Courtesy of Leftstreamed, here are some videos of events we have helped organize and/or participated in.
Hands Off Our Healthcare, Hydro, Transit and Housing
Privatization is everywhere in the city, our province, and across the country, whether is is selling off public resources and services; financing and managing public projects through public/private partnerships (P3s); contracting out the public capacity to manage and oversee the operation of programmes we all need.
Privatization seeks to transform our education, healthcare, energy, and transit into more assets for the 1% to profit from. It undermines public healthcare, affordable, sustainable and reliable energy, accessible transit, social and affordable housing, and the livelihoods of those who work in these sectors.
Who loses most from privatization? Workers, the unemployed, oppressed groups and the environment.
A number of movements work to challenge privatization — campaigns against the privatization of Hydro One and Toronto Hydro, healthcare, housing and transit. They include unions, community groups, ordinary people and others involved in researching and studying forms of privatization.
Part 1: Key anti-privatization fronts. Introduced by Herman Rosenfeld. Moderated by Kamilla Petrick. Presentations by:
- Rosario Marchese, Citizens Coalition Against Privatization
- Natalie Mehra, Ontario Health Coalition
- Stefan Kipfer, York University
- Stuart Schussler, Albany Park Autonomous Center, Chicago
- Brenda Thompson, TTCriders and Free Transit Toronto
- Bill Reno, Amalgamated Transit Union – Local 113 (ATU)
- Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario
Part 2: How can public resources operate differently? Moderated by Karen Wirsig. Presentations by:
- Heather Whiteside, University of Waterloo [see: “No Admittance Except on Business”]
- Leo Panitch, distinguished research professor at York University and co-editor of the Socialist Register
Part 3: Stopping the privatization of Hydro. Moderated by Herman Rosenfeld. Presentations by:
- Preethy Sivakumar, keephydropublic.ca
- John Camilleri, President, CUPE Local 1
Public Transit Struggles in London and Toronto:
P3s, Transit Workers and Alternatives
A forum to discuss the struggles over public transit in London, England and in Toronto, over P3s, privatization, funding public transit, and posing alternatives, such as reduced fares, free transit and increased accessibility. We are at a turning point in the struggle for public transit, particularly in Toronto. Although we have now won broad recognition of the need to expand public transit, the modes and organizational forms this will take, the fares that will be levied, the funding provisions and the operational practices remain completely unclear. There remains nothing in the way of a national public transit plan in Canada, and Ontario planning is both ad hoc and bent on privatization. There are important strategic lessons to be learned from the experience of London — a system at the forefront of these kinds of battles over the neoliberalization of transit systems. As well, there is a growing national and international free public transit movement as a central means to address global warning and for transit justice to give equal access to mobility.
Moderated by Herman Rosenfeld. Presentations by:
- Kamilla Pietrzyk is an activist with Free Transit Campaign and TTCriders, Toronto
- Brenda Thompson is an activist with Free Transit Campaign and TTCriders, Toronto
- Janine Booth is a London Underground RMT union activist and author of Plundering London Underground
Sponsored by Centre for Social Justice, Free Transit Toronto Campaign and Socialist Project.
TRANSITogether: Building A Movement
Toronto — 1 March 2015.
The election of John Tory creates new openings and challenges for the public transit movement in Toronto, as does the large vote for Ford in the city’s inner suburban areas. How are we to understand this moment, and how do we move forward as a transit movement? These are some of the questions posed at this forum.
Moderated by Herman Rosenfeld. Presentations by:
- Kamilla, Free and Accessible Transit Campaign of the Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly (GTWA)
- Brenda Thompson, TTCriders.ca
- Milan Gokhale is an activist with TTCriders and Scarborough Transit Action
Beyond the Gridlock
Public Transit Struggles from across Europe and North America
Toronto — 9 October 2014.
Struggles to expand public transport and to block privatization are central to overturning neoliberalism and addressing climate justice. This forum brings together some of the leading public transit activists in Europe and North America.
