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← This is Parkdale

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Showing Revision 1 created 11/05/2017 by submedia.

  1. I'm in Parkdale here they're threatening to

  2. withhold their rent starting tomorrow.
  3. Residents living at this building
  4. here near King and Dufferin say they
  5. shouldn't be forced to pay more rent.
  6. They, along with tenants at other
  7. buildings owned by the same management
  8. company say they're going on a rent
  9. strike. It could be the biggest one
  10. Parkdale has ever seen.
  11. Hundreds of residents in Parkdale have
  12. refused to pay rent fighting back
  13. against rent increases in their
  14. neighborhood now tonight they plan to
  15. take their action to the next level they
  16. are now planning to expand by doubling
  17. the number of buildings participating in
  18. the rent strike from six to twelve next
  19. month the rent strike here in Parkdale
  20. hit a new level today as residents set
  21. their sights on the decision maker this
  22. storm the hallways of the truck you know
  23. demanding the property manager met back
  24. scrapped the above guideline rent
  25. increases for the entire neighborhood
  26. the two sides are now sitting down to
  27. talk and could be close to an agreement
  28. for these tenants getting to sit across
  29. the table from corporate giants is
  30. vindicating after months of fear and
  31. criticism over their tactics what once
  32. seems like an impossible task has now
  33. empowered an entire community they hope
  34. others across the city can see them as
  35. an example that no corporation is too
  36. big to take on one of the reasons why I
  37. picked Parkdale as a neighborhood
  38. because there was a great community
  39. aspect so it just kind of feels less
  40. like you're alone in a big city there's
  41. quite a few people that I see Brian our
  42. bikes taking their kids to school
  43. was just a very welcoming community and
  44. I really enjoy that when I first moved
  45. here I was a little bit afraid cuz
  46. Parkdale has a bad rep but I soon
  47. learned that it's one of the safest
  48. neighborhoods in this city
  49. you know I like the fact that Parkdale
  50. is sort of close to everything so you
  51. know we got the gardener right here so
  52. it's easy access to get onto the
  53. freeways and highways but yet we're
  54. still in the heart of downtown you know
  55. downtown is really only five minutes ten
  56. minutes away I like living by the lake
  57. and that cool breeze in the summertime I
  58. used to live in the North End of Toronto
  59. and neighbors weren't as friendly you
  60. know more well-to-do when keeping to
  61. themselves Parkdale has a large low
  62. income tenants population we have a ton
  63. of high-rise apartment buildings and for
  64. the most part they're folks that have
  65. lived in the neighborhood for a very
  66. long time people knows me in Parkville
  67. and I don't go in maybe everybody's
  68. friendly they helpful
  69. that's why I love the faggot 90% of the
  70. 20,000 people that live in this
  71. neighborhood are renters and of them a
  72. higher than average proportion are
  73. paying over 50% of their wages to rent
  74. directly it's a community that is used
  75. to working class struggles people know
  76. that we need to work together and we
  77. need to kind of get on the same page if
  78. we're going to see changes in our
  79. neighborhood for decades Parkville has
  80. been a neighborhood where a struggle has
  81. taken place between working-class poor
  82. tenants and their landlords or their
  83. bosses or the government it's a friendly
  84. neighborhood and people look out for one
  85. another I met my first neighbor on the
  86. day I moved in he just said welcome to
  87. the neighborhood gave me a magnet that I
  88. saw in my fridge and that's just one of
  89. the things I have loved about Park girls
  90. it's day one so the nice place to live
  91. Parkdale is really diverse and its
  92. really welcoming to lots of different
  93. folks who are able to start families and
  94. stay in the neighborhood for a very long
  95. time people feel really supported and
  96. there's a lot of community services that
  97. are really in tune with different
  98. communities that they're serving there
  99. are over 20 primary languages spoken in
  100. the neighborhood and it has a high
  101. number of new arrivals from other
  102. countries to Canada living here as a
  103. refugee I've been living in other
  104. countries like Nepal in India and I
  105. never had this sense of belonging and
  106. this sense of belonging that's a comfort
  107. zone for a new immigrant so that
  108. don't get lost in a new country in your
  109. culture although we Tibetan people came
  110. here as a refugee scatter Canada
  111. majority people are thinking
  112. bulbulay especially if you're visiting
  113. Parkdale for the first time Gritty often
  114. in your face this neighborhood is now on
  115. the gentrification fast-track how could
  116. it not be look where it is people have
  117. talked about Parkdale facing
  118. gentrification for maybe 20 years now
  119. and I think the word gentrification can
  120. sometimes make that process a little
  121. unclear for people when the process
  122. itself is very clear in our neighborhood
  123. it's a process of displacement it is
  124. mostly a phenomenon of force of economic
  125. and physical force exerted on
  126. working-class people that destroys
  127. working-class life and working-class
  128. neighborhoods rents are they increasing
  129. and if they increase too much rent that
  130. we cannot effort landlords trying to
  131. pick up talent so that they can get milk
  132. and from which they can get more money
  133. the landlord tries to get that tenant
  134. out so that they can do very surface
  135. level renovations on the unit give them
  136. new appliances a new coat of paint and
  137. then they can jack up the rent
  138. sometimes 50% and get a new sort of
  139. 10-inch into the building so not the
  140. working-class tenants that live in
  141. Parkdale not immigrant families that
  142. live in Parkdale
  143. but generally young professional well
  144. off white tenants and also the state
  145. plays into it as well deportations have
  146. gutted this name
  147. in a lot of really severe ways up until
  148. only recently this had been a
  149. neighborhood in which a large number of
  150. Roma and Sinti Hungarian and checked
  151. refugees came and threw the concerted
  152. effort of the state they were they were
  153. systematically removed from this
  154. neighborhood and deported back to really
  155. deplorable conditions there's large
  156. parts of our community that are missing
  157. the Tibetans have been living here for
  158. almost now 15 20 years so it seems that
  159. it's gentrification is disintegrating
  160. the social vibrancy in part a so that's
  161. really disheartening to see that part of
  162. is a poor neighborhood and everybody
  163. helped each other but other people move
  164. in this area they acting like
  165. differently like they are more important
  166. and you and you believe he loved a
  167. different kind of local spots closing
  168. they put in a Starbucks that's changed
  169. the banks are moving out that's not a
  170. good thing
  171. I know the CIBC closed down and I
  172. believe the intent is to put up some
  173. condo complexes there we have two condo
  174. projects moving in and that's just the
  175. beginning that's the thin edge of a very
  176. thick wedge I think so yeah I think it's
  177. a real issue for Parkdale is
  178. gentrification Liberty Village is just
  179. across Dufferin and it's moving in this
  180. direction bloggers and today I'm in
  181. Liberty Village one my favorite hood I'm
  182. going to show you around Liberty Village
  183. is kind of a created community it was a
  184. lot of old warehouses in the
  185. neighborhood that have slowly turned
  186. into a huge condo development another
  187. version of condo land
  188. essentially it is not like single-family
  189. homes it is not large apartment
  190. buildings like it is a very
  191. intentionally designed like professional
  192. development that is designed in a way to
  193. keep
  194. people out brewpubs and bistros and that
  195. kind of environment here 24-hour metro
  196. expensive nail salons and waxing
  197. facilities and here's the spot if you
  198. want to get a mani-pedi on Sunday with
  199. your bestie they wanted to make this a
  200. Liberty Village West but it's not the
  201. pretty village West it's Parkdale I want
  202. to say like I see Liberty Village coming
  203. to cocktail I see things being more
  204. expensive I see more and more changes in
  205. terms of identification and the types of
  206. people that are moving into the
  207. neighborhood that may not care about the
  208. neighborhood as much as we'd like them
  209. to
  210. [Music]
  211. for a lot of people in Toronto or even
  212. people who heard about the rent strike
  213. outside of Toronto it seems like it
  214. started very suddenly that it was this
  215. huge struggle of hundreds of
  216. working-class tenants that just popped
