Category Archives: actions

“Relief and Resistance: A Poor People’s History of East Downtown Toronto”

Gaetan Heroux, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

Thursday April 9th, 2009
4.00-6.00pm (Room 2125, Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George Street)

East Downtown Toronto is the city’s oldest working class neighborhood. It was 
once the home to some of Toronto’s wealthiest residents. Today, Toronto’s 
“skid row” is located in the heart of East Downtown Toronto, and the area has 
one of largest concentration of social housing in Canada. The current gentrification 
of the area threatens the very existence of this working class neighborhood and 
has become a staging ground for some of Canada’s most militant anti‐poverty 
demonstrations in since the mid 1990’s.

How did this transition happen? What was the relationship of Toronto’s wealthy 
philanthropists and church organizations to the “vagrants” and “tramps” who were 
flooding the city and East Downtown Toronto at the turn of the 19th century and 
onward? What role did Toronto’s poor houses play in the lives of poor people in 
the area? What was the city’s response to slums which emerged in the area shortly 
have the industrialization of Toronto? How did a local church, which at one time 
was the church of some of Toronto’s most affluent residents, come to open its 
doors to some of Toronto’s poorest residence? How did the local park go from the 
being the playground of the rich to the rallying grounds of the poor? Why are poor 
people being displaced from Toronto’s oldest working class neighborhood? These 
are the questions that the presentation will attempt to answer.

About Gaetan Heroux:
Mr. Heroux is an anti‐poverty activist with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty 
(OCAP) and an Identification Outreach Worker with the Street Health Community 
Nursing Foundation. For the last twenty years he has worked with homeless and 
low‐income people in East Downtown Toronto, has served on a number of steering 
committees related to poverty, homelessness and violence and has been a featured 
speaker at public events, panel discussions, rallies and workshops on poverty in 
cities across Ontario and Quebec. Mr. Heroux is currently working on a book on 
the history of East Downtown Toronto.

For more information, contact Ayesha Alli, • 416 946-0269


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Au Travail / At Work

AU TRAVAIL / AT WORK is a project based on a call for collaboration which is open to all. This experimental project urges artists and workers to consider their workplace as a site of artistic residence. In all cases, the place of reflection, production or intervention becomes the space of the employer.The members of the collective appropriate the culture of their work environment within the very framework of their daily lives. Utilizing or subverting the cultural or technological means that are available to participants in their workplace.


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The Imaginary Border Academy

The Imaginary Border Academy (L’Académie de la frontière imaginaire) was initiated at the Artivistic gathering in Montreal , 25-27 October, 2007;

It is our aim to provide copyleft pedagogical resources for engaging all forms of borders.

As was agreed with the clink of two Caribs by an incomplete decision making body, the academy is within the tradition of Autonomous Education, Free Universities, Community Education and Free Skools.

The Academy strives to cultivate a non-hierarchical pedagogical approach to understanding, subverting and undermining borders.

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The victimisation of Molleindustria political videogames

This is a link to a campaign started by a group of media activists and artists to protest the recent attacks by the Italian goverment against Molleindustria videogames ( Molleindustria has been active for years within the precarity movement, first designing comic strips and then creating political videogames. The Italian government has recently been trying to take down their site due to a new game that attracts attention to cases of pedofilia within the catholic church.
“A couple of days ago, the italian collective Molleindustria decided to remove from its website its last videogame, Operation: Pedopriest, “in order to not worsen the situation of our webspace provider that is legally responsable for all the content”. This decision was taken after a point of order in the Italian Parliament called “Countermeasures to the religions’ offenses”, in which the leader of the Christian Democratic Party Luca Volontè asked to shut down this website appealing to a 2006 law about child abuse and pornography.
The law includes a chapter about “virtual pedo-pornography” that consider illegal to publish “pictures whose quality of representation makes unreal situations appear real”.

For more info and to download the game:

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Flickr photos of National Day of Action

a search on Flickr has returned a huge amount of photos documenting the National Day of Action in Vancouver and Ottawa. wondering if anybody has any on Toronto??



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* Join the June 9 National Day of Action Against Israeli Apartheid:Boycott Chapters/Indigo! *

In early June, Palestinians will mark 40 years of Apartheid Israel’s
illegal military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip
and the Syrian Golan Heights. The Active Steering Committee of the
Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign has called for global days of action to mark this anniversary throughout the world.

As part of these events, individuals across the country will be
leafleting outside Chapters/Indigo Book stores. These pickets are being organized to send a clear message to majority shareholders, Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz, that their links to the HESEG Foundation for Lone Soldiers
(individuals from outside of Israel that want to serve in its military)
– are unacceptable.

The campaign to boycott Chapters Indigo is gaining momentum. Thousands
of leaflets explaining the link between the Israeli military and the
majority owners of the book chain have been distributed outside stores in
Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Victoria, and Halifax. Two weeks ago, Heather
Reisman refused to answer questions about Heseg at a Toronto Indigo store,
prefering to close down a public event rather than engage in a debate
about her financial support for Heseg. The campaign has been mentioned
in mainstream Canadian media and has been widely reported on by the
Israeli press.

Join us in this national day of action by organizing a picket outside
your local Chapters Indigo book store! The aim of this action is to cover
as many stores across Canada. From the smallest town to the largest city –
if there is a Chapters Indigo book store in your neighborhood you can
participate! All you need to do is download the campaign leaflet below,
find your local Chapters or Indigo bookstore, and let us know at

If you live in Toronto we want to pre-register people for locations so
that we know how many different stores can be covered on the day. There
are at least five major locations in the GTA that we will be picketing
on June 9th – please contact us at to participate.

Campaign material available at

** Leaflets for distribution outside your local Chapters or Indigo

** A 50 second promotional animation about the campaign:

** A video clip of Heather Reisman being confronted by activists in
Toronto for her support for Heseg:

**A protest letter to send to Indigo Books and Music Co.:

** A leaflet advertising the June 9th Day of Action:

** A professionally designed bookmark: ‘Chapters, Indigo, IDF

Partners in Apartheid’:

** Press releases about the campaign including CAIA’s most recent reply
to B’nai Brith’s attack (May 18th).

Together we can end Israeli apartheid! To get involved in the campaign,
please contact us at: and visit

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Tell American eagle: support warehouse workers’ rights

A majority of workers at National Logistics Services (NLS) applied to join UNITE HERE. Workers wanted a union because they had not received raises in two to three years, lacked a fair process to move from casual to permanent employment, dealt with daily disrespect from management, and faced unfair policy changes, including increasing hours worked before overtime is paid.

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