WiTOPoli Weekly: Friday, April 22

A roundup of some of the latest news in women, Toronto, and/or politics this week. What stories did you read this week? Tell us in the comments.
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WiTOPoli Weekly: Friday, April 15

A roundup of some of the latest news in women, Toronto, and/or politics this week. What stories did you read this week? Tell us in the comments.

 

 

WiTOPoli Weekly: Friday, April 8

 

A roundup of some of the latest news in women, Toronto, and/or politics this week. What stories did you read this week? Tell us in the comments.

  • Black Lives Matter supporters marched to Queen’s Park Monday, prompting a response from Premier Wynne. Wynne promised she would set up a formal meeting to discuss the concerns they’ve raised about accountability at the Special Investigations Unit. The exchange prompted demonstrators to pack up #BLMTentCity at Police Headquarters as they wait for the Premier to follow up. John Tory has yet to reach out to BLM for a meeting.
  • Rogers is making to low-cost internet plans accessible to Toronto social housing tenants.
  • Miscarriage is now considered a disability according to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, paving the path for folks to receive appropriate work benefits after a miscarriage.
  • Brandon University in Manitoba is being criticized for its campus sexual assault polices. Two students have come forward saying that the school made them sign a contract to silence themabout their sexual assault complaints. The school administration did admit their wrongdoing publicly, but some students are leaving the university because of the ordeal.
  • MPP Jack MacLaren made a sexist joke about MP Karen McCrimmon at a recent fundraising event. MacLaren apologized privately but his party leader Patrick Brown says MacLaren won’t be kicked out of the party caucus for his vulgar remarks.

 

 

In solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Women in Toronto Politics stands in strong solidarity with Black Lives Matter Toronto (BLM TO) and the global Black Lives Matter movement. Our team, which includes Black women and allies, are angry at the systemic violence and exclusion that is killing Black people in our city. We are inspired by and grateful to the courageous organizers leading this movement for turning that violence and exclusion into love and inclusion, and centring women, queer, trans and non-binary voices in this movement.

We share BLM TO’s vision for a world that doesn’t justify the murder of Andrew Loku. A world where Alex Wettlaufer isn’t killed while holding a phone. A world that asks questions about the death of Sumaya Dalmar. A world that sees a pattern of authorities using excessive force against Black community members and calls it what it is: racism, often intersecting with other forces such as ableism, classism or transphobia.

We demand a system that uses de-escalation methods with people in crisis. A system that recognizes its responsibility and accountability to all people, instead of insisting it has performed due diligence or that it does not owe us further explanation. We demand a system that places no limits on what kind of Black lives matter, what spaces Black lives can occupy, or how Black lives can exist in our systems. We demand a system that does not compromise dignity, equality, or human rights with practices like carding; and we demand a system that prioritizes community,humanity, and accountability over protecting those in power from the criminal consequences of their actions. We believe in a system that doesn’t intrude and intimidate, doesn’t conduct immigration raids, and doesn’t inflict violence.

BLM TO is fighting for Black people’s right to live free of systemic racism and violence, while bravely opening dialogues for so many other marginalized groups. In two weeks, the movement has helped mobilize community action to reinstate Afrofest, and compelled Toronto City Council to investigate transparency and fairness amongst Toronto Police and the Special Investigations Unit (SIU). It has fostered deep solidarity and community amongst people in Toronto, across Canada, and around the world.

BLM TO’s bravery has created an important opportunity to address our city’s racism problem and for all of us to recognize the city’s institutionalized anti-Black racism in particular. The motion City Council passed to review how police services are provided in Toronto and how SIU investigations deal with people from racialized communities is important. But as BLM TO has highlighted, there is so much more work to be done.

Women in Toronto Politics implores people in Toronto to publicly support BLM TO’s demands. Reach out to City Councillors to demand the names of officers who killed Andrew Loku and Alex Wettlaufer. Call on Premier Kathleen Wynne and Mayor John Tory to be accountable to BLM TO organizers and all Black Torontonians – meet with them, listen to them, involve them in decision-making. Condemn Toronto Police’s violence against BLM TO members and supporters at #BLMTOtentcity. Hold City Council accountable throughout their review of police services and SIU investigations, so we can ensure the review centres families of those killed by police violence and addresses anti-Black racism in meaningful ways. Finally, stay vigilant, self-critical and vocal about anti-Black racism in our day-to-day lives – at work, on public transit, at the grocery store, or around the dinner table. Our solidarity is needed to ensure that Black Lives Matter to institutions and people in all corners of the city.

WiTOPoli Weekly: Friday, March 25

A roundup of some of the latest news in women, Toronto, and/or politics this week. What stories did you read this week? Tell us in the comments.

WiTOPoli Weekly: Friday, February 12

A roundup of some of the latest news in women, Toronto, and/or politics this week. What stories did you read this week? Tell us in the comments.