Canada, Ottawa, CLAC Radio – Take the Capital!


  Canada, Ottawa, CLAC Radio – Take the Capital!


A look at two days of action against the G8 in Ottawa on June 26 & 27 2002 This program features the Take the Capital! days of action in Ottawa which took place on June 26 & 27. The program highlights the squat action which took place on June 26th during the massive snake march which shut down Ottawa city center. The program features Dan Sawyer an activist involved with Anti-Capitalist Community Action an Ottawa based organization which had a leading role in planning and maintaining the ³7 Year Squat!² in Ottawa. The squat update was recorded during the day on July 2nd the day before the riot police came and violently evicted those people who had begun to make the ³7 Year Squat² their home.

The program also features an interview with Stefanie from OCAP (the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty) who speaks about the days of action in Ottawa on June 27th ³No One is Illegal!². The interview also goes into some detail about the immigration casework which OCAP has been involved in for some time as they have been active in defending the right of those who have been dubbed ³illegal² by the government of Canada.

– -> CLAC Radio¹s program on Take the Capital! can be heard at:

– -> Previous CLAC radio programs can be accessed at:


– ———— “Take the Capital!” June 26-27, Ottawa “Prenons le Capital! Prenons la Capitale!” 26-27 juin, Ottawa

this is the g8-ottawa-org

stefan christoff <christoff [at] dojo [dot] tao [dot] ca>


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Canada, Ottawa, Legal Update


  Canada, Ottawa, Legal Update


Legal Update – Squatters face harsh charges and conditions A news update just came in from our overworked legal team. They are doing an excellent job on little sleep and low staffing!

As far as we know 22 people have been arrested. The legal team has been given the royal run around by the police at the station on Elgin Street where detainees are being held. They have not been able to obtain a straight answer on the number of prisoners, nor have detainees been able to meet with their counsel beyond an initial brief encounter.

One detainee has been released. She has been released into conditions of house arrest. She has been given a very strict curfew until her hearing begins. She is also not allowed to go within 500 metres of the squat property. The charges faced by our brave squatter are: 3 counts of mischief over $5000.00, break and enter and obstruct police. This is interesting as it is my understanding that this woman was not even arrested on the squat property, but on the road in front. This released squatter was one of the initial detained.

Further news from the inside is that the other detainees are refusing the conditions and trying to go for bail instead. On the inside it seems the living conditions are very bad. The detainees do not have access to potable water. Instead they have access to a fountain covered in vomit and faecal matter. They are being held in very cold conditions with no blankets. Also, there is no toilet paper and substandard food.

This update is based on second person reporting.

You can call the cell block at Elgin Street at 613-236-1222.

More later.



(see for further and background info on the squat)

Darren <darrenp [at] riseup [dot] net>



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Canada, Ottawa, 7 Year Squat Evicted by Riot Police


  Canada, Ottawa, 7 Year Squat Evicted by Riot Police


Cops evict occupants at 246 Gilmore, it is once again abandoned See photos of eviction @ an week of community building, renovating, and landscaping, the police this morning carried out an elaborate spectacle to evict squatters at 246 Gilmore in Ottawa.

At around 2am Wednesday morning, police vans were accumulating. OC Transpo (transit) buses dropped off hundreds of cops to secure the surrounding area stretching several blocks.

Some were in riot-gear, others were in friendly dark-blue. They were equipped with tear gas, pepper spray, dogs, guns, machine guns, at least four fire trucks, a command station, and a back-up command station.

Cops proceeded to ask the occupants to leave, after which they declared the entire block a crime scene. Anyone who refused to leave would be arrested for interference with a police operation. This included the private property across the street belonging to PSAC. Legal observers, and media (independent, public, and corporate) had been given permission by PSAC to use this property to observe from. Cops cleared all witnesses to be out of sight of the house, including front, back and side.

The first to be arrested were the organizers. They were carried-off in a city bus marked “Special”. The entire operation lasted well into morning rush hour. Fire truck ladders were used smash through barricaded top floor windows, through which riot cops entered, and brought out the arrested occupants.

It is unknown why the operation took over six hours. The house had about 12 occupants, all passive and unarmed. One of the arrested walking hand-cuffed down the ladder shouted “they (the police) beat us up!” Another shouted “We will never forget this day!” Most of the arrested showed signs of being pepper-sprayed, and some appeared to be brutalized.