  217. out of thin air but the reality is that
  218. it didn't pop out of thin air I have
  219. seen fliers kind of going about either
  220. on lamp posts or flyers in my building
  221. or just kind of there's a bit of a buzz
  222. just happening I wasn't sure exactly
  223. what it was but I knew that I wanted to
  224. learn more about it so I reached out to
  225. Parkdale organized and then that's kind
  226. of where the ball started rolling I
  227. heard about Parkdale organized somebody
  228. put a flyer on my door so that's how I
  229. first got involved I mean colonisers
  230. really you have done good job the group
  231. Parkdale organized says they don't know
  232. just yet what their next project will be
  233. for now they're taking a much deserved
  234. break after months of organizing
  235. Parkdale organize is good with people
  236. who have come together to organize in
  237. our neighborhoods and people who are
  238. hoping to build the working-class power
  239. in the neighborhood so that we can take
  240. control of the place that we live a
  241. handful of people came together to try
  242. and put an organization to the struggles
  243. that people in the neighborhood had been
  244. facing working-class people face a
  245. myriad of individual struggles within
  246. the neighborhood the idea was to
  247. collectively through solidarity and
  248. direct action
  249. deal with those issues before the rent
  250. strike Parkdale organized had been
  251. around for fifty three four years and we
  252. had been organizing building by building
  253. knocking on doors with places where
  254. people had been facing
  255. French increases disrepair pest problem
  256. and telling people that the thing that
  257. they needed to do was get together with
  258. their neighbors and confront their
  259. landlord directly we had organized at
  260. first slowly in a few buildings and it
  261. was always a hard sell who are you
  262. people
  263. why are you knocking on my door what is
  264. it that you want me to do and we started
  265. to have successes initially struggles
  266. around a major new player in the real
  267. estate market achelous which is a real
  268. estate fund based in Scandinavia that
  269. bought up a bunch of buildings up and
  270. down the boulevards in Parkdale tenants
  271. at a park dale apartment building are
  272. fighting back against their property
  273. owner 188 Jameson the dreamer inside I
  274. know people on 188 where some of my
  275. relatives live also they had this
  276. problem for a few months long before
  277. other struggles that had kind of given a
  278. bit broader conception of what it is
  279. that working people struggle against in
  280. this neighborhood was a worker initiated
  281. strike over a food terminal two major
  282. food hub the largest in southern Ontario
  283. I think the largest in Ontario generally
  284. that employs a lot of tenants in in
  285. Parkdale they went on strike and people
  286. from the neighbourhood supported them as
  287. well once we had started getting those
  288. successes are organizing became much
  289. easier pitch when a bunch of people's
  290. doors people had heard of us before we
  291. started to be able to just buzz up to a
  292. random unit in the building and say hey
  293. we're from Parkdale organized you want
  294. to come talk to you about something and
  295. people would always invite us in those
  296. campaigns started to put a different
  297. idea out there within the neighbourhood
  298. which was that the struggles that people
  299. find themselves faced with not
  300. individual struggles and don't need to
  301. be dealt with individual
  302. that organizing around those issues not
  303. just protesting not just registering
  304. dissent and not just complaining about
  305. them but something that that could be
  306. done so when this situation presented
  307. itself when met cap ridiculously applied
  308. for above guideline rent increases in
  309. several buildings throughout the
  310. neighborhood all at once this rent
  311. strike it emerged from from all of that
  312. previous organizing it for sure took the
  313. actions of grade tenants in those
  314. buildings but it had also taken a lot of
  315. groundwork to get the neighborhood to a
  316. point where it was ready for this type
  317. of struggle
  318. [Music]
  319. my cap is one of two large landlords in
  320. the neighborhood those being Metcalfe
  321. and Vicki leus Brent Merrill is the CEO
  322. now of Metcalfe
  323. also directly owned some of the
  324. buildings in the neighborhood he is a
  325. greedy Pig he's not thinking about poor
