Ongoing Resistance to the G20 Agenda
Toronto Community Groups Fight Back
June 25, 2011
While the tens of thousands of people who took to the streets during last year’s mobilisation against the G20 were there for many different reasons—migrant justice, Indigenous sovereignty, environmental justice, worker’s rights, queer liberation, anti-capitalism, civil liberties and more—the so called leaders of the world’s 20 wealthiest nations met behind the closed doors of a fortified downtown Toronto with one thing at the top of their agenda: austerity.
The “austerity agenda” is a consensus amongst G20 states that, in order to keep the current capitalist system afloat, over the next ten to twenty years, public spending on things like social services, education and health care, will be sacrificed for financial sector bailouts, so that banks and large corporations can remain profitable and viable. The austerity agenda will ensure that the costs of a failing capitalist system will be felt by poor communities.
In Toronto, momentum from last year’s mobilisation against the G20 is being put into coordinated neighbourhood based campaigns against the austerity agenda that is being implemented in this city by the Ford Mayoral regime and nationally by the Harper Government. The “Raise the Rates” campaign is meant to build “a provincial movement to raise social assistance rates to where people can live with health and dignity,” according to the website of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP).
A joint statement that reminds people of the connection between last year’s anti-G20 mobilisation and the ongoing struggle against the austerity agenda was released yesterday by a group of community-based organisations.
The statement, June 2011: Our Streets are Still on Fire, says “We supported the week of protests against the G20 in June 2010 because we refused to be silenced. We refused to be pushed to the margins as the so-called leaders of the world made decisions on our behalf. We insisted that the world would hear our stories through our voices. And just as in the years before the G20 came to Toronto, we remain committed to fight back, to mobilize, and to organize.
“Today, we demand freedom for all those still facing charges from June 2010 and we commit to fighting the age of austerity that the G20 leaders have imposed on us. We know that the cuts, and the attacks on our communities will increase over the next few years. We plan to meet these challenges head on because we know that through organized collective resistance the power of the people will prevail.”