Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageCity councillors, activists discuss Toronto City Hall protests Special

By Andrew Moran     Feb 10, 2011 in Politics
Toronto - City councillors, protesters and protest organizers spoke to the media regarding what transpired, why they protested and what they feel is Mayor Rob Ford's real agenda during his tenure as leader of the city of Toronto.
Digital Journal reported earlier Thursday of the anti-poverty protests that occurred at Toronto’s City Hall. The emphatic demonstration led to two arrests, a couple of minor injuries and a promise that Mayor Rob Ford’s budget cuts are only the “first blow.”
Following the chaos, protestors and city officials spoke about what transpired, the Mayor’s budget cuts and what the future holds in regards to social service cuts and protests, which reporters were told that there will be more G20 Summit-like protests.
Lisa Schofield of OCAP.
Lisa Schofield of OCAP.
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty leader, John Clarke, stood on a table and spoke to everyone around him that Mayor Ford is following in the footsteps of former Ontario Premier Mike Harris because of his cuts to numerous city services, including privatization and bus route cuts.
“This year they’re only delivering the first blow,” stated Clarke in front of a crowd that continually chanted to cut police services and not social services. “Much worse is to come. The vision that Ford has of this city is a police force and a few privatized services operated by non-unionized cheap labour. If we’re going to stop that, we better fight. If you don’t fight back, they will crush you.”
He concluded his speech by urging the people not to “underestimate” the mayor because “behind his dull-witted intransigence” is a plan to “destroy everything in this city that people have fought for.”
OCAP leader John Clarke
OCAP leader John Clarke
Clarke then spoke with the media and started by saying that “I’m sure we can sit down and have tea and keep our solitary with Rob Ford and say nice things and then watch everything come down. The simple realities are if we’re going to stop him we’re going to have to mobilize. We can only disrupt politically and economically the people standing by Rob Ford.”
“Our people cannot find shelter beds at night, they’re already at capacity, half of them are full and there aren’t enough resources,” said Lisa Schofield of OCAP. “Rob Ford is the one who says ‘the gravy train, the gravy train,’ but wants to cut resources for people and food and services. That’s the gravy? That’s going to help people?”
Toronto St. Paul’s Ward 22 City Councillor Josh Matlow briefly spoke on the matter and questioned the methods protestors were using. “They’re attacking police, but some of the messages they’re saying have some merit. I think their voices would be heard better if they just came to us and spoke.”
OCAP Drummers.
OCAP Drummers.
He concluded by stating that “obviously a lot of people feel frustrated.”
OCAP activist Gaetan Heroux said that those who have worked extremely hard in the communities where there is extreme poverty have “seen nothing from this council or this budget committee.” He said there is a serious issue of overcrowding in shelters, which leads to violence and needs to be addressed.
“Right now we want our people back,” said Heroux who repeatedly asked officers where his friends were. “But until we hear when we’re going to get them back we’re stuck here for a while then.”
More about City councillors, Toronto city hall, Protestors, Poverty, Budget cuts
More news from