Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sudbury Anti-Poverty Action Report

As posted earlier, the Hunger Clinic Organizing Committee in Sudbury, of which I am a part, held an action yesterday demanding that the province raise social assistance rates by 40% and reinstate the previous version of the Special Dietary Supplement. L and I attended the rally and food serving at the beginning. We lasted about 40 minutes -- it was cold, and the puppy that had been distracting L from how cold he was getting went home, so he demanded to head out as well and we did. Unfortunately, we did not get to participate in the little visit to the offices of the Ministry of Mines and Northern Development, whose Minister is our local MPP.

Here's an action report from the Tenant Action Group in Belleville, members of which came up to Sudbury and participated in the action:

Yesterday, members of Sudbury's Hunger Clinic Organizing Committee (HCOC) led a militant occupation of Liberal MPP Rick Bartolucci's Ministry offices in Sudbury. The entire office building was in "lock-down" mode as approximately 60 people occupied the seventh floor of Bartolucci's Ministry of Northern Development headquarters to give his government a mere taste of what awaits if today's provincial budget does not result in a 40% social assistance increase.

Ontario Common Front (OCF) comrades from Kingston and Guelph's Guelph Union of Tenants and Supporters, the Kitchener/Waterloo Youth Collective, the anarchist ROAD Collective, Peterborough Coalition Against Poverty and Belleville's Tenant Action Group showed solidarity by participating in yesterday's action. Members of Mine Mill/CAW Local 598 were also on hand to provide labour muscle.

Having made our point that the people can strike wherever and whenever we choose, our rowdy and spirited delegation left the Ministry offices promising to return in an escalated strategy of disruption if social assistance rates are not increased.

Anti-poverty groups from across Ontario were buoyed at the presence of poor people politicized for the first time and determined to carry the struggle forward, despite police over reaction but encouraged and humoured by the helplessness of the state. This action follows on the heels of Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal disruptions across the province (Toronto, Kitchener, Guelph and Peterborough) and other militant actions by Ontario Common Front groups in Kingston and Belleville.

Unless justice for poor people is orthcoming we will continue our fight to beat back the liberal attack!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Scott - you and L really gotta stay longer so we can get some non-militant/macho reports - I'd rather read about what you did after you left...

Scott said...

Yeah...I was in a hurry when I posted this so I didn't comment on it, but I was/am certainly conscious of it. Sorry about that! Not that I'm against militancy, disruptive actions, or governments being worried about the actions of the people they attempt to rule, but I'm definitely not a big fan of the "revolutionary machismo."

Hopefully it'll be a bit warmer at the next action, so L and I can stay until its completion. Or maybe the puppy will stay longer. :)

ander said...

what if that "revolutionary machismo" comes from someone that you would gender a woman? wouldn't that shake things up? What if it came from an effeminate man? What if the machismo came from a high femme whore?

c'mon shake it up with me and fuck up the heterosexist hegemony!

love yah scott!

Scott said...

Hi Ambr! Thanks for commenting!

Yeah, each of those things would have their own flavour and significance...and I'm sure you're right that both the original commenter and myself were making some unwarranted assumptions about gender. But I'm not sure the different inflections those scenarios would give always matter...I mean, sometimes they really do, but I think there are aspects of the dominant ideologies and practices that have cohered around both "masculinity" and "femininity" that deserve to be problematized regardless of the bodies that produce or engage in them, and regardless of the genders that those bodies are assigned or that they claim. Of course it's totally debatable how that might be applicable in this instance!

And I totally look forward to opportunities to "shake it up with [you] and fuck up the heterosexist hegemony!" :)

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