Since June 22, the City of Toronto and Toronto Police Services have violently displaced residents at encampments in Trinity Bellwoods Park, Alexandra Park, and Lamport Stadium. These militarized evictions left encampment residents and allies injured and traumatized. Now, residents at Moss Park fear similar violent displacement. This cannot happen. Violent evictions must stop.
Instead of engaging with unhoused people with a human rights approach, the City of Toronto is criminalizing poverty by bringing in police and security and fining or arresting those who will not leave.
As a labour movement, the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) fights for decent living and working conditions, dignity, and respect for all. The OFL condemns militarized assaults on unhoused people and extends our solidarity to encampment residents. Instead of criminalizing poverty, all levels of government must take action to address systemic barriers to housing. Immediate actions include:
- Toronto City Council must end the clearings and immediately reconsider the motions put forward on June 8 by Councillors Mike Layton and Josh Matlow.
- The Ontario government must develop a housing strategy that provides housing as a basic right.
- The Federal government must develop a comprehensive, national affordable housing strategy.
Importantly, front-line workers who are directed by their employer to take part in these removals should know that they have the right to refuse unsafe work.
As workers and community members, our struggles are interconnected. The fight for decent working and living conditions, good public services, and healthy and safe communities for all requires us to show up for each other. Acts of solidarity strengthen the power of our picket lines, protests, and actions. Solidarity across movements and communities is fundamental to demanding a better future for everyone.