DECEMBER 1, 1997 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Seven Arrested At Anti-Poverty Protest;
Staged 7-hour Sit-in at Janet Ecker's Office
Seven anti-poverty activists were arrested at the offices of Janet Ecker, Minister of Community and Social Services, following a 7-hour sit-in today.
Entering the minister's office shortly before noon, the demonstrators were calling for an independent inquiry into human rights abuses caused by Harris government legislation (especially Bill 142, the so-called Welfare Reform Act), as well as an investigation into the contract awarded to Andersen Consulting, an American multinational firm, to re-engineer the social services system. Andersen stands to gain as much as $180 million under the contract.
Within minutes of the occupation, all phones were removed from Ecker's office, one in the middle of a media call. Office staff also removed all documents which they felt were too sensitive to be seen by the demonstrators.
The arrested seven&endash;Shawn Beck, Matthew Behrens, Don Johnston, Susan Krajnc, Sandra Lang, Chris Miller, and Ken Nebone&endash;charged with trespass, will fight the charge in court, and attempt to subpoena Ecker regarding the increase in hunger and homelessness under her watch as well as the implications of the Andersen contract.
For more information call Toronto Action for Social Change at 651-5800 or the Community Labour Task Force at 597-9400.
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