Repression and Dissent: The OCAP Trials

By Palmer, Bryan D. | Canadian Dimension, May-June 2003 | Go to article overview

Repression and Dissent: The OCAP Trials


Palmer, Bryan D., Canadian Dimension


The current moment, as all on the Left are surely aware, is one of repression. Since the mid-1970s a campaign of economic restructuring and reactionary political initiatives has eroded the strengths of trade unions, demobilized organizations of dissent, undercut the modest social-safety net that afforded the poor and the marginal some fig leaves of protection and, in general, created an ideological climate at odds with human needs.

Since 9-11 the civil rights of minorities have suffered body blow after body blow Racism has been unleashed in new and virulent forms, and imperialist aggression has been given unprecedented licence. The world's sole hegemonic, capitalist power is allowed its romp through global resources in a form as naked as that of any previous historical period. Targeting Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the name of a war against terrorism, Bush, Blair and their nefarious "coalition of the willing" have assumed the ugly countenance of a truly global, bourgeois terror.

With this terror now dominating the skyways from Missouri to Mossoul, its deforming clout raining down on Baghdad, clogging T.V. channels with its "embedded" journalistic propaganda, it is not surprising that, as the large state leads, so smaller and more local governance will follow a similar course. For years we have been witnessing the coercive politics of various unnamed coalitions of the willing. In Ontario the police forces, the attorney general's office and the Mike Harris/Ernie Eves roadshow of repression have declared war on teachers' unions and the educational system, urban youth of colour and protesters of all races and ages, from Native activists like Dudley George, shot by an officer during a confrontation near Ipperwash, to Anti-Racist Action campaigners, Days of Action picketers and Black Bloc antagonists of the World Trade Organization.

But the movement that has most provoked the ultimate wrath of this law-and-disorder cell is the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty OCAP has been a staunch advocate of the poor and the homeless. It opposes evictions and deportations, monitors police mistreatment of street people and sex-trade workers, and counsels those who find themselves before the courts, Against the Harris government's program of retrenchment and the dismantling of various social programs, OCAP was a most vigorous opponent, its day-to-day activities punctuated by forceful public rallies. OCAP's June 15, 2000 protest at the Ontario Legislature drew 1,500 marchers. A police riot ensued, in which mounted cops charged the crowd, isolating demonstrators, who were then circled by police, who proceeded to kick, punch and baton-beat dozens of prostrate protesters. As this frenzied violence proceeded, the crowd fought back with weapons that came to hand, including the broken bricks of walkways. Arrests followed the melee, and dozens of charges were laid; a number of impoverished homeless people have served jail sentences up to seven months in duration.

Well after the June 15, 2000 protest, the repressive assault on OCAP continued. During the campaign of "economic disruption" orchestrated by the Ontario Common Front in opposition to the Tory government's policies, OCAP helped organize high-school student flying squads to oppose standardized testing and privatization in the schools. Throughout October, 2001, there were a number of demonstrations at Toronto high schools and at the Board of Education. In the midst of these actions, a standardized test intended for 260,000 Grade 10 students across Ontario was leaked via the Internet. The Tory education minister at that time, Janet Ecker, declared herself "livid" and vowed prosecutorial revenge. Two high-school students connected to OCAP were later charged with theft and mischief over $5,000, the media claiming that the costs of the leaked test approached $17 million. Charges against one of the students were subsequently dropped, but the trial of the other student commenced in late March, 2003. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Repression and Dissent: The OCAP Trials
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.