Safety for some, violence for the poor: Five reasons to support feminist action this November 25th

Issues of violence against women have been getting a lot more attention in the news than usual in the past few weeks. In these conversations you sometimes hear reference to survivors as ‘educated’ or as ‘public figures’. The media emphasis on the class standing of survivors implies that certain lives and stories of violence are more ‘believable’ (just barely) – while others can be more easily dismissed.

November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. For the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty it marks one year since the demand for a 24 hour women and trans drop-in was launched in Toronto. This followed the assault of a homeless woman, twice in one night, while sleeping on some steps at the corner of Dundas and Sherbourne. That incident, and the subsequent reaction by many (including police) to dismiss the woman, assuming she was ‘trading sex for drugs’ - is sadly not shocking and all too common for women on the streets.

Safe Space Now! Shelter and Housing for All!


Picture from Today's Action:

Tuesday, November 25th @ 12noon
*Rally, Meal and Action
George Hislop Park north end: Charles St (between Yonge and Church)
Click here for a map

Join the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and allies this coming November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to fight for:

  • 24 Hour women and trans drop-ins NOW
  • Open Shelters: real beds, not flex beds!
  • Safe, affordable, and accessible HOUSING FOR ALL!

Messages of Solidarity from some of our allies in Quebec & Britain-

"The tenants of the working class neighbourhoods in the Southwest of Montréal are with you in spirit on November 25th for your important day of action in defense of street-associated populations. We'll be tweeting John Tory to let him know that in Toronto and elsewhere, the private market can never meet the needs of tenants, and that many eyes are watching him!

In solidarity,
Fred Burrill, Organisateur communautaire
POPIR-Comité Logement"

"DPAC are sending solidarity to comrades in OCAP campaigning to save the lives of homeless people who are being denied shelter in freezing winter temperatures by rich politicians and bureaucrats. We will be joining in your campaign via twitter and highlighting the problems faced in Canada as well as in the UK"

Safe Space Now! Shelter and Housing for All!


Picture from Today's Action:

Tuesday, November 25th @ 12noon
*Rally, Meal and Action
George Hislop Park north end: Charles St (between Yonge and Church)
Click here for a map

Join the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and allies this coming November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to fight for:

  • 24 Hour women and trans drop-ins NOW
  • Open Shelters: real beds, not flex beds!
  • Safe, affordable, and accessible HOUSING FOR ALL!

Messages of Solidarity from some of our allies in Quebec & Britain-

"The tenants of the working class neighbourhoods in the Southwest of Montréal are with you in spirit on November 25th for your important day of action in defense of street-associated populations. We'll be tweeting John Tory to let him know that in Toronto and elsewhere, the private market can never meet the needs of tenants, and that many eyes are watching him!

In solidarity,
Fred Burrill, Organisateur communautaire
POPIR-Comité Logement"

"DPAC are sending solidarity to comrades in OCAP campaigning to save the lives of homeless people who are being denied shelter in freezing winter temperatures by rich politicians and bureaucrats. We will be joining in your campaign via twitter and highlighting the problems faced in Canada as well as in the UK"

Sign On to Our Open Letter to John Tory

You may already have heard about the November 25 action that OCAP is organizing to demand that the City of Toronto deal with the dangerous crisis of overcrowding within its homeless shelter system. As part of this action, we'll be sending the included open letter to Mayor elect John Tory; Organizations that wish to to sign onto the letter please email us at ocap[at]tao.ca and we'll include you as a signer. INDIVIDUALS PLEASE CLICK HERE to SIGN the ONLINE PETITION

ALSO!
Our fantastic allies Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) in the UK are helping to support our November 25 action against the abandonment of Toronto's homeless. After at least 100 people have signed onto this a list of tweets directed at Mayor elect John Tory, which will be sent out at noon on the day of our action so that calls for him to act on shelter overcrowding and drop in space for homeless women will come in from across Canada and internationally.
https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/18887-toronto-s-homeless-shelters

Please also sign onto this and help make sure that the action on the streets gets a nice echo on social media!

Dear Mr. Tory:

On December 2, you will become the Mayor of Toronto. By then, we shall be facing the onset of a winter that is predicted to be especially severe and you will be the Chief Magistrate of a city that does not have in place a basic infrastructure to provide even bare shelter for those who are facing homelessness.

Doubtless you will have a fairly substantial 'to do list' in front of you as you take on your new responsibilities but we'd like to suggest that responding to the homeless crisis should be the most urgent priority of all. We say this not simply because lives are at stake, although this is certainly the case with the Homeless Memorial marking three more tragic deaths this month. We also drive home this point because, as far as we are concerned, a City that is ready to abandon human beings to destitution as winter sets in can't be trusted to meet any social needs with any diligence.

Does the City Value the Lives of Homeless Women?

OCAP Delegation Delivers Strong Message to City Hall:

August 25th, 2014

To Members of Council and City Staff,

We are here today to ask an important question and to deliver a message.

Do the lives of homeless women matter in the City of Toronto?

We ask this question as every day we face the reality of violence against women in our City. This violence is even more acute for women who don't have a place to live or a safe place to go especially at night.

In June, Council approved the recommendation from Community Development and Recreation Committee that the City move forward with the process for establishing two 24 hour drop-in centres for street-involved women. The community was hopeful in this decision, and for a brief time, we celebrated. But instead of seeing this process move forward this fall, we now face a delay until after elections and until 2015. This is despite the fact that Council and Committee gave direction to staff to move forward this year. To us in the community, this delay is unacceptable. We need safe space now.