Guide to G20 Toronto Protest Groups

The G20 summit is underway, and so are the protests. As the summit as progressed, the protests have become larger and more energized. Below is brief summary of some of the groups that have been and will be protesting in Toronto at the G20 summit:

Toronto Community Mobilization
Network

The network is a collection of Toronto-based organizers and allies that will use the fleeting moment of the G8/G20 meetings in Toronto in June 2010 in Ontario to come together and share the work that they do. They are working to build a movement for Indigenous Sovereignty and Self-Determination, Environmental and Climate Justice, Migrant Justice and an End to War and Occupation, Income Equity and Community Control over Resources, Gender Justice and Queer and Disability rights.*


No One Is Illegal

This is a grassroots anti-colonial migrant justice group across Canada with members primarily of racialized/immigrant backgrounds. Their goal is to fight to create a world free of the many fences and borders that divide individuals, and to create communities that can live with justice and dignity.*


Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

OCAP is a direct-action anti-poverty organization based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They mount campaigns against regressive government policies as they affect poor and working people. In addition, they provide direct-action advocacy for individuals against welfare and ODSP, public housing and others who deny poor people what they are entitled to.*

*These details have been obtained from each group’s respective website. In addition, the Toronto Star provided an informative summary of other protest groups, as follows.

The South Asian Women’s Rights Organization

“The main reason we are taking part in the G20 is to show how the childcare issue has pushed women into a marginalized situation,” said Sultana Jahangir, the executive director of SAWRO, a grassroots Scarborough group.In the absence of a universal childcare program, Jahangir said, poor immigrant women are unable to go to work to support their families or to participate in civic or social life. “The government doesn’t want to take the responsibility to resolve the problem, so the responsibility is coming on us,” she said. “The G20 leaders need to know what is going on.”


Southern Ontario Anarchist Resistance (SOAR)

SOAR opposes capitalism, environmental destruction, police “repression” of the marginalized, and, in general, “the capitalist, colonial, racist, patriarchal, homophobic, transphobic Canadian state,” which the group calls illegitimate. “We reject it completely,” it said in a May online bulletin, “and want to remove the state and capitalism entirely from this land, along with all the other G20 regimes.”


Ontario Federation of Labour

The OFL, a labour umbrella body organizing the large June 26 “People First!” rally and march with the Canadian Labour Congress, wants the Canadian government to develop a plan to replace the tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs eliminated during the recession. In addition, it is asking G20 leaders to resist calls to implement belt-tightening measures, particularly cuts to public sector spending, while workers continue to suffer.


Jane-Finch Action Against Poverty

The group opposes “over-policing” and “police brutality,” said member Sabrina Gopaul. It also challenges the decisions to spend hundreds of millions on summit security and to pour money into everyday policing while social programs serving the vulnerable are being starved or cut.


Disability Action Movement Now (DAMN) 2025

DAMN, led by a core team of 10 members with various disabilities, wants the Canadian government to increase its investment in both accessible transportation and in social assistance; the disabled, said DAMN organizer Ayshia Musleh, are disproportionately represented in society’s most marginalized groups, such as the poor, the imprisoned and the undereducated.


Oxfam Canada

The organization wants the G20 to make “some really solid commitments to funding around climate change mitigation,” to honour prior commitments related to the Millennium Development Goals, and to ensure that the summit’s maternal and child health initiative contains new funding and is not “robbing Peter to pay Paul,” said spokesperson Karen Palmer.


Micah Challenge Canada

Like Make Poverty History, of which it is a part, the evangelical organizations and churches that are part of the Micah Challenge want Canada to help the world reach the Millennium Development Goals. For them, however, Christian teachings on justice, mercy and humility are the fundamental motivator.


Fire.Works.For.Prisons

The anarchist group seeks to “confront the prison apparatus,” according to a publicity poster. To Fire.Works.For.Prisons, that apparatus includes not just actual penitentiaries. Organizers, who declined a request for comment, believe “prison is everywhere,” having “permeated every facet of society.”


People’s Assembly on Climate Justice

A group of environmental activists will hold a People’s Assembly on Climate Justice on June 23 at Ryerson University to allow participants to discuss homegrown solutions to the problem of climate change. “The Canadian government has failed to take this issue seriously, so we want to implement our own solutions, but at the same time continue to pressure the government,” said organizer Kimia Ghomeshi of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition.

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