RISE UP! News & Events Newsletters – Toronto area

May Day is just around the corner, and so is the 10th annual May Day of Action (#10), as well as a few other events (11, 12). And of course don’t forget the 30th annual Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts.


I told you in February about an event called True Stories Told Live that I was going to read at – however I got sick and couldn’t participate that time. Join me and host Marsha Shandur, along with a great group of story tellers at the April event on the 28th at the Garrison (#8). Funds raised will benefit Groundswell.

Other events on the horizon include the annual Mother’s Day Stop Shock Now event (#14), and the Raise the Rates Week of Action (#15).

And I imagine you know that the Toronto Police Services Board and outgoing police chief Bill Blair have refused to end the racist practice of police randomly stopping black and brown youth, along with many others, to collect information on them, their friends and their families. See #18 for some of the community response. Stay tuned for more news about plans for the fight back to this harassment and criminalization.

To subscribe/unsubscribe or to post an event – please send me a message to awillats@sympatico.ca. And if you are sending info about an event, please remember to indicate whether it is wheelchair accessible (including the bathrooms) or not, and if other provisions have been made to ensure equitable access for all (ie. ASL interpretation, sliding scale/free entry, child friendly, multilingual access, etc.).

In solidarity,

1. Public Meeting

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 5:30 pm
Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre
439 Dundas Street East, Toronto, Ontario M5A 2B1

Join the conversation about the impact of Bill C-10 and Bill C-51 on Indigenous people & allies!

Bill C-10, the “Tackling ‘Contraband’ Tobacco Act,” criminalizes the First Nations tobacco industry.

Bill C-51, the “Anti-‘terrorism’ Act,” raises serious concerns about government surveillance of Indigenous activists and environmentalist allies
Leading the discussion:

– Michael Cheena (Toronto grassroots Native community)
– Michael McClurg (Olthius Kleer Townshend LLP)
– Mike Leitold (Anti-Colonial Committee of the Law Union of Ontario)

Come learn, weigh in, make connections – and eat snacks!

2. KEEP THE TTC PUBLIC – Say NO to public-private partnerships

TTC Chair Josh Colle has so little faith in the TTC’s handling of the Spadina Subway Extension, he thinks public-private partnerships (P3s) are the way to build future infrastructure projects like the Scarborough Subway. We don’t think so.

TAKE ACTION: Sign our petition to Keep the TTC Public.

Public-private partnerships don’t protect the public from cost overruns and delays. A recent report by Provincial Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk, shows Ontarians lost $8B in cost overruns on projects that were built using P3s.

Most of the delays to the Spadina Subway Extension, such as a fatal worksite accident, severe cold weather and delays in provincial funding, were not the fault of TTC project managers. All things considered, the TTC has done remarkably well under the current austerity agenda.

Read TTCriders co-chair Brenda Thompson’s recent NOW article called “Spadina Subway Shakedown” for more information.

Awarding contracts for subways to a select group of global corporations is not the answer. Building our capacity to oversee big infrastructure projects and making sure the work goes to local contractors who submit quality bids, will do a lot more to “improve project delivery”.

Councillor Colle’s agenda item on public private partnership is called EX5.6 :”options for improved project delivery, including a spectrum of procurement strategies known as Alternative Financing and Procurement and/or Public-Private-Partnerships.” This agenda item will be the subject of a report to be presented at the next Executive Committee meeting on April 22nd.

Come out and tell our elected officials to vote against public-private-partnerships once and for all. The Executive Committee meeting is at 9:30 a.m. on April 22nd at City Hall, 100 Queen Street East.

Can’t make it to the meeting? Send an email: exc@toronto.ca or call 416-392-4666. Make reference to agenda item EX5.6 Scarborough Subway Project Delivery Options.

For more information contact Brenda scarboroughtransitaction@gmail.com.

3. Toronto Socialist Action Presents a Public Forum:


Fighting Austerity From the York University Strike to Quebec Mass Protests, and Beyond

When: Thursday, April 23. 7 pm
Where: OISE, Room 5-280
252 Bloor St. West (TTC: St. George)

Yasin Kaya – Secretary of CUPE 3903, Socialist Action (LAS)
Alain Savard – Front D’Action Socialiste, CUPE 3903
Christian Pepin – Ecosocialist Network, Quebec Solidaire, CUPE 3903

Students & Workers United!

Everyone welcome. $4 donation requested

4. friends / colleagues / comrades

#activistGROOVE returns to the Tranzac Club!


the special interest group appears LIVE next Thursday night.
to launch our new residency in the Tranzac’s Southern Cross Lounge. We’ll be there on the third Thursday of the month.