Moderated by Greg Albo. Introductions by:
- Ethan Earle – Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung
- Herman Rosenfeld – Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly‘s Free and Accessible Transit Campaign
- Allan Alakula – EU representative, Tallinn, Estonia
- Marcus Finbom – Planka.nu, Stockholm, Sweden
- Jaron Browne – POWER, San Francisco-Bay Area, USA
- Joanna Erbel – Congress of Urban Movements, Warsaw, Poland
Fight for Fare Free Transit in Toronto
Toronto — 28 September 2014.
- Kamilla Pietrzyk of the Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly‘s Free and Accessible Transit Campaign
- Ward 6 Socialist city council candidate Michael Laxer, who is campaigning for Free Transit
Topics of discussion included:
- Is fare free transit possible in Toronto?
- What would be the social benefits of such a transit policy?
- How would free transit benefit the suburbs and Etobicoke?
- What can we learn from the free transit experiment in Tallinn, Estonia?
Beyond Toronto’s Transit Crisis:
Toward a red-green vision for our city
Toronto — 20 January 2013.
How can our campaign contribute to Toronto’s transit movement and help transform the city? How could our demand for free and accessible public transit promote environmental justice and sustainability, housing, jobs and social equality? How can we move forward the GTWA Free and Accessible Transit Campaign?
Moderated by Kamilla Pietrzyk. Presentations by:
- Stefan Kipfer teaches at the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University.
- Brenda Thompson is a public transit activist living in Toronto.
- Herman Rosenfeld member of the GTWA Free and Accessible Transit Committee.
- Jessica Bell is an activist with TTC Riders.
Transit Forum 2012:
Which Way Forward for the Transit Movement in Toronto?
Toronto — 3 March 2012.
Moderated by Paul M.
- Jonah Schein – NDP Urban Transport Critic, Davenport MPP
- Arabi Rajeswaran and Mckenzie – Rexdale Youth TTC Challenge
- Brenda Thompson – Scarborough Transit Action
- Kevin Konnyu – OccupyTTC
- Herman Rosenfeld – Free and Accessible Transit Campaign of the Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly
- Tina Shapiro, Daniela Mergarten – Fair Fare Coalition
- Jamie Kirkpatrick – TTC Riders www.ttcriders.ca
Organized by the Campaign for Free and Accessible Transit – GTWA.
Occupy Toronto Transit Commission
Toronto — 5 December 2011.
A group of people from OccupyToronto paid their fare and rode the subway cars of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). They engaged with riders using the people’s mic – about the state of the TTC and the city’s budgetary cutbacks.
- OccupyTO website: occupyto.org
- OccupyTO on Facebook: Occupy Toronto Market Exchange
- OccupyTTC on Facebook: Occupy TTC
- OccupyTTC on Twitter: @OccupyTTC
- Free and Accessible Transit Campaign of the GTWA
No TTC Fares on Smog and Heat Alert Days!
Toronto — 6 July 2011.
During Extreme Heat Alerts, the City of Toronto counsels people to seek shelter and opens cooling centres across the City. People are at risk of death during these alerts – particularly pregnant women, senior citizens, people living with disabilities and chronic illnesses and people living in substandard housing.
We need TTC to be FREE on Extreme Heat and Smog Alert Days so that people can access cooling centres and stay safe during the summer heat and smog.
Fair Fare Coalition’s goals are a physically and economically accessible public transit system including:
- Low income subsidized pass
- Free transit during heat and cold alerts
- Discount to agencies who bulk buy tokens for free distribution
These are steps toward a free transit system for all, ensuring that public transit is a right for those who need it, while reducing smog and environmental damage.
Organized by: Fair Fare Coalition; Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly – Free and Accessible Transit Campaign; Damn 2025.
NO Fare IS Fair
Free and Accessible transit for the GTA
Toronto — 2 October 2010.
Start of the campaign to win free and accessible transit for the GTA. A project of the Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly.