In this May Day double feature, Nashwa and Ryan sit down with Patricio Dávila and Phil Zigman of RenovtictionsTO and Cole Webber of Parkdale Organize. In this May Day double feature, we discuss the state of renovictions in Ontario as well as how people are resisting. Tenant organizers have been working together to resist and fight back. One example is West Lodge Tenants organizing a food bank and winning space from their massive corporate landlord to host it out of. We also have witnessed rent strikes in the city.
We recommend people also check out and support Keep Your Rent and People’s Defence Toronto, both groups are mentioned on the show and doing amazing work. We also suggest people use and share the Toronto Covid Evictions Tracker if they or their comrades are facing evictions. Anti-eviction action and organizing has an important history. In the second year of the Great Depression, it was so intense that evictions effectively stopped in New York, Detroit, and Chicago. Solidarity to those fighting evictions, upcoming episodes looking at the Farmer’s protests, and COVID-19 in India.
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Mutual Aid & Community Support:
Although this episode is not paywalled we would deeply appreciate it if people would share or give (if able to do so) to the fundraiser for The East York 50: this fundraiser was set up to help support a group of 50 immigrant families slated to be evicted.
Additionally, here are further resources for communities from Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area facing the results of increased austerity:
Encampment Support Network (ESN) is an ad-hoc, volunteer-run network supporting people living in encampments in 6 locations throughout Toronto. This includes ESN Parkdale, ESN Trinity Bellwoods, ESN Scadding Court, ESN Moss Park, ESN LNP and ESN Cherry Beach.
RenovictionsTO is a volunteer-run organization that gives tenants the tools they need to organize and fight back against their landlords who are partaking in a renoviction.
Keep Your Rent is another vital organization that offers Toronto residents a litany of resources to combat rent evictions.
Evictions Ontario is yet another great resource for evictions—it also specifically offers a tracker to see where evictions are taking place across the province.
Disability Justice Network of Ontario is a collective that aims to build a just and accessible Ontario through the dissemination of knowledge regarding issues that people with disabilities face—they promote change through legislative action; also, they support community members through a community caremongering program.
Some resources that complement this episode :
Ontario is Mass Evicting Tenants, In as Little as 60 Seconds by Cole Webber
Above Guideline Rent Increases in the Age of Financialization by Philip Zigman and Martine August
Tenants Rise Up! Fighting for Housing Justice in the Bay Area (short documentary)
Online Activism During COVID-19: A Case Study in Rent Strikes by Cierra Bettens
Doug Ford is Consolidating the Power of Landlords During a Time of Crisis by Shehnoor Khurram and Ryan Kelpin
Toronto Tenants Seek Leverage on COVID Relief with Rent Strike by Morgan Sharp
Parkdale Tenants Rally Against Goliath Corporate Landlords by Shannon Carranco
RenovictionsTO is a project seeking to document renovictions and above guideline rent increases in Toronto, provide resources and information for tenants, and support tenant organizing. Check out renovictionsto.com to learn more about where in the city renovictions and above guideline rent increases are happening and who are the landlords engaging in these practices. If you're facing a renoviction or above guideline rent increase, reach out to report your landlord and learn more about how you can fight back. In the future they will also start collecting data on the use (N12) evictions and making this information public on their website. You can check out their recent AGI report written by Phil Zigman and Martine August here. You can also find them on twitter @renovictions.
Phil Zigman is the co-creator of RenovictionsTO.
Patricio Dávila is a designer, artist, researcher and educator. He is Associate Professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Arts in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design, at York University. He is the co-creator of RenovictionsTO.
Parkdale Organize is a group of working class people who organize to build neighbourhood power in Parkdale. The organization aims to build working class organizations independent of politicians and social service providers.
Cole Webber is a legal clinic worker in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto, who is on Twitter @colefwebber
Hosted by Nashwa Lina Khan
Show Music by Johnny Zapras and postXamerica
Art for Habibti Please by postXamerica
Production by Candian Dimension
Production Assistance by Canadian Dimension and Johnny Zapras
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