  326. people he think he and only but himself
  327. if they increase in each and every other
  328. rent then really we are facing problems
  329. I've been here for three years and I've
  330. gotten those rent increases year after
  331. year a lot of the tenants that have been
  332. here for a lot longer than I've been for
  333. decades on top of it from the stories
  334. that they've been telling they've been
  335. going through those types of things for
  336. years and years and years has always
  337. been an above guideline rent increase
  338. and above guideline rent increase is an
  339. extra rent increased that landlords are
  340. allowed to ask for on top of the annual
  341. provincial guideline the Ontario
  342. government says landlords are allowed a
  343. certain amount and when the landlord has
  344. done extra work in the building if they
  345. have done some capital expenditures that
  346. cost a lot of money they're allowed to
  347. pass on these costs to the tenants to a
  348. maximum of nine percent over three years
  349. on top of a guideline amount so there's
  350. the idea that things are can remain
  351. affordable because of rent control is
  352. actually quite a first one percent on
  353. let's say a standard $1000 is about $10
  354. right $15 to 1.5 percent whereas now
  355. you're asking for four so $40 a month
  356. it may sound trivial and the small runs
  357. but you know for some of the people that
  358. live in this area it's a lot of
  359. blue-collar working-class people and a
  360. lot of people that just came into the
  361. country you know so some people have to
  362. make decisions on whether they put that
  363. extra money to rent or you know spend
  364. that money on groceries or some other
  365. people it's them staying in the building
  366. or not it's not just kind of my personal
  367. position in it it's knowing that an
  368. entire neighborhood and my friends and
  369. people that I would call family are
  370. suffering along with me because they are
  371. unable to pay their rent for these
  372. unrealistic increase
  373. people have tried to fight these above
  374. guideline rent increases in the past but
  375. they were never winning like the law was
  376. not set up for tenants to win so they
  377. had to come up with a new strategy if we
  378. were going to kind of take on the law
  379. and the landlord an opinion had started
  380. to form in the neighborhood that we had
  381. had enough
  382. with the treatment that we had faced we
  383. had had enough of our neighbors being
  384. pushed out of our buildings one by one
  385. month after month and then we were going
  386. to do something about it and at the
  387. something we were going to do about it
  388. was going to involve direct action and
  389. it was not going to be about advocacy it
  390. was not going to be about lobbying it
  391. was not going to be about raising
  392. awareness because all of those avenues
  393. had failed us rent strike was a tactic
  394. that had been discussed by various
  395. tenants doing various struggles up until
  396. this point what a critical mass was kind
  397. of achieved where enough people were
  398. talking about it and the people felt
  399. confident about the experiences that
  400. they had already been through that they
  401. were willing to take it on it started
  402. with 87 Jameson steer the first ones to
  403. go on rent strike we decide to hold back
  404. the rent for a certain time and see how
  405. he's gonna respond and he wasn't too
  406. happy from that more conversation
  407. started in different buildings around 87
  408. Jameson liked on the same street in the
  409. same neighborhood to talk about if there
  410. was more people involved in this rent
  411. strike if there was more people talking
  412. to each other and organizing then we can
  413. be a lot more effective and taking on
  414. the landlord 87 Jameson have early
  415. hauled off their rent strike and
  416. initially tenants from that building and
  417. members from Parkdale organize set out
  418. to to make contact with other tenants in
  419. other
  420. I think the other buildings came on
  421. board because we had people coming
  422. organizing Lobby meetings learning what
  423. they've been going through and how what
  424. they were suffering through listen to
  425. what I've been going through in my own
  426. building or same thing that I'd seen
  427. other neighbors go through as well just
  428. the unresponsiveness from that cab for
  429. me personally it was a pest control
  430. issue and the lack of follow-up by met
  431. cap in terms of cockroaches and mice I
