PROJECT REVIVAL: POOR PEOPLE SWEPT INTO JAIL AS CITY CUTS SERVICES
STOP THE WAR ON THE POOR!
April 2, 2008
Yesterday, the Metro Toronto police announced almost 300
arrests in a sweep of one of this city's poorest neighbourhoods. The
arrests took place in the area bounded by Gerrard St. E., Queen St. E.,
Church St. and Parliament St. Developed through the 51 Division
"Community Police Liaison Committee", the sweep involved undercover
officers in a 6 week operation, code named "Project Roundup" and
The priorities of cops, city officials, and the gentrifying forces of
neighbourhood are clear. The downtown East End is being remade and
'revived' through crackdowns on the poor people who call it home. It is
our friends, our neighbours, the people who use the rapidly
services in the East End, who are being swept into jail through
like this one.
According to Detective Sgt. Howie Page of 51 Division, "When the
to 51 Division ... it was a project aimed at improving the quality of
of people in this area." And we must ask: Which community? Whose
of life? We must also ask: When demands are made for affordable
detox or harm reduction programs, shelter beds, and better welfare
the basic right for people to live in dignity and safety, what kind of
response do we get?
The City officials who pay and oversee this police force are the same
who, over the past year, allowed three large rooming houses in the
neighborhood to be shut down, and five major shelters to be closed. $2
million dollars worth of CCTV cameras have been installed in the
core, two of them outside the biggest men’s shelters in the east end.
Homeless people are being targeted, fined thousands of dollars in
Provincial Offense tickets for minor infractions like encumbering the
sidewalk, or camping in a park without a permit. Poor and homeless
are being dispossessed, displaced, and destroyed.
We condemn this latest, blatant attack on the people of the downtown
End. We condemn the police for sweeping the streets, criminalizing
who are fighting to survive. We need housing, shelter, food and income
to address the issues in the neighborhood, not more police harassment
For more information contact OCAP at 416-925-6939
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