CALLS TO ACTION
Call/Letter to John Tory and City Councillors
Dear Mayor Tory and [your city councillor’s name],
My name is [your name] and I am writing to you out of concern for the lives and well-being of people living in encampments. I recently learned that the City of Toronto has issued a Notice of Action to Khaleel Seivwright, the man building tiny shelters for people living outside this winter. People who are finding pragmatic solutions for people’s survival in the absence of permanent housing options from the city, like Khaleel, should be applauded, not reprimanded. I am writing to demand that the city drop their legal actions against Khaleel, impose a moratorium on encampment clearings, and repeal the by-laws that make it illegal to camp in public parks. Our tax dollars should not be spent on such punitive and harmful measures that aim to invisibilize homelessness.
The City of Toronto’s winter plan for people living outside fails to address the needs of many encampment residents, and drastically underestimates the number of people living outside. For many, living in an encampment is safer than a shelter or a respites such as the Better Living Centre especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For many unhoused people, the indoor spaces remove them from medical care, mental health supports, food resources, employment opportunities, and social and emotional circles. Furthermore, harm reduction supports are inadequate, and we know that going to such inside options have resulted in a number of deaths from overdoses, fire, and COVID.
The government must stop treating unhoused people as a problem, and recognize that encampments are the result of decades long housing crisis in Toronto. I am calling on City Council and the City of Toronto to:
1. Drop the notice against Khaleel; and don’t pursue future action to others who are providing aide
2. Expropriate hotels and buildings in the downtown core to create rent-geared-to- income housing
3. Ban encampment evictions
4. Defund the police and parks ambassadors – the money spent on enforcement could be better spent on long-term permanent housing for people
Keep the SRT Corridor for rapid transit
When: March 4th, 3pm
The Scarborough RT is shutting down in 2023. Join our flyer action this Thursday March 4! RSVP by sending us a message or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll meet at one of the Scarborough RT stations at 3pm and will have extra face masks and hand sanitizer. We will send you location info when you RSVP (email email@example.com).
City Council votes next week about the future of the Scarborough RT. We’re asking Councillors to vote YES to:
– Keep the SRT corridor for rapid transit.
– A feasibility study for Bus Rapid Transit in the SRT corridor so that if buses are the only option, they will be fast and not stuck in traffic.
– Publicly release the assessment report of the SRT life extension, so the public gets all the info.
– A technical assessment of a light rail option.
Film Screening and Conversation with Joey Twins
When: Thursday March 4th, 6pm
Join the Prison4Women Memorial Collective on Thursday March 4 as we host a screening of a clip of an untitled in progress film, followed by informal conversation with Joey Twins.
Gathering personal photographs together with interviews, institutional archives, art, ceremony and music, this collective video project transmits the spirit of survival through story and intimate worlding in moving image and sound.
Trouble in the Garden
When: Thursday March 4th, 7pm
A discussion of the politics of Trouble In the Garden, with filmmakers Roz Owen and Raven Sinclair.
Bailed out and taken in by a brother she hasn’t seen in years, an Indigenous protester and her adoptive family reckon with betrayal of love, land, and blood. Trouble In The Garden is the story of an estranged family caught in the wake of the 60’s Scoop. This dark secret of recent Canadian history has parallels in the US, New Zealand, Australia, and other colonized countries around the world. Watch the film in advance (for free on CBC GEM
) and then join filmmakers Roz Owen and Raven Sinclair to discuss their collaboration, the 60’s Scoop and related issues of injustice and reckoning the film raises.
In Spite of Everything and Anything
When: Friday March 5th, 9:30am
A Celebration of Rosa Luxemburg’s 150th Birthday
To mark Rosa Luxemburg’s 150th birthday on March 5, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung – New York Office and MADRE propose an online event that brings together indigenous women leaders and scholars of Rosa Luxemburg to understand Rosa’s continuing impact on women around the world.
Rosa Luxemburg famously wrote: “I want to affect people like a clap of thunder, to inflame their minds not by speechifying but with the breadth of my vision, the strength of my conviction, and the power of my expression.” We want to bring women together for a reading of one of Rosa’s letters and a conversation about her continuing influence and lasting legacy.
Stop the Eviction Threats!
When: March 5th, 12pm through 2pm
Where: Weston Rd / Eglinton Ave W
Weston ACORN are having an outreach day in support of a Weston member getting threats of eviction and harrassment from his landlord. Join us for flyering and petitioning in the community! Wear a mask and social distance.
IWD Virtual Rally
When: Saturday March 6th, 1pm EST
Rising Above the Pandemic: Fighting For a Just Future For All
Organized by Women Working with Immigrant Women along with community and labour partners. Organizing Toronto’s march since 1978.
Streaming Live at facebook.com/IWDToronto
(you do not need a Facebook account to watch the livestream).
IWD: Fighting on the Front Lines
When: March 7th, 2:30pm
We invite you to join The International Women’s Day Organizing Committee and @ONCommunists for Fighting on the Front Lines, an online celebration of International Women’s Day on March 7, 2021 from 2:30 to 4:30pm EST.
REDTalk: Hope Matters
When: Monday March 8th, 4pm
This event has a sliding scale pay structure, please pay what you can.