Observers, media, and supporters gathered on Metcalfe street to watch the ugly spectacle. Supporters tried to converse with police, but the cops remained smugly silent. Despite repeated requests for information form media and legal observers, police refused to release any information.

City councilors were notified, including the mayor who was called at around 2am and 4am.

The abandoned house was reclaimed by the community during the anti-G8 Take the Capital demonstrations. The property was brought back to life by the occupants, along with the wider supportive community created over the short period of one week.

Meetings were held regularly to make decisions amongst the residents, based on consensus minus one. Improvements included painting, repairs to infrastructure and plumbing, a vegetable garden, and much cleaning. Plans included providing free space for public meetings, something which is scarce in Ottawa.

Donations of food, supplies, and art was contributed by the community in Ottawa. The Ottawa Police even donated a bag of hacky-sacks! Many curious passer-by’s were informed on the issues, with literature hand-outs, as well as conversations.

Now, the house looks like a war-zone. What was once a thriving community space has been reduced to what it was one week ago, an abandoned mess waiting to be torn down. The dreams of the occupants have been shattered, and hopes for a community space have been trampled on.

Ottawa Actions Against the G8
June 26-27, 2002
takethecapital [at] tao [dot] ca

Take the Capital! <takethecapital [at] tao [dot] ca>



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Ottawa: 7-Year Squat update


  Ottawa: 7-Year Squat update


Late Friday afternoon I was in the Indymedia Centre preparing to leave Ottawa for Montreal when we got word that the 7-Year Squat at 246 Gilmour street was threatened by a police raid. We hurriedly grabbed all the cameras, batteries, and tape that we could lay hands on and headed over to the squat about 4 blocks away.

Since Friday, we have been providing a 24-hour media presence at the squat. The landlord showed up with a non-uniformed police escort to inform the squatters that they were not welcome on his property, then left the golf-shirted police to speak further with the squatters. 5 seconds later, two police cars and a fire truck with a lift basket screeched to a halt down the block in a show of force. Footage of this incident can be found at

Police drive-bys have been fairly constant, but there had been little in the way of direct intimidation when I left on Saturday afternoon. A few drunks next door to the squat provided a little excitement by pulling the fire alarm in their apartment building in the wee hours of Saturday morning but this had nothing to do with the squat, as I informed the cops who later showed up to park around the corner and skulk around in the shadows. They left after I assured one of the officers that her hair looked just fantastic on camera.

The squat is still in fine shape as of Sunday, June 30 at 2:26 pm EST.

Video of Friday’s press conference part 1- part 2 – part 3 – (this includes footage of a local resident showing up with gifts for the squat).

Audio interview w/ squatters, 1 am Saturday morning

Video interview with a squat organizer – as you can see, the place looks quite good inside after the clean-up the squatters have done.

The squat currently has the capability of providing live cell-phone broadcasts to the web, stay tuned to Ottawa Indymedia for more info on that. Video footage of this action is being posted to Ontario IMC to lighten the load on the Ottawa server. More video will be made available as we can digitize it.

David Hrycyszyn <dave [at] blumedia [dot] co [dot] uk>



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Ottawa : more infos on the squat action


  Ottawa : more infos on the squat action


For more information and follow-ups on the “squat against the G8” action in Ottawa, please visit

Here’s some useful information (photos, sounds, texts). More is to come :
About 70 people were stading in front of a squatted house on Gilmore, between Metcalfe and O’Connor.
Pictures of the house
George from OCAP talks about the Ottawa squat action and plans for an upcoming squat in Toronto. Recorded in Ottawa, June 26th, 2002 at 4pm. 2:00a
Stefan Christoff from the CLAC talks about the J26 snake march and squat action. Recorded in Ottawa on June 26th, 2002 at 4pm. 3:08.
Pictures From Snake March and Squat June 26
from the Ottawa Squat against the G-8 in Ottawa
A squat has been opened in an unoccupied building at 246 Gilmour street in Downtown Ottawa, resisting the housing crisis and drawing the links between this crisis and the G8.
Thousands of rain-soaked demonstrators crowded in front of an abandoned house in front of the headquarters of the Public Service Alliance of Canada at 233 Gilmour Street and briefly occupied it.
Seven Year Squat is Open! autonomous direct action opens up squat for Take the Capital!




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Ottawa : squat against the G8 !


  Ottawa : squat against the G8 !


