A demonstration at City Hall yesterday by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty forced the Speaker to halt proceedings after the protest spilled onto the chamber floor.
The action by OCAP was called after the discovery of a homeless man frozen to death in a downtown stairwell February 27. A statement by OCAP called the death a “preventable tragedy.” Members of the activist group handed out statements to councilors as others rebuked them for their lack of action after being warned, just days earlier, that people could die because of a lack of beds for the homeless. The majority of councilors left the chamber but some stayed to hear what the protesters had to say.
Organizer Gaetan Heroux told councilors that “People are dying on the streets. Your shelters are full,” and demanded that no further deaths be allowed to occur, as cries of “shame” echoed around the hall. After a few minutes police moved in and ushered the protesters out.
More photos after the jump.
OCAP members gather outside City Hall.
Inside City Hall the morning session was in progress.
Gaetan Heroux speaks to the media.
Protesters enter City Hall
Some protesters were forcibly removed for handing out statements on the chamber floor.
Some councilors stayed to listen to protesters.
Protesters harangue councilors.
Police moved protesters out of the chamber after a short time and there were no arrests.
All photos by Miles Storey.