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Pope Squat in Danger (Toronto, Canada)
by ocap Friday November 01, 2002 at 10:10 AM

Emergency Meeting at 1510 King Street West, Saturday, November 2, 10.00 AM The powers that be in Toronto are tightening a noose around the Pope Squat.

* Last Friday, on the pretext of responding to an altercation, masses of
cops (including ETF) launched a huge raid on the building. Doors of
peoples' rooms were broken down and the building ransacked.

* This week, the water to the place has been turned off. City officials
originally demanded payment of a debt going back over years but
negotiations are underway.

* The Fire Marshall has now placed security guards in the building round
the clock to conduct a 'fire watch'. He made clear that this measure had
to be accepted or the residents would all be immediately evicted. He
informs us that certain modifications are required to bring the place up
to acceptable standards but, as of writing this notice, refuses to provide
us with the list on the grounds that we don't own the property!

The Pope Squat has provided shelter to dozens of homeless people since
July 25. Huge amounts of work have been done to renovate the place and
people have poured hours of effort into turning their own rooms into
places they can call home. This is all despite a complete refusal by any
level of government to offer one shred of support or assistance.

The Pope Squat is not just a place of shelter, though. It is also an
act of resistance. The greed and irrationality of boarding up buildings
while people sleep and die on the streets is challenged by its existence
and there are those who hate it for that reason.

The Pope Squat residents and OCAP are determined to preserve and
protect this vital gain and to see it turned into a self managed social
housing project. Please come out and support this struggle on Saturday.

For more information, call the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty at
(416) 925-6939.

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