  432. joined the rent strike because of just
  433. the way madcap treats people they took
  434. you like a second-class citizen and I I
  435. just thought it was time for a
  436. correction in attitude I was happy to
  437. join the rent strike and the fact that
  438. there's a fantastic community I want to
  439. organize I was just like it's time in
  440. March we went to met caps corporate head
  441. office on Richmond Street I think it was
  442. about 70 or 80 of us that went down to
  443. landlord's office all together they
  444. locked us out they wouldn't take our
  445. repair request they phoned the police
  446. they told us we were trespassing we
  447. managed to get up to their front door
  448. and they they were behind the glass
  449. laughing at us that's how they viewed us
  450. it's not the first time they've been
  451. protested and they thought this was
  452. another flashing pan it would just go
  453. away at this time it didn't go away so
  454. tenants in this neighborhood are used to
  455. having meetings in their Lobby so we
  456. just had a meeting in the landlord's
  457. Lobby to talk about like this was really
  458. disrespectful the landlord doesn't even
  459. want to speak to their own tenants
  460. they're not addressing issues they're
  461. legally required to address let's let's
  462. let's talk about doing a rent strike in
  463. the neighborhood meet decide on what the
  464. next steps are providing these rent
  465. increases and forgetting the units
  466. we came here today to Trevor appeal to
  467. them as people and they wouldn't even
  468. address us so clearly the only thing
  469. that matters is money so that's probably
  470. the direction we're gonna have to go
  471. there's a God to do something you got to
  472. stop because they are indifferent to us
  473. they are disrespectful they are
  474. disregarding our concern so we got to go
  475. on land right a ranch site so we came
  476. back tried to think of next steps the
  477. next test was to follow the same line
  478. that 87 was on and go on to rhetoric
  479. that was a process that involves lots of
  480. door knocking lots of Lobby meetings
  481. mass meetings as well as escalating
  482. actions of engagement against my cat and
  483. the rest is sort of history now let's
  484. all go to the lobby let's all go to the
  485. lobby let's all go to the lobby to get
  486. ourselves a treat the lobby meetings
  487. were organized I believe by Parkdale
  488. organized a few people would show up and
  489. talk to us about what the living
  490. conditions were like and about the rent
  491. increases we were facing and that way we
  492. started to get to know one another and
  493. sort of explore what was happening and
  494. what we could do about it
  495. I think Lobby meetings help the good yet
  496. time to get opinions from different
  497. people different and learn how to
  498. strategize the lobby meeting this is
  499. exactly what it sounds like they are
  500. among the only public spaces in our
  501. buildings where more than four people
  502. can get
  503. and discuss anything so a lot of times
  504. at the building level that's where the
  505. meetings take place unreal
  506. talk about what's going on and what our
  507. next step on what we plan to do so you
  508. could keep anything and it will be very
  509. often they took myself just going around
  510. the building letting people know when
  511. the next Lobby meeting will be you go
  512. around door to door you knock on
  513. people's doors you have conversations
  514. but what's been going on with those
  515. people what it is that they think about
  516. it and you set a date for for a number
  517. of people to get together from that
  518. building and discuss what it is that
  519. they're gonna do about it you know
  520. obviously when they first started a lot
  521. of people were very skeptical like what
  522. is this they can be chaotic sometimes
  523. it's part Dale there's a lot of
  524. characters and everybody has something
  525. to say to me it struck me as being a
  526. little bit disorganized at first but I
  527. thought this is worth getting involved
  528. in it's become more commonplace for
  529. people in the neighborhood meeting
  530. people starts to know our face so people
  531. are automatically in the building start
  532. stopping and start saying hey what's
  533. going on with this will you know what's
  534. the update what's the word it made me
  535. feel I had support going door to door
  536. and putting out flyers to let people
  537. know what we're all about what we're
  538. hoping to gain by the rent strike our
  539. Lobby meeting was just a good a good way
  540. to get our neighbors connected and get
  541. them informed and make sure that they
  542. knew that they weren't alone in the
  543. situation some decisions get made their
  544. tops are giving up and then and then
  545. those tasks are carried out and then you
  546. have another Lobby meeting to go over
  547. what's taking place and make further
  548. decisions talking to each other trying
  549. to get a consensus important thing is
  550. this every can and get involved
  551. inclusive nest
  552. [Music]
  553. one of the things I enjoyed the most was
  554. the march through Parkdale lots of
  555. support horn honking and people waving
  556. at us the march through Parkdale which a
  557. huge amount of people showed up for the
  558. day we marched meeting in front of the
  559. library and staying there with a few of
  560. my friends and taking up space and being
  561. loud and unapologetic about the fact
  562. that we weren't going to tolerate that
  563. cat's behavior any longer and getting
  564. out into the community and just like
  565. marching around and just picking up
  566. people as we went along there were so
  567. many actions it kind of took on a life
  568. of his own at protesting one of the
  569. owners in Forest Hill this morning a few
  570. dozen tenants they boarded a yellow
  571. school bus and took the protest right to
  572. the front doorstep of one of the
  573. property owners going to the tribunal
  574. and everyone showing up there inside
  575. court we almost nearly hundred people it
  576. was a raucous start at the landlord and
  577. tenant tribunal hearing young and st.
  578. clair protesters delay the hearing by
  579. more than an hour calling for Metcalfe
  580. to give in to their demands
  581. it was the incident when they tried to
  582. run somebody over the truck incident was
  583. friend Merrill a protest in June saw
  584. Metcalfe CEO Brent Merrill narrowly
  585. avoid hitting a protestor outside one of
  586. his bill
  587. having seen the video now I don't know
  588. what it would happen if if I had gone
  589. under the car as it goes off to the side
  590. I really thought at some point he would
  591. slow down it was really shocking really
  592. shocking you always expect the worst for
  593. Metcalfe that just blew me away I mean
  594. that was just they just took the cake
  595. that day they had messed up in a massive
  596. way thankfully Kevin was all right but
  597. in that moment I just like got them you
  598. know I don't want to make this the
  599. centerpiece of what's going on today I
  600. think that what needs to happen is that
  601. they need to recognize that this
  602. community is not backing down we're not
  603. leaving not the one force in all the
  604. building not one force everybody that's
  605. the highlight more than anything that
  606. the collective will and the collective
  607. strength was being fully accessed in
  608. order to carry this out and that was a
  609. hell of a thing to watch and participate
  610. on my favorite part of the rent strike
  611. was the way that it seeped into our
  612. everyday lives he didn't feel as alone
  613. in the building as you may have before
  614. or you knew who was kind of fighting
  615. with you I think it has been like such a
  616. positive thing for the neighborhood
  617. thing I think neighbors are now way more
  618. open to having conversations for a lot
  619. of us you know I didn't really talk to a
  620. lot of people in my building before this
  621. and now it's sort of it brought people
  622. together I started running into people
  623. on the street that would say hello to me
  624. and I asked about the rent strike and it
  625. just made for a much closer community
  626. yeah I just helped build a community
  627. quite a bit I feel like even those who
  628. are not living in madcap tenants were
  629. asking what's going on with madcap
  630. what's happening now what the decision
  631. it got pretty normal that there would be
  632. an impromptu meeting in the produce
  633. section of the no-frills
  634. and it was those those moments that they
  635. were honestly beautiful for me because
  636. so often politics are
  637. just wiped from from our daily lives and
  638. you know people might go to a protest on
  639. a Saturday you know somewhere that's
  640. like half an hour transit ride from the
  641. house but this reality of not being able
  642. to stand on my balcony not being able to
  643. go out on the street without meeting
  644. someone who was in this struggle with me
  645. who had been thinking about it all day
