On Sunday June 15, 2003 anti-poverty activists and community members took over an empty building owned by the city of Peterborough. Approximately 30 squatters are currently staying in the house – located at 1130 Water Street – and demands to the city have been released.

Anti-Poverty Activists Squat City Building in Peterborough, Ontario

Sunday June 15, 2003

(Peterborough) – On Sunday June 15, 2003 community members took over an empty building as part of the Peterborough Coalition Against Poverty’s second action in its “Give it or Guard it” Housing Campaign and Squatting tour. The summer-long campaign tours unused buildings in the city that could be used for affordable housing.

The squatted house is located at 1130 Water St. and is officially owned by the City of Peterborough. As far as PCAP knows, the house has been sitting empty and unused for approximately a year. One city worker told a PCAP member that the City is attempting to buy up all the houses along the river with the intent relocating or demolishing the buildings in an effort to create a green space. However, the same city worker told PCAP that this could take “forever.”

Approximately 30 people are staying the night at the squat. Water and electricity are running in the squat and a kitchen is being organized. This afternoon squatters cleaned up the front yard cutting the grass and decorating the house. Some furniture has already been brought to the squat and other house plans are underway.

Currently, the police have not visited the squat.

On Monday, June 16, 2003, squatters and supporters will be rallying outside the city hall and attending the city council meeting at 7pm to demand that the city address the housing crisis in Peterborough. Among the demands are:

1) Turn over the house at 1130 Water St. to the squatters to be self-managed as cooperative housing; 2) Pay for all renovation and repair to the house; 3) Create a City-financed support fund to assist residents of Peterborough whose hydro has been or will be cut off because they can not afford to pay the bill; 4) Undertake a city-wide inspection and repair blitz: Inspect and order repairs on all unsafe and substandard housing in the City. 5) Grant legal amnesty to all squatters at 1130 Water St.;

PCAP and the squatters are also hosting a housewarming potluck prior to the city council meeting.

To show your support for the squat, leave messages on the PCAP machine: (705)-749-9694 , send mail to : PCAP SQUAT, 1130 Water Street, Peterborough ON K9H 3P6 or contact the mayor at: (705) 742-7777 ext. 1870, [1]mayor [at] city [dot] peterborough [dot] on [dot] ca

Other Ways to Support The SQUAT…

We need:

Ø Letters to the city supporting our demands

Ø Letters to the paper supporting the squat

Ø Food and Water

Ø Building supplies

Ø Cleaning supplies

Ø Financial donations

Ø Anything else it takes to make a home

Ø Friendly faces and visits to the squat to show support

The Peterborough Coalition Against Poverty (PCAP) is a group dedicated to political struggle against an economic system that maintains and profits from the inequality, indignity and needless suffering of poverty. PCAP organizes actions to support and protect low income persons or groups who are being oppressed.

Office Location: #17-393 Water St. at Hunter St., Peterborough,
Ontario, K9H 3L7
Phone Number: 705-749-9694

by Common Front – Tent City Allies
Saturday, June 14, 2003

Nearly 30 people demonstrated in Barrie this Saturday in response to a critical shortage of affordable housing in this city. The action was a response to the impending eviction of Barrie’s Tent City, an eviction immediately resulting from municipal government policy. However, the organizers of and participants in the demonstration were clear in pointing out the principal root of Barrie’s homelessness crisis: the Tory government of Ontario’s ongoing war on workers, tenants and homeless people across this province.

Barrie’s Tent City has existed since early June, having been created in response to the closure of the Family Life Community Centre. When this downtown shelter was closed, some of its former inhabitants decided they had had enough. They decided to stick together, pitching up some tents in order to create some shelter for themselves. After being evicted from one location, they have found a downtown piece of land that is going unused, and whose owner has no problem with their presence. A functioning and dignified community has developed around the shelter offered by tents and tarps.

Unfortunately, the City of Barrie is moving towards marking its 150th anniversary by putting the impressions of tourists and shoppers above these people’s basic needs and rights. The custodians of Barrie’s business climate are framing Tent City as a downtown ‘eyesore’, dismissing the stand its residents are taking as a mere nuisance. And the municipal government, citing zoning violations, is threatening the owner of the property with a fine of up to $20,000 for Tent City’s existence if the community isn’t removed by June 18.

Saturday’s demonstration moved from Tent City up to City Hall, demanding that the threat of the fine be removed, and that Tent City be allowed to remain as it presently exists (unless an alternative piece of land is provided for the community’s relocation). On the way, we stopped off at local Tory MPP Joe Tascona’s office, where different speakers stressed the need to build a campaign to oust the Tories and repair the damage they have inflicted on this province.

We will continue to resist the attacks that poor and homeless people are facing in this city. Homeless people and their allies are no longer content to take these attacks lying down. Certainly, the eviction threatening Tent City merely heightens the need to intensify our resistance.

In solidarity,
Common Front:
Tent City Allies

Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario
Campaign for Housing

On May 25th, at 6am the People’s Squat on the corner of Benton and Charles was brutally raided by police tactical unit. The raid took the squatters by surprise, because the cops had promised the youth that liberated this place that they could keep it for twenty-four hours. Some youth were roughed up and had guns put against their heads. All of them were dragged out, loaded into wagons, and taken to Division 1 where they were photographed and given trespass tickets. A few received criminal charges and court dates.

On June 21st, the people of KW will reaffirm their right to housing and their right to be free from police repression. We will re-liberate the People’s Squat and once again shut down the main arteries of traffic – intensifying the struggle for our demands listed above. The KW Youth Collective is calling on all people to come and support the re-liberation of the People’s Squat and stand with the Youth in their demand for housing. Victory belongs to the people!!!!!!!


1. mailto:mayor [at] city [dot] peterborough [dot] on [dot] ca

sedition [at] ziplip [dot] com