The Power of People: Community Responses to Capitalism in Crisis Public Meeting and Meal

Sunday, March 1, 2009 - 20:00 to 21:00

Please join us for an evening of discussion and food. Come hear directly from a diverse panel of community organizers about their experiences and strategies, including Max Rameau, an organizer with the Miami-based "Take Back the Land", a grassroots group that, as a result of the crises of gentrification, housing and now foreclosures, has been liberating public and foreclosed land and homes since 2006.

The current crisis of capitalism has long been forming, but it is much broader than the current credit crunch, plunging stock and housing markets. This crisis is about our ability to buy food, to afford housing and transit, find work, and access welfare and disability support money. nd yet, in this country, as in many parts of the world, billions of dollars are earmarked for corporate bailouts, while people face a crisis of survival.

So-called 'stimulus packages' do not address the perpetual roll-back in our social gains - public education, affordable housing,health care, collective bargaining, a living wage, safe work conditions, a non-toxic, sustainable environment. In the City of Toronto, spending on social housing is dropping annually, subsidized daycare spots are set to be slashed, basic social services cut, and a majority of us do not and will not qualify for EI. Women and migrant workers’ needs are not even on the table. But we didn't break the system – one that never worked for us in the first place. We should not be forced to pay for it

Only through bitter struggle have we won any measure of justice and dignity for our communities. The current financial crisis is and will continue to hit poor, marginalized, working, and racialized communities first and hardest. Make no mistake – the rich are scrambling to save themselves. Please join us to discuss an inspiring history and present examples of resistance, and ways we can come together to fight for what is ours, for what our families and neighbourhoods really deserve. Max Rameau is an organizer with the Miami-based ‘Take Back the Land’.

As a result of the crises of gentrification, housing and now foreclosures, Take Back the Land has been liberating public and foreclosed land and homes since 2006. They believe that every community has the right tocontrol the land upon which people live, work, play, learn and worship. Take Back the Land is, therefore, asserting the right of the Black community to control the land in their community and use it for the benefit of their community, including, but not limited to, providing housing for their members in need. They urge every community to exercise the same right. Richard St. Pierre is a long-time Quebec activist and member of the Internationalist Workers Group. Cynthia Palmaria is an organizer with Migrante-Ontario, an alliance of Filipino migrants' organizations which is part of the Filipino people's movement for national liberation and democracy.

Migrante's mission is to continuously uphold and defend the rights and welfare of Filipino migrants and their families, both at home and abroad. Police violence, non-enforcement of employment standards, and restrictive visas are just some of the many weapons used against Filipino migrants that Migrante organizes to resist. John Clarke is an organizer with OCAP, a direct-action anti-poverty organization that mounts campaigns against regressive government policies as they affect poor and working people. OCAP provides direct-action advocacy for individuals against eviction and termination of welfare benefits, and believes in the power of people to organize themselves.

Free Meal will be served after the event!By Donation / PWYC

Hosted by: OCAP (Ontario Coalition Against Poverty), GGAPSS(Graduate Geography and Planning Students Society of UofT), and the Toronto New Socialists, Centre for Social Justice, Socialist Project, No One Is Illegal - Toronto  Endorsed by: CAIA (The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid) BASICS Community Newsletter, and OPIRG - Toronto (Ontario Public Interest Research Group) 

OISE (Main Auditorium)
252 Bloor Street West (St. George Subway Station)
Toronto , ON
Ontario CA

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