CAW Marches Against Poverty

September 26, 2007

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CAW Marches Against Poverty
CAW Marches Against Poverty
dated September 26, 2007

Toronto, Ontario
September 26, 2007

       Poverty is a growing problem in our communities. In response, anti-poverty activists marched through the streets of Toronto September 26th. To help bring public awareness to the plight of the poor, Jim McDowell of CAW Local 1285 worked with TAP, the Toronto Anti Poverty group, to organize the march. McDowell said it is not just the homeless but the working poor as well, who are victims of poverty.

Jim McDowell
CAW Local 1285

       "Single parents have to have at least two to three jobs just to keep up with the rent and the basic needs. A lot of people don't understand that, but it is a really sad situation which we have in society."

       Steve Watson of the CAW Education Department, speaking prior to the march, outlined some of the actions that would help end poverty.

Steve Watson
CAW Education Dept.

       "We're demanding an increase in the minimum wage that workers can live on. We're demanding an increase in social assistance that people and their families can live on. We're demanding affordable housing now, not promises. We need housing and we need access without fear for people without status. Thank you brothers and sisters you have our total support from the Canadian Auto Workers union."

       Activists from various CAW Locals in the Toronto area turned out in support of the fight to end the poverty which has driven 200,000 to 300,000 people from their homes. Among the marchers were Motaill Sarjoo and Dawn MacKinnon, both of CAW Local 1285.

Motiall Sarjoo
CAW Local 1285

       "We are here because we heard about this anti-poverty march and it is about time that we tried to do something to end poverty. This is a very, very rich nation and the amount of poverty that we have, we should not have it."

Dawn MacKinnon
CAW Local 1285

       "This is something that we really need the politicians to take a look at. And if the politicians aren't going to take a look at it than who can we expect to be our champions?"

       The CAW activists and other protestors marched though the streets of downtown Toronto along four routes, converging at Queens Park.

       As police in riot gear and on horse back surrounded the provincial legislature the protestors including Beric German of TAP and Loree Erikson of the Disability Action Group, made their voices, and their demands for an end to poverty, heard.

Beric German
Toronto Anti Poverty

       "That's what welfare means. It's ours! It is for us when we are unemployed. It's for us when we are disabled. It's for all of us. It is the infrastructure that people fought for in this country and we don't intend to let it go and we intend to have it expanded."

Loree Erikson
Disability Action Group

       "Throughout history poor and disabled people have been pitted against poor non-disabled people. People with disabilities have been pitted against one another fighting for the all too few scraps provided for us. We're here today to say that the divide and conquer technique isn't going to work anymore. Enough is enough."

       The March Against Poverty brought out 1,500 peaceful protestors urging an end to poverty.

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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