OCAP ….. part One, an overview

Fringe Groups … OCAP , part one, an overview

 

 

Meow everyone. The first two articles in this series covered No One is Illegal, who they are and what they really do. However, No One is Illegal is not the only group who has a reputation of using criminality and violence to accomplish its desired objectives. One of the most notorious of these fringe groups is the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, or OCAP for short. I call then notorious for good reason as they have earned, sadly, that reputation through various serious actions resulting in arrests, property destruction and  the lowest of the lowest form of oppression, using innocent people as “ canon fodder   “ .

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OCAP postulates that they stand up and represent the poor and underprivileged people of this city, person without homes and person living on various forms of social assistance. On the surface, this is certainly an admirable endeavor and something that we need more of. I did say on the SURFACE, because a deeper exploration of this fringe group shows that they, as a group, do a great deal more to harm these very groups of persons they claim to advocate for, than any potential good they could do, or have ever done.

 

In this series about OCAP, I will look at their history, the key persons behind OCAP, their past actions, their recent  actions, their promotion of hate and the one thing that they don’t want you to know about, who funds them  and how they are funded.

 

 

OCAP, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty was founded in 1989 by John Clarke and Sue Collis, with Sue’s husband, the radical native activist Shawn Brant as their bookkeeper.

 

From what what I have been told, OCAP is not a registered nonprofit organisation, but under a different name, the my understanding, was originally registered  as a for profit partnership between John Clarke and Sue Collis.  It is my understanding  that  Sue Collis  now living on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory with Brant, I don’t know if the business registration has changed.

 

OCAP funding is only known to John Clarke but has been generally acknowledge by him to be from some CAW locals, CUPE and their members, individuals and from the sale of native reservation cigarettes. Supposedly the finances of OCAP are overseen by the Executive Committee, but as at fundraising events the money goes straight into Clarke’s pocket, it is unknown if the amounts are accountable to anybody but John Clarke. OCAP has held fundraising events quite recently at the steel workers hall.  I will expand on their funding in greater detail in  part two of this story.

 

OCAP and John Clarke are affiliated with an number of groups including the New Socialists who John Clarke described as OCAP’s “Sein Feinn”, plus the Communist Party of Canada, No One Is Illegal Toronto and other groups such as the Federation of Metro Tenants Associations. I will expand in far greater detail the political affiliations of OCAP and how dangerous they  are because there is evidence to suggest that some of OCAP’s funding comes from  groups such as the FMTA.

 

OCAP’s elite members (http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/sueann_levy/2010/11/18/16209761.html)

OCAP has an Executive Committee which 20 years ago included poor people, it now is almost wholely the children of the elite, usually union leