EXILE Infoshop » Ottawa Panhandlers’ Union

Ottawa Panhandlers’ Union

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The number of homeless in Ontario is on the rise. So is the enforcement of the Safe Streets Act, which bans panhandling, and various other legislation designed to keep people off the streets. While homeless people are traditionally among society’s least politically influential citizens, many homeless people in Ottawa are working to change that.

Working with antipoverty activists and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), homeless people have initiated a panhandlers’ union in Ottawa. The union acts as a means of support for individual members who are targeted by police or have difficulties with the government. The union also provides the possibility of a livelihood by supplying newspapers for panhandlers to sell.

*adapted from http://www.dominionpaper.ca/ottawa/2004/04/07/ottawas_ho.html