Saturday, November 10, 2007

NOW Magazine on Abandonment Issues

"One of the best ways to put poverty issues on the agenda is to threaten to take away rich people's stuff."
Read NOW's coverage of a discussion about abandoned housing stock in Toronto.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

WAPC Stencil Making Workshop!

Get Your Message Out!

Stencil Making Workshop
Saturday September 15
1:00 - 4:00 pm
17 Phoebe Street
(north of Queen St. E, East of Spadina)
Wheelchair Accessible space
Child Friendly space

The Women Against Poverty Collective is planning the next steps in our campaign to create housing for women and trans people, that is accessible and controlled by those who live in it. We continue to demand that all levels of government make access to affordable and safe housing a priority, particularly for survivors of violence. As we approach the October 10th provincial election, we invite women and trans people to "Get Your Message Out!" by joining us at workshop that will be a space for participants to create stencils and plans for use during the weeks leading up to the provincial election and beyond. We are
looking at ways to create public messages that will keep the need for housing for women and trans people visible.

All women and transfolk welcome
For more info:

Friday, July 27, 2007


Just days after members of the Women Against Poverty Collective (WAPC) packed the court room in support of four women charged with break and enter and mischief, the crown has withdrawn the charges! The four women were part of a collaborative effort to convert an abandoned building at 4 Howard St. into useable, safe housing for women, transfolks and our kids.

June 3rd, 2007 WAPC held a rally, march and housing takeover to raise awareness about the connection between poverty, violence and homelessness in women's lives. Lack of affordable housing and pitifully low social assistance rates force many women and transwomen to choose between living with violent partners or living on the street. Once on the street though, homeless women are so marginalized that they are assaulted, raped and murdered at 10 times the rate of other women in Canada.

WAPC aims to stop this violence by creating housing that is controlled by us and for us. The tent city and housing takeover on June 3rd was one such action. In response to the 'threat' of women and trans folks creating their own solutions to homelessness, police violently attacked the participants with horses, assaulting and targeting racialized women/transfolks in particular. To date, the mayor, police chief and police services board have all refused to acknowledge this brutality and have denied WAPC's requests for a meeting.

The charges against the four are being withdrawn as part of the Community Justice Program, where each of the four charged will donate $50 to a social justice organization, in this case the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, in exchange for a withdrawal of the charges. All four women will continue to organize with the WAPC. One woman who was outside the housing takeover is still facing a charge of obstruction and WAPC will continue to support her in her legal case and calls on her charge to be withdrawn as well.

The crown's decision to withdraw the charges affirms what we already know: that the police reaction on June 3rd was politically motivated- a violent attempt to frighten and silence women and transfolk willing to take direct action to gain safe housing for ourselves and each other. That we've continued organizing, continued speaking out and continued struggling collectively shows that they've failed! We will keep on fighting for all people's right to have safe homes, live free of violence and have enough money to live in dignity.


For more info on the Women Against Poverty Collective go to

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Wimmin and Transfolk of Colour/Indigenous Track Meeting

What: Wimmin and Transfolk of Colour/Indigenous Track Meeting
When: Thursday July 26th 4:30PM - 6:00PM
Where: 100 Devonshire (1 block east of St.George, just south of Bloor) @ the Association of Part-Time Undergraduate Students (APUS)

On June 3rd, 2007 hundreds of women, kids, trans people and male allies marched to 4 Howard Street to reclaim an abandoned building for housing for survivors of violence and their families. Our spirited peaceful protest was arbitrarily ended that evening by police on horses and on foot who pushed and shoved protestors into busy streets, tore down tents, limited our movement and otherwise acted with unnecessary and excessive force.

On July 19th, the WAPC rallied once again to take over the space in front of Toronto Police HQ to speak out about the violence at the June 3rd action and raise the broader issue of police complicity in women abuse through street theatre, spoken word, an open mic and several speakers.

Among the concerns raised at our last action was the targetting of police violence on women and transfolk of colour and indigenous women and transfolk. The WAPC is committed to providing a safe space for women and transfolk of colour and indigenous women and transfolk to discuss and act on these and other issues. Join us this Thursday July 26 4:30PM - 6:00PM at APUS located at 100 Devonshire for our Women and Transfolk of Colour/Indigenous Track Meeting.

Please note that this meeting is for women and transfolk of colour and indigenous women/transfolk. New members are welcome and encouraged! Also, stay tuned for the WAPC's upcoming general meeting in early August.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Women Speak out Against Violence

On July 19 the Women's Collective Against Poverty and supporters rallied at Toronto Police HQ.

This event was to support a court appearance by four women arrested and charged with trying to create accessible and affordable housing as part of a WAPC event on Sunday June 3. The event was also part of the fight to provide housing by women for women now.

About fifty women, transfolk and their supporters took over the courtyard of the police building with improvisational theatre, amazing poetry and compelling stories from a range of participants. Women spoke on the many types of violence we and our sisters face in Toronto: from lack of housing, from abusive partners, from poverty and from police. Thank you to Tommee, Anna, Jen, Mike, Truth Is, Helen and all our amazing speakers and performers for sharing with us.

Today's brief court appearance was to get disclosure and set a future court date. The four charged will be back in provincial court again August 10.

Local photojournalist John Bonnar was on hand with camera, check out his photos and videos of this and other WAPC events. Graeme has also posted photos.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Upcoming action - WAPC needs your support!

What: Women Against Poverty Collective (WAPC) Media Conference + Rally + Speak Out
When: Thursday July 19 11Am - 1:30PM
Where: Police HQ @ 40 College (Yonge and College)

The Women Against Poverty Collective are holding a media conference as a follow up to the June 3rd action to raise the issue of overpolicing and underpolicing with regards to women abuse.

The Toronto police force demonstrated at the WAPC's most recent June 3rd action that the police are just as fast to crack down on survivors speaking out against women abuse as they are slow to act when the same survivors need protection from their abusers. The WAPC has requested a meeting to discuss these issues within the broader context of epidemic women abuse in Toronto with the Mayor, Chief of Police and Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board. All three offices rejected our request, so in true WAPC fashion we are taking matters into our own hands and bringing the meeting to them!

Join us this Thursday July 19 from 11AM - 1:30PM @ 40 College as we speak out on the issue of policing and women abuse, take back Police Headquarters for the community and make it clear that the silence on women abuse in Toronto stops now! In addition to speakers, performances and street theatre we will also have an open mic so come to share your stories as well.