Monday, June 4, 2007

June 3, 2007


Toronto – On Sunday June 3rd, hundreds of women, trans people and their allies marched through the streets of Toronto to 4 Howard Street, one of hundreds of buildings in this city that have been allowed to sit empty and deteriorate until they fall down or must be torn down. Four Women Against Poverty Collective members had already entered the building, claiming it for affordable housing for women by women. We erected a tent city in support of the women inside, but several hours into our peaceful gathering, police used excessive force to move us - giving little or no warning before aggressively clearing our demonstration, and using horses to push women into small confined spaces, creating a very unsafe situation.

Speakers will address the police response as well as the following demands:

• We call on Mayor Miller and City Council to force developers to create safe affordable housing when they: ask for zoning variances, don’t pay their taxes, or allow their buildings to fall apart.

• We call on Premier McGuinty to immediately raise social assistance rates by 40% and to develop a coherent, well-funded province–wide housing policy that has timelines, clear number of units to be built, and accountability components included.

• We call on Prime Minister Harper to develop a coherent, well-funded Canada–wide housing policy and program, and to devote 1% of the federal budget to affordable housing.

Too many survivors of violence and their kids are stuck in shelters, unsafe housing, or abusive homes because they have no place to live. Homeless women face violence every day on the streets. We will continue to demonstrate for change until it happens.

WHAT: Media Conference and Community Meal
WHEN: Monday June 4th, 12 Noon
WHERE: 519 Church St. Community Centre
WHO: Women Against Poverty Collective (WAPC)

The Women Against Poverty Collective is a group of women and trans people who are working together to advocate for safe, affordable and accessible housing for women experiencing violence.

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For more information: Anna Willats, 416-417-8962 (cell); Magaly SanMartin, 416-906-4399 (cell)

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