the area between Wellesley and Queen, Church and Parliament will be the focus of an ongoing police sweep, involving dozens of officers and organized under the auspices of the Toronto Anti Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS). They are bringing in an additional 24 constables and 12 staff sergeants on both foot and bike.
Community Responds to TAVIS in Toronto's DTE
Yesterday, Monday June 16th, residents and community organizations held a press conference to demand an end to police sweeps in the Downtown East, to stop police harassment of those who live here and to let the police know that they are not going to let them roam the streets with impunity. Their patrols will be monitored and their abuses challenged.
Monday, June 16th, 11.00 AM, NE Corner of Dundas and Sherbourne
June 16 will be the first day of a summer long sweep through the Downtown East by the infamous Toronto Anti Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS) of the Toronto Police.
This community has learned the hard way that the Police do not come into
it to solve problems of violence but to harass and harm poor and homeless people. The 'war on drugs' is a code name for the war on the poor and, this summer, they are going to take it to a new level. The homeless, sex trade workers, drug users, immigrants and people of colour, especially youth, know only to well what to expect.
People in the community are challenging the shadow that TAVIS is casting
over it. Increased police activity will be watched closely and abuses
exposed and resisted. A press conference and speak out will take place at Dundas and Sherbourne on Monday 16th.
Come out and show your support!
On August 9th, one day before the annual Prisoners Justice Day, the first parts of the Harper Government’s Omnibus Crime Bill C-10, ironically named ‘Safe Streets and Communities Act’, will come in to effect. This bill increases mandatory minimum sentences, removes alternative sentencing options and makes it harder to get a pardon. This bill targets youth by making harsh changes to the Young Offenders Act. Harper is increasing funding for the war on drugs while directly cutting drug treatment programs inside and outside of prison. This bill targets migrants and will lead to more detention and deportation. C-10 will put more people behind bars, making crowded conditions in institutions far worse. At a time that they tell us there is no money for social programs, the government is ready to spend an estimated $1billion dollars in Ontario to build new prison infrastructure.
This bill will bring criminalization of poor people , Indigenous communities and communities of colour. More prisons, more prisoners and more repression.
OCAP has endorsed and will be joining with community groups on Friday August 10th for the annual event outside of the Don Jail at 6pm.