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Ottawa Mobilizes for May Day Actions

Shane Sadorski

April 17, 2012

As this year’s International Workers’ Day draws closer, it looks more and more like May 1st will be an uncomfortable day for the 1% and their enablers in Canada’s capital region.

Taking their cue from last year’s Arab Spring, the global Occupy movement, and now our own “printemps érable” (“Maple Spring”), which has brought hundreds of thousands of striking students into the streets of Québec, a coalition of local activists, community groups, trade unions, NGOs, Occupiers, and progressive voices in the Ottawa-Gatineau region have banded together to mobilize against cuts to public services announced in last month’s Federal and Ontario budgets.

The new coalition, Solidarity Against Austerity, will loudly take to the streets on May 1st to make it clear to the political elite that we, the 99%, will not be made to pay for the global economic crisis created by out-of-control corporate crony capitalism.

The day of action kicks-off at 11:30 a.m. when people who make up the real majority in this country gather at Confederation Park and march to the Prime Minister’s Office for a noon-hour rally in opposition to the Harper government’s attack on public services.

At 2pm, an open Teach-In Against Austerity will take place where activists will share information amongst each other on “How austerity is hitting us” and “How we can fight back and build alternatives”. The teach-in will be followed at 5:30pm by an open-table Community Supper where people from the community will break bread together in solidarity.

Finally, at 7:30pm, the mobilization continues by celebrating the power of the people with the 99%’s very own May Day Music Festival at the National Arts Centre. Other May Day festivities are also in the works for the evening, including a workers’ day celebration at the SAW Gallery near the University of Ottawa.

Throughout the day, those unable to make it to the events on the main program will be encouraged to take the fight against austerity directly to their neighbourhoods and workplaces by organizing their own autonomous actions.

For Solidarity Against Austerity, the May 1st day of action will be just the first step in building a growing local movement of resistance to austerity to defend universal, quality, democratic public services, and to oppose privatization and discrimination.

For the latest information about Solidarity Against Austerity’s May Day actions in Ottawa, be sure to follow @MayDayOttawa and #may1ott on Twitter, checkout on Facebook, visit the / websites, or drop an e-mail to

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