Fresh from demonstrations at the Quebec Summit of the Americas that made news around the world, anti-globalization activists are setting their sights on issues closer to home.Last Sunday, they filled room 212 at OISE for a meeting with John Clarke of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP), which is organizing a series of actions against the Harris government scheduled to begin October 16. Details are expected to emerge at a weekend meeting of OCAP beginning Friday (June 15) -- a meeting that was to take place at Central Tech high school before the board of education pulled the plug.
"Protest has become outdated," Clarke tells members of Toronto Mobilization for Global Justice. "They (the government) simply don't care. We have to move beyond protest into resistance."
Actions being planned for the fall will target areas like the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor. New production techniques require just-in-time delivery of components, Clarke notes, so disrupting traffic at such a key transportation point could have serious consequences. "I can't think of a more powerful symbol."
And OCAP's high school organizer has been meeting with students, who are primed to walk out in support. "But they said to us, "We do a lot of walkouts. What do you want us to do when we walk out?'"
Clarke says there have been meetings across Ontario with First Nations communities about getting involved. And he names a number of union locals that are backing the actions, including some belonging to the CAW. Buzz Hargrove, the union's national president, tells NOW, though, that he's not sure whether his national office -- one of OCAP's financial backers -- will be getting behind the actions. "I need to know a lot more before I can tell you whether we'll be getting involved."
Clarke says the anti-globalization movement's model of individual groups carrying out their own actions would work well in the OCAP campaign. "We could ask people to do something and then get them to call in to TV and radio to say what they've done."
One of the main contributions of the anti-globalization people will be an action in Toronto's financial district on November 9, the day the World Trade Organization begins its meetings safely out of reach of demonstrators in the far-off oil sheikdom of Qatar.