  646. just like me who was worrying about it
  647. who was making plans and really that
  648. feeling that we were in this together
  649. it was the only time in my life when I
  650. had really felt that level of
  651. camaraderie with the people who I lived
  652. with the people I was surrounded by and
  653. it just added this wait this this
  654. content to both our daily lives and the
  655. struggle you know we were all at home
  656. thinking oh my goodness what's the next
  657. thing I can do what else can I do to
  658. help us win because the stakes were so
  659. high it was so real and people are
  660. really curious about what's going on and
  661. are kind of really hopeful because they
  662. see that the tenants are like making
  663. some really huge wins and like wondering
  664. like well how can we do this in our
  665. building like how can we get involved
  666. people wants to do something and they
  667. like what is happening being the
  668. different people that sort of jumped on
  669. board along with us social support so
  670. you know Queen Victoria all the teachers
  671. there stood out on the block and made a
  672. lot of noise on the corner of King and
  673. the Jameson which is really amazing to
  674. see it hundreds of residents here in
  675. Parkdale are heading into their second
  676. month refusing to pay rent in protest of
  677. rent hikes here in Parkdale and now
  678. they're getting the support of some
  679. unlikely allies in the heart of South
  680. Park dale right at the corner of King
  681. and Jameson is a huge elementary school
  682. so many of the kids from South Park Dale
  683. go to that school
  684. the Parkdale elementary school is
  685. surrounded by 19 buildings owned by
  686. Metcalf living five of them are facing
  687. rent increases above the provincial
  688. maximum conditions of poverty of
  689. displacement those are things that are
  690. felt most strongly by children
  691. and the teachers in the schools are very
  692. aware of that they see it in their
  693. students every day they see when they're
  694. tired they see when they're hungry they
  695. see when they have bed bug bites or when
  696. they're afraid that their parents are
  697. going to lose their home they see it
  698. when the students don't show up at the
  699. next school year because they've been
  700. displaced from our neighborhood you know
  701. there were teachers at Parkdale
  702. elementary who tried to take action when
  703. Roma students were being deported on
  704. mass from the neighborhood there were
  705. you know teachers who have talked about
  706. the conditions at the school who have
  707. talked about conditions in the
  708. neighborhood but it's always a problem
  709. when those actions take the form of just
  710. advocacy or raising awareness often the
  711. worst conditions that that we face are
  712. things that are very legal but are wrong
  713. these above guideline rent increases
  714. that have been displaced in our
  715. neighbors are absolutely legal and what
  716. was so amazing about the support that we
  717. had from teachers in the neighborhood
  718. was they've seen how this legal regime
  719. of above guideline rent increases has
  720. stripped our our neighborhood of its
  721. working class qualities has forced
  722. working-class people out of Parkdale and
  723. they were willing in fact enthusiastic
  724. about the opportunity to support
  725. working-class people the parents of
  726. their students in their formation of
  727. working-class organizations that were
  728. capable of taking on the things that are
  729. legal but wrong
  730. I'm in Parkdale we're striking tenants
  731. are putting away their protest signs and
  732. banners now that a three month rent
  733. strike has ended with a negotiated
  734. agreement with the landlord working
  735. class people sat down across the table
  736. from people that represented hundreds of
  737. millions of dollars in capital and
  738. didn't budge I was there for the
  739. negotiation process and that cap came
  740. and they had various employees from
  741. Metcalf
  742. when their main investor showed up I
  743. think our tenon team really walked well
  744. we had discussions and meeting before
  745. the negotiations and we we knew what
  746. they were up to and we knew our demand
  747. usually had one or two representatives
  748. from each building who'd been involved
  749. in the rent strike all along each of the
  750. main buildings that were participating
  751. in the rent strike had a couple of
  752. building representatives that kind of
  753. spread information to the rest of their