Join Red Sky as we celebrate International Women’s Day with award-winning writer Lee Maracle and her daughters Columpa Bobb and Tania Carter for an indelible conversation about the journey of Indigenous people from colonial beginnings to (re)conciliation.
Lee Maracle’s daughters wrote poetry with their mother as children and dreamed they would one day write a book together. This book is the result of that dream. Written collaboratively by mother and daughters, the poems in Hope Matters
blend their three voices together into a shared song of hope and reconciliation which is more prescient than ever.
When: Monday March 8th, 6pm
Centring Collective Care in a Post-Covid Future
Join the conversation to discuss what our post-Covid-19 future could look like. The pandemic has had a tremendous impact on those already made vulnerable by social and economic systems that expect them to fill gaps left in our society and institutions, whether health care, elder care, child care, education or other. These gaps have grown and been further exposed during the pandemic.
Repression and Political Prisoners in Egypt
When: Tuesday March 9th, 1pm
Since 2016, the tyrannical regime of Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has built 30 new prisons to house the estimated 70,000+ political prisoners incarcerated since Sisi seized power in 2013. Egyptian civil society activists and journalists have been especially targeted. But the Sisi regime also routinely imprisons anyone whose speech, writing, or actions express the slightest criticism or deviation from its official line: be they doctors speaking out about deficiencies in Covid-19 treatment, lawyers denouncing corruption, Facebook posters or Tik-Tok influencers. Prisoners of conscience are disappeared, held in solitary confinement without trial, and denied access to food, health care, and family visits. Torture is widespread.
Speakers: Mohamed Soltan, Sarah Leah Whitson, and Hussein Baoumi.
Ladies of the Library
When: Tuesday March 9th, 7pm
Working Conditions in the Toronto Public Library and the Growth of the Institution (1880-1945)
A TWHP Presentation in Commemoration of IWD
Join us to find out about Melvil Dewey and the origins of the profession, the early history of TPL including the Mechanics Institute and the Carnegie libraries and early working conditions of the Ladies of the Library
– Barbara Mryvold, Retired, TPL’s Unofficial Historian and Archivist
– Maureen O’Reilly, Retired, Former TPLWU President
Beyond Digital Capitalism
Moderated by Michael Lardner. Presentations by:
– Stephen Maher: “Remembering Leo Panitch and Beyond Capitalism.” Stephen is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, Canada, and Assistant Editor of Socialist Register.
– Greg Albo: “Leo Panitch, the Socialist Register and Beyond Digital Capitalism.” Greg teaches in the Department of Politics at York University. He is co-editor of the Socialist Register.
– Ursula Huws: “Reaping the Whirlwind: Digitalization, Restructuring, and Mobilization in the Covid Crisis.” Ursula is Professor of Labour and Globalization at the University of Hertfordshire.
The Class Character of the Expansion of COVID-19
By Jan Lust
At the end of December 2019, the world was notified about the existence of a new coronavirus in the city of Wuhan in China. This virus, SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19), rapidly spread and was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020. In response, Peru was the first country in Latin America to implement a nation-wide lockdown and strict quarantine measures. These measures were implemented through a declaration of a state of emergency, with the military and the police charged with controlling the population.
Source: The Bullet No. 2319
Post-Capitalist Futures? Work After Automation
By Brent Toye
Widespread social concern about potentially negative consequences of technological automation for workers is nothing new. Since the era of early industrialism, commentators and economists have mused about the potentially damaging effects of technological change that augments and displaces human with machine labour. Mid-19th century theorists like Charles Babbage, John Adoplhus Etzler and, and Andrew Ure envisioned the coming of fully automated industrial factories, where human labour would be reduced to a supervisory and maintenance role. Marx believed automation had the potential to de-skill and permanently replace human labour. In one memorable passage, Marx highlights the destructive potential of the sewing machine, arguing that in the 19th century textile industry when other exploitative methods for obtaining surplus value had reached a natural limit.
Source: The Bullet No. 2320
Solidarity with Farmers of India
In a full-page ad in the Toronto Star
on February 27, labour, community and civil society organizations in Canada and elsewhere expressed their support for India’s farmers. This Declaration of Solidarity comes at a time when thousands of farmers in India have been engaged for months in the largest and longest sustained non-violent resistance movement in Indian and possibly world history, surpassing Mahatma Gandhi’s historic 1930 Dandi March against the abhorrent British colonial Salt Law. The Declaration is part of a growing movement outside India to demonstrate that the world is watching and that we are firmly behind the farmers and their struggle to survive.
Source: The Bullet No. 2321
100,000 Deaths and a White Paper: What we need instead in Britain
By Colin Leys
When Imperial College’s modeller Neil Ferguson told the British government in early March 2020 that it was on course to see 250,000 deaths from COVID-19, he was widely seen as scaremongering. Now his warning looks no more than sober. The government has already taken us past the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths, more deaths per capita than any other country in the world except Czechia, and is on course for 125,000 by the end of the winter. And the government’s plans for lifting the national lockdown that began in January look likely to cost between 32,000 and 55,000 further deaths between February and June this year.
Source: The Bullet No. 2322