Video

Safe Park

Rebecca Garrett

2001, 46:30 minutes, colour, English

TAPECODE 236.04

The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty is an organization that fights for the rights of poor and homeless people in Ontario. In 1999, in response to a marked increase in homelessness in Toronto, inadequate emergency shelters and policies of targeted policing, OCAP organized the occupation of Allen Gardens in Toronto and its designation as a "safe park".
Rebecca Garrett is a visual artist and videographer whose personal experience with the results of recent funding cuts to health and social services made her want to fight back. OCAP is consistently demonized by the mainstream media, and doesn't have the resources to construct and view its own history. The intention with Safe Park was to present the story from the voices of the homeless people and members of OCAP who took part in the occupation. In this sense, Safe Park was initially and primarily intended for an audience of OCAP and its members, supporters and community, as a tool for self reflection, mobilization and solidarity. However, Safe Park is a provocative historical document and will be of interest to anyone who cares about the struggle for a decent and just society.

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