  754. pens in their building as well as speak
  755. to all of the tenants in the building to
  756. see what people wanted to do moving
  757. forward the height there were close to
  758. 300 people on the rent strike and the
  759. people at the bargaining table were
  760. about 20 of us we went in there with
  761. very very firm demands we had to
  762. negotiate courts were not professional
  763. negotiators so it was quite a learning
  764. experience for sure
  765. so Parkdale Community Legal Services
  766. worked with those building
  767. representatives through negotiations
  768. with the landlord and the investment
  769. person all in all the negotiation
  770. process of it really really well and it
  771. was a very good deal for Parkdale I
  772. would definitely consider this a win I
  773. think the tenants are really going to
  774. want to talk about what the winners were
  775. from the from these negotiations
  776. unfortunately the details are
  777. confidential the numbers are good so
  778. good that Metcalfe has required a gag
  779. order on
  780. the actual specific numbers I would say
  781. that we won yes and there's a lot of
  782. people with smiles on their faces in
  783. Parkdale I think the biggest and most
  784. important result of the red strike is
  785. that the Rennes strike has been
  786. recognized by those that carried it out
  787. as a tactic not an end in and of itself
  788. and a tactic that's employed by
  789. organizing by organizations that are
  790. developed by working-class people there
  791. is a shift socially and politically
  792. underway within this neighborhood and
  793. hopefully hopefully outside of the
  794. neighborhood as well which is that
  795. people are capable of doing things that
  796. they are otherwise told by legal
  797. convention and economic mandate that
  798. they cannot do cheers at a park dale
  799. building as residents mark the end of a
  800. long battle sadly there's no shortage of
  801. things for us to organize around so the
  802. lesson that people should take is not
  803. that they should move to a few other
  804. neighborhoods in cariocans activity and
  805. other neighborhoods should carry on this
  806. activity different types of problems are
  807. there each and every losing
  808. gentrification is happening all over the
  809. city it's not just in Parkdale so I
  810. think it's important that people get the
  811. message that when you stick together we
  812. have a lot more power as a group than we
  813. do as individuals I would suggest that
  814. anyone
  815. hi rent increases to get together with
  816. their neighbors don't go alone you know
  817. get your neighbors involved he organized
  818. go as one which caused a unified front
  819. get organized meet with people in your
  820. building meet with people outside your
  821. building you're more powerful than you
  822. think a lot of people are really
  823. skeptical I mean I remember back in
  824. March and even an April we're starting
  825. to organize the rent strike like even
  826. some of the main organizers now we're
  827. like you guys are nuts like this is
  828. never going to work
  829. everyone's they get evicted nobody in
  830. this building wanted to get involved I
  831. was the only person some people told me
  832. don't watch the boat it doesn't affect
  833. us but now that the rent strikes over
  834. and the negotiations
  835. everybody was everybody just cheering
  836. this on right this is the greatest thing
  837. since sliced bread some people are still
  838. calling us iMac so some other and strike
  839. like that Oh y'all did a great job when
  840. y'all get started how y'all do this how
  841. y'all do that you make you feel good but
  842. the nation a difference I'm happy we
  843. work out very well
  844. I'm emboldened by this right people
  845. now even if something that happens next
  846. I'm having more people with joint
  847. because you had that piece of big thing
  848. there's power in numbers and we had a
  849. loud voice in our voice with hurt that's
  850. what people in the neighborhood have
  851. learned from this experience is that
  852. while there are individual working-class
  853. people that are commendable the strength
  854. and authority that is latent within the
  855. working class which annually is
  856. something that no other social force can
  857. actually touch and it just has to be
  858. organized and that organization takes a
  859. lot of work the lesson to take is do the
  860. work do the organizing carry out the
  861. action win the day and prepare for the
  862. next day
  863. [Music]
  864. [Laughter]