We are occupying this building because it is a battleground in the war against the poor in Ottawa, a war by governments and corporations based on privatisation, market expansion and profit. While 15,000 people use Ottawa?s overcrowded shelter system, our federal and provincial governments ? following marching orders from the IMF, World Bank and G8 ? allow landlords, developers and realty companies to evict and brutalize the tenants and residents of our city.

This boarded-up house at 246 Gilmour St. is local evidence of the coldness and brutality of capitalism. It has sat unoccupied (officially) for 7 years. Now the city has ordered it torn down so the landlord is selling it. This kind of neglect is criminal, when thousands are homeless, while rents skyrocket and while the waiting list for social housing in Ottawa is 7 years long. This is also the disgusting reality of capitalism.

This house is not new to squatting. Many street folks have done so in the past. When they do they are harassed and brutalized by police during regular sweeps. We squat in solidarity with people living on the street. The police defend private abandoned property against people in need of a place to rest for the benefit of rich absentee landlords. We occupy this space to oppose the agenda of the G8 and neoliberalism and to assert our rights to affordable and adequate housing.

The 7 year wait has ended. The occupation of 246 Gilmour St. has begun!


Because we’re tired of waiting! The housing crisis in Ottawa needs immediate attention. People in this city need housing while buildings sit abandoned or get demolished. It has got to stop.

This squat is one of many; we will continue to take direct action as long as people are without shelter and liveable space.

We demand government provide housing for all – or get out of our way so we can provide it for ourselves!


Rising rent, dwindling vacancies…

It is impossible to find an affordable, well-maintained apartment in Ottawa. In fact, in the year 2000 our vacancy rate was the worst in Canada: a measly 0.2%. Our bloodthirsty landlords responded predictably by harassing and evicting tenants to achieve a staggering average rent increase of 12% (also the highest in Canada).

Where does this leave us?

Homeless families required 71% more shelter bed nights from January to June in 2001 than during the same period in 2000. As a consequence, the number of households on the social housing waiting list grew to 15,000 in 1998, doubling in only five years. This doesn?t even account for 25,000 people who enquired but were too discouraged to apply. Families must now wait 7 years to have their needs addressed.

How did this happen?

Chretien’s Liberals stopped funding the development of new affordable housing in 1993. The provincial government followed suit three years later.

Then came the provincial Tories’ absurd Tenant ?Protection? Act:
· vacancy decontrol: no limit on rent charged to new tenants
· “fast-track” eviction: 5 calendar days
· rent increases up to 4%
· right to refuse to lease based on income

At the municipal level,an “Action Ottawa”plan was introduced in February of this year.It pledges to create -hold your breath – 250 units of ?affordable?housing. Three timesas many rental units were taken off the market each year between 1996 and 1998! Not to mention the 130 homes being bulldozed at Rockcliffe CFB this summer.

Destruction in Rockcliffe

This summer the federal government will bulldoze the homes of families living in Ottawa?s east end, demolishing an entire neighborhood for no reason.

Several years ago, the Department of National Defense (DND) allowed the city of Ottawa to house 50 families at CFB Rockliffe in former officer?s quarters. As these families moved on to other things, the city was not permitted to replace them. Now only 8 families remain, living in a neighborhood of 130 other empty homes.

These families are being evicted despite the fact the federal government has no plans to use the land. And the DND is demolishing the rest of the homes.

Fosiya Maful, who lives on the base with her husband and six children, recently told the Citizen, “I don’t know where we’ll go. Back to the shelter, maybe.” Why are these families being evicted when there are no plans for the land? Why is an entire neighborhood being demolished while 1000?s in Ottawa remain homeless or marginally housed?

In a city in the midst of a housing crisis, the bulldozing of a neighborhood and eviction of its residents by the federal government is an unforgivable crime.

We demand that the following steps be taken by federal, provincial and municipal governments to address Ottawa?s housing crisis:

· Enact a “use-it-or-lose-it” by-law declaring that buildings vacant for over one year be converted into social housing
· Stop the harrassment of homeless people and panhandlers by Ottawa police
· Halt the eviction of residents and demolition of houses and convert CFB Rockcliffe into social housing
· Reinstate rent control
· Commence the building of 2000 units of social housing each year in Ontario
· Replace the Tenant ?Protection? Act with legislation that actually protects tenants
· Recognize that Ottawa is unceded territory and honour Algonquin land claims




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