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A demo a week keeps the Tories at bay

AUGUST 7, 1995 – Rumour has it that Ontario has rolled over and died since the election of the Tories.

According to Bob Rae, there’s nothing to be done for the next four years, just sharpen your pencil, put it on your bedside table, pull the covers up over your head and wait till the next election. But it seems a feisty layer of people haven’t yet heard that bright idea. Instead, they’ve been out there an average of once a week fighting back against this government. Judge for yourself: when has an incoming government been so rapidly met by angry opposition, even before a “honeymoon” had begun?

  • June 9: The day after the election, a militant march of 700 in Toronto.[1] Copies of the ‘Common Sense Revolution’ were set aflame.
  • June 26: An angry rally of 2,500 people on the Queen’s Park lawn as the Harris Tories were sworn in.
  • July 19, 20, 21: A wildcat by drywallers, an illegal walkout by daycare workers[2] and a rally of 250 people protesting the ‘mini-budget’.
  • July 29: An anti-poverty rally of 2,000 at Queen’s Park, including 150 marchers who walked 15 miles from Scarborough, North York and Etobicoke
  • Aug. 2: A demonstration by 300 against welfare cuts at the Regional welfare office in Ottawa.
  • Aug. 3: A demonstration by 150 against the cuts at local Tory MPPs office in Peterborough.

This is just the beginning of a long fight – and it’s not a bad start. But the hard work of organizing must become a priority for activists. All out September 25![3]

© 1995 Paul Kellogg. This work is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 license.


[1] David Israelson, “‘We’ll Be Back,’ Gays Warn,” Toronto Star, June 3, 1995.

[2] Laurie Monsebraaten, “Day-Care Cuts Called an Attack on Children,” Toronto Star, July 21, 1995.

[3] When this was originally written, the demonstration against the opening day of the fall session of the Ontario legislature was scheduled for Monday, September 25. In fact, the demonstration took place Wednesday, September 27.

Published in Archive