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It’s time to march and roll on the streets of Toronto

By: 
By Melissa Graham

August 23, 2012

 

On September 22nd, 2012 the disability community will once again be making their voices heard on the streets of Toronto. The goal is to bring recognition of the struggles and value of people with disabilities as we fight against ableism and other forms of oppression, but also to celebrate and take pride in ourselves as a community of people with disabilities.

 

The Toronto Disability Pride March began in the fall of 2011, inspired by the events of Occupy Toronto, and the marches against cuts to disability services that were happening in the UK. The March was also intended to raise awareness to cuts and events that were impacting the disability community locally, such as cuts to social housing and incidents with the Toronto Police. The March was a great success, as one hundred people gathered at Nathan Phillips Square and marched down to St. James Park.

 

The UN has noted that people with disabilities are largely excluded from civil and political processes and are overwhelmingly voiceless in matters that affect them and their society. Many people with disabilities are unemployed or underemployed against their will. Though people with disabilities are seen as less or not exploitable by the owners of the means of production, they are further oppressed by being left out of it. To put it in terms of the occupy movement, they are often the lowest 1% of the 99%.

 

For too long, the rights and oppression of people with disabilities have been discussed behind closed doors, or not at all, but through actions like the Toronto Disability Pride March we find our voice, and make ourselves heard in the chorus of movements.

 

This year we are calling on all of our allies, people of every ability from the labour movement, the student movement and beyond. We call on those whose struggles have long been supported by people with disabilities to join our struggle.

 

Join us on September 22, 2012 as we march from Queens Park to Nathan Phillips Square to make the rights of people with disabilities in Toronto. For more information you can find us on facebook, or check out our website  http://torontodisabilitypride.wordpress.com

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