Toronto’s Poor: A Rebellious History

Book Launch: Thursday, December 8 | 6:30 pm | St. Luke’s Church (353 Sherbourne)
Website | Facebook | Wheelchair accessible venue, Childcare available


Join us for the launch of long-time OCAP member, Gaetan Heroux, and labour historian Bryan Palmer’s new book, Toronto’s Poor: A Rebellious History, documenting more than 180 years of poor people’s resistance in this City.

The book reveals the long and too often forgotten history of poor people’s resistance. It details how the homeless, the unemployed, and the destitute have struggled to survive and secure food and shelter in the wake of the many panics, downturns, recessions, and depressions that punctuate the years from the 1830s to the present. It is about men, women, and children relegated to lives of desperation by an uncaring system, and how they have refused to be defeated. In that refusal, and in winning better conditions for themselves, Toronto’s poor create the possibility of a new kind of society, one ordered not by acquisition and individual advance, but by appreciations of collective rights and responsibilities.

Written by a historian of the working-class and an anti-poverty activist, this rebellious history links past and present in an almost two-hundred year story of struggle and resistance, inspiring a sense of what can be accomplished when poor people fight to win.

OCAP Demands Justice for Disabled Children in Greece

On October 5, a delegation of OCAP members and supporters delivered a letter of protest to the Greek Consulate in Toronto.  In solidarity with the Emancipation Movement of People with Disabilities in Athens, we demanded justice for disabled children, confined under appalling conditions in a centre in Lechaina and in other facilities around the country.  Our allies in Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) held an action at the Greek Embassy in London, UK on the same day.

Our delegation was met at the entrance to the building by the First Counsellor at the Consulate who, with the RCMP watching over the proceedings, received the letter and heard our demand for justice for these children.  He promised to convey our message to the Greek officials responsible for the matter and was made to understand that OCAP was prepared to take such further action as our comrades in the Emancipation Movement of People with Disabilities feel is necessary.

OCAP is proud to have taken an action in support of those resisting austerity, social abandonment and the particular abuses faced by disabled people in Greece.  In response to the OCAP delegation, Antonios Rellas from the EMPD wrote: “Mighty greetings from Athens, thank you very much for your invaluable help in the fight for the dignity of disabled persons living in institutions.”

Click here for additional background.