Sunday, July 19, 2009

Molly has posted before about the subject of how city managers, on duty during the Toronto civic workers strike, beat homeless man Brian DuBourdieu when he attempted to access a shelter in Toronto. Here from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) is what they intend to do tomorrow, July 20. If you live in the Toronto area try and show up to lend support.
Monday: Come Speak Out Against The Seaton House Beating‏:
Seaton House refused to release Brian DuBourdieu's incident report.
We are giving Seaton House July 20th to produce it.
Join us:
Monday, July 20th
Seaton House
339 George Street(east of Jarvis Street, south of Gerrard Street)
We will go back to Seaton House on the 20th and demand Brian get his incident report. We will continue to demand that charges be laid against the managers that assaulted Brian, that his missing property be returned and that an apology and restitution are given.
About 50 people, including Seaton House residents, CUPE picketers and supporters gathered to condemn city management who attacked Brian DuBourdieu. Towards the end of the press conference, Brian and OCAP member Gaetan Heroux went into Seaton House to get his incident report, a form that he has a right to have for a number of reasons, including to appeal his bar from the shelter.
City management, who are staffing the shelter because of the CUPE strike, refused to give Brian the report. They told him to file a freedom of information request(holy sweet Jesus, Freedom of Information requests are the privilege in our society of those who have both thousands of dollars to spend in legal fees and the patience to wait two years for whatever may come. this sort of thing is actually rarely used by news reporters, with all their backing, let alone homeless people and their cash strapped supporters. It looks good on paper but the reality of such laws is very far from the high sounding rhetoric of the law-Molly ) something the city doesn't even have to reply to for six weeks. The refusal of an incident report was unheard of by the people attending the press conference, including social services workers with years of experience with the shelter system.
Brian asked for something to eat and was told all that they had was a peanut butter sandwich (to which Brian has a serious allergy). The city manager then threw the sandwich at Brian. Upset, Brian threw the sandwich back and kicked a door (causing no damage). Five city managers then tackled him to the ground and three of them held him down while the other two kicked his legs repeatedly.
Two weeks after the beating, Brian's doctors could not tell him if he needs surgery because his leg is still too swollen to properly assess it.
Molly Note:
It sounds to me like Toronto city management are taking out their frustrations about actually having to work for a living on whomever comes into their sights. To say the least if city cops had done this there would have been a police inquiry under this or that piece of legislation. I guess that the managers who had been assigned the graveyard shift at the shelter that night thought that they could punch and kick their way through it without calling the cops. Well yeah...they could because they outnumbered the victim. The result, however, is such that there may have been serious injuries from their actions. Too bad the cops weren't called (or maybe the omission was deliberate) because the first question that shows up in the local papers about almost any assault is "whether alcohol was involved". One wonders. one wonders. One wonders. What exactly happens on the boneyard shift when it is manned by those who are unfamiliar with actually working.

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