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Parkdale Organize declares WAR on Mayor Tory and Landlords

July 28, 2020
Toronto

Today, tenants from Parkdale Organize and People’s Defence held a press conference in front of Mayor John Tory’s Condo in Toronto. This was to address the evictions that low-income tenants are to face come August. Bill 184, a recently passed law, will lead to mass evictions, and a significant increase in Toronto’s homeless population.

Despite this fact, and multiple requests from affected tenants, John Tory has stood firm on his decision not to use his emergency powers.

As a result, two community groups – Parkdale Organize and People’s Defence – have declared war on Toronto Mayor John Tory, and any landlord that chooses to evict tenants come August 1.

Parkdale Organize and People’s Defence are willing to stand between the Sheriff and any tenant facing eviction. This is through their support of the creation of tenant networks in different buildings across Toronto. By organizing tenants, and informing them of their rights, these organizations essentially train tenants to push back against shady landlords.

Parkdale Organize History of Rent Strikes

Parkdale Organize has a history of successful direct actions against landlords. In 2017, it launched a successful rent strike, which set the example for the rest of the city. The rent strike succeeded because it involved 100s of leaseholders in multiple MetCap buildings. As a result of the rent strike, the tenants received:

A substantial reduction in the above guideline rent increases at each building
A program of additional rent relief for tenants in financial hardship
A program of maintenance and repair work in each building

Source: http://parkdaleorganize.ca/2017/08/03/parkdale-rent-strike-ends-in-victory/
Cole Webber – community legal worker with Parkdale Organize on CP24 in 2017

In 2018, Parkdale Organize launched another successful rent strike against a building on King Street West in Toronto. This succeeded in getting the landlord to drop that rent increase.

Parkdale Organize has enjoyed increased membership since then, and has continue to develop its offensive capabilities. It has grown in its ability to swiftly attack and intimidate bad landlords and corrupt city officials.

Recently, the group protested in front of the mansions of George Grossman and Daniel Drimmer. These were the CEOs of major property firms that had drawn the ire of the group.

Tactics like this show that Parkdale Organize is a force to be reckoned with, and won’t take anything off the table when it comes to seeking justice for victimized tenants.

People’s Defence Toronto

People’s Defence Toronto is a lesser known group. According to its Facebook page, it appears to be similar to Parkdale Organize.

Organization of poor and working people in the GTA fighting to build political power for our class block by block, building by building, through mutual aid projects and campaigns of collective struggle against our exploiters & oppressors.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/PeoplesDefenceTO/

People’s Defence Toronto helped organize the protest at the Mayor’s condo on July 7, 2020. Which ended up with the Mayor calling the police on protesters. Some of them ended up getting wounded by police.

Clash with police in front of Mayor John Tory’s home. With 1000s of tenants on the verge of being evicted in the city,…

Posted by People's Defence Toronto on Monday, July 6, 2020

Surprisingly, both the Mayor and the mainstream media have remained silent on today’s events.

However, considering the track record of Parkdale Organize, and its growing public support, any effort to mass evict tenants in Toronto will likely be met with serious blowback. Unlike anything the city or landlords have seen before.

Mayor Tory must carefully weigh his options when dealing with these 2 groups, lest this turn this into an all out battle.

Article by: Mark Slapinski

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