292 Brunswick Avenue (just south of Bloor)

Rakesh is on the road, so special guest Aaron Knight will be joining us on drums – along with regulars Ian de Souza (bass), Jim Bish (sax/flute/vocals), Rebecca Campbell (vocals/guitar/accordion) & Kevin Barrett (guitar/vocals).

Another rocking’ night of #activistGROOVE

Hope to see you there!

5. 4 More Years of Austerity?: Beyond Stop Harper – Dominion Special Issue Call for Pitches

24 April at 5:00 pm to 30 June at 8:00 pm

Dear Contributors, allies and friends

The membership has spoken and the 2015 Special Issue will be:
4 More Years of Austerity?: Beyond Stop Harper

We want your help writing articles on this topic in the Spring 2015 issue of The Dominion.

The-DominionVoting levels are trending downwards and faith in public institutions continues to plummet, yet we are also seeing vibrant and diverse responses to austerity measures in communities all across Canada. This special issue will focus on what are we doing or what we can do to change a system that results in corporate needs taking precedence over human ones, imperial wars for profit, the continued devastation of the environment and sinking quality of life.

From students in Quebec confronting austerity head-on to citizens across Canada mobilizing against Bill C-51 people are banding together to resist austerity.

We want you to tell our readers their stories.

If you’re interested in writing for us, you can submit your pitch here. We will be paying for a number of stories, and can also offer in-kind payments like subscriptions and online advertising. Accepted articles will be published at mediacoop.ca, and most will also be featured in the upcoming issue of The Dominion.

Deadline for Pitches Friday April 24 5pm

Our readers are from all across Canada and like stories of national interest, including those about Canada’s role in international affairs. If your idea is an international story, tell us what the Canadian angle will be. If the story focuses on a particular city or region of Canada, tell us why it’s of interest to a national audience. Priority will be given to articles that are evergreen and will be of long-term interest and value to our readers. Bear in mind pieces go through several weeks of editing before publication.

Pitches are welcome from anyone, with priority for payment going to our contributor members (those who have previously contributed to The Dominion or the co-op. Contact us for more info about membership).

Please read over past content to get an idea of what we publish. It’s also a good idea to make sure you’re not covering a topic we’ve recently covered, unless there is a new angle or update. Consider what other media has covered the topic you are pitching and from what perspective. Be sure your pitch is news-focused, rather than opinion or academic. We like both of those forms, but they’re not what we publish. Think about your sources and interviewees—this is something we consider seriously when reviewing pitches.

We have a fairly extensive editorial process, with two editors assigned to each piece, plus fact-checking and copy editing. Please only pitch to us if you are open and available to work with us through this process.

Know someone who should be getting this email? Please pass it along!

Our best source of new voices is you, so if you know of somebody who is doing great work and has a story to tell click at the bottom to forward this by email, or send them this link: **http://mad.ly/signups/83345/join.*

Deadline for pitches for Spring 2015 Special Issue: Friday April 24th 5pm

How to pitch:

▪ Set up a Media Co-op account (if you don’t already have one) here.
▪ New to journalism? No problem. Check out our writer’s guide for more information about writing for The Dominion.
▪ Peruse the Media Co-op discussion page for story ideas.
▪ And finally, pitch!

The deal:

Pitches should be less than 200 words and include your planned sources and research. An entire story submitted as a pitch will not be considered for payment. The Media Co-op currently pays a flat rate of $100 for accepted stories. Articles are either 720 or 1500 words. We will select one longer article for 400$.

Editors reserve the right to suggest changes and edit stories (with your participation, of course!) Pitches should capture the content, tone and style of the story you plan to submit; if the content submitted differs significantly from the pitch, editors reserve the right to withhold payment. We accept pitches at any time, so if these deadlines don’t work for you, please consider contributing at a later date.

We look forward to your story proposals!

The Media Co-op Editorial Collective

6. Unite Against Austerity – Public Forum

April 25, 2pm
United Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street

All around the world – from Quebec to Greece to Chile to South Africa – tens of thousands of people are rising up against austerity.

It’s time for the rest of us to rise up too!


• Crystal Sinclair, Idle No More Toronto
• John Clarke, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP)
• Jennie Miller, Vice Chair, Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) Greater Toronto Area Council
• Chris Ramsaroop, Justicia for Migrant Workers
• Moderated by Karen Cocq, Campaign to Raise the Mimimum Wage


Governments and corporate media say there is not enough money and belts must be tightened. But we know there is lots of money – it’s just concentrated in a few hands at the top.

More information: Facebook event page.


The first six items of twenty-two (It would the post too long to list them all — maybe more tomorrow)