Toronto Action for Social Change
P.O. Box 73620, 509 St. Clair Ave. W
Toronto, ON M6C 1C0
(416) 651-5800; e-mail: email@example.com
AT HALLOWEEN PICKET
Overgrown squash had stopped to greet a 2-year-old child when he was picked up by police at Forest Hill Store
In what has become a predictable response, Loblaws refused to enter a dialogue on ending the causes of hunger on Halloween when it ordered the arrest of the Great Pumpkin (aka Matthew Behrens) shortly after noon. As Behrens knelt to speak with 2-year-old Julian, dressed in his first firefighter costume, four cruisers suddenly appeared from concealment, along with a supervisory van and the canine unit, to protect the Forest Hill (Bathurst/St. Clair) Loblaws from the 8 or so banner holders and leafletters.
Behrens was immediately whisked off to 13 division and, after a whirlwind tour that included the Metro West Detention Centre and the central lockup at 11 division, was finally brought before a bail hearing Sunday morning (November 1) and released in the early afternoon on condition that he not set foot in any Loblaws store or parking lot, on pain of a $500 fine, until his trial.
The Great Pumpkin had been part of the Corporate Hypocrite Picket protesting Loblaws' support of the Harris Tories, profiting from food drives (by selling goods you donate at retail, not wholesale prices), and paying Loblaws President Richard Currie a scary $8 million last year.
Loblaws alleges a great concern about ending hunger, but does little to eliminate the root causes of the problem. Indeed, on a day when tens of thousands of Toronto residents were going hungry, the philanthropic Loblaws was not busy righting the economic injustices which create hunger, but was instead finishing off a major deal to pay almost $2 billion for the Provigo grocery chain in Quebec.
The Great Pumpkin joins a list of notables with a concern about ending hunger who've been arrested at Loblaws, from Santa and two elves to the Easter Bunny, three bunny helpers and a schoolteacher, as well as Robin Hood and Honest Shawn.
Trials of the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus are scheduled within the month. For more information, call 651-5800. TASC, unfazed by the heavy police response, will hold its annual Xmas Corporate Hypocrite picket at Loblaws with Rudolph and her Reindeer friends to guide Loblaws through the fog of greed to the light of justice.
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