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To: Mayor Tory and Toronto City Council

Mayor Tory: Halt Encampment Evictions by Toronto Police

Mayor Tory: Halt Encampment Evictions by Toronto Police

Immediately end police evictions of unhoused people

Why is this important?

*UPDATE* Five Councillors - Shelley Carroll, Mike Layton, Josh Matlow, Gordon Perks and Kristyn Wong-Tam - have signed a letter denouncing the violence and asking the Mayor to change course: https://www.cp24.com/news/city-councillors-call-on-tory-to-stop-extreme-show-of-force-when-dismantling-encampments-1.5521002
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The scenes that have unfolded across Toronto over the past month of forced evictions are seared into our collective consciousness.

The photos and videos speak volumes of our shame. Armed and militarized police forces physically assaulting civilians in the name of "public safety". Weapons deployed to beat the unhoused and their supporters alike. Choke holds responsible for numerous deaths in the United States deployed right here in Toronto, caught on camera for the world to see. [1-4]

The actions of Toronto Police in destroying the camps where people have fled both the housing crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic are reprehensible, and unless our elected leaders immediately denounce the violence and halt the evictions, they make us all complicit.

There is no universe in which it can be credibly claimed that paying people to assault our neighbours with weapons serves the cause of public safety. And yet that is exactly what Mayor Tory claimed this effort was about when confronted with images of the violence. [5]

It is clear that the way public safety is delivered in Toronto must be completely reimagined. The first step on that road is for every elected leader in city government to go on the record unequivocally condemning the extreme police violence deployed in Alexandra Park, Trinity Bellwoods Park, and Lamport Stadium, and to put a halt to all further use of force against our unhoused neighbours.

Housed or not, Toronto is our home. We all deserve to feel safe here.

But it won't happen on its own. It's clear we can't count on the police to deliver that safety. It's up to us to demand it.

A massive petition will show Mayor Tory and the Council that the entire city is fed up with the cycle of abuse and aggression - and with an election next year, that just might be enough to get them to start making some changes. Add your name today and spread the word.

*Note* For more ways to help, check out the No Encampment Evictions Toolkit: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xc_P333h8UuoWyx970rxqNgw07BlUVzPZR2ncKq0eOs/edit

Sources (note: some of these photos depict violence committed by our public servants and can be disturbing)

1) Photo of a dangerous "knee to neck" chokehold TPD claims they don't use: https://twitter.com/canto_general/status/1417958275774025736?s=20

2) Photo of TPD officer using a weapon to beat a person: https://twitter.com/lorrainelamchop/status/1418273031621906435

3) Several photos, including one of a TPD officer grabbing a person by the throat: https://twitter.com/ChrisYphoto/status/1418210773097230336?s=20

4) Photo of TPD throwing a person to the ground to arrest them while racing to grab another onlooker: https://twitter.com/EVYSTADIUM/status/1418274967867871235

5) Vice: "Toronto Cops Say They Did 'Tremendous Job' After Beating People, Destroying Homeless Camp" - https://www.vice.com/en/article/z3xgza/toronto-cops-say-they-did-tremendous-job-after-beating-people-destroying-homeless-camp


Reasons for signing

  • Homeless need to be respected
  • I'm trying to do something for others
  • I'd like to remind John Tory & Council that homelessness is a symptom of the failure on the part of all levels of government and society to ensure affordable housing is accessible to all in need, along with access to mental health care and addiction treatment. We cannot possibly police nor fence our way out of this.

Updates

2021-07-27 22:24:53 -0400

500 signatures reached

2021-07-23 17:08:14 -0400

100 signatures reached

2021-07-23 16:44:41 -0400

50 signatures reached

2021-07-23 16:36:49 -0400

25 signatures reached

2021-07-23 16:34:30 -0400

10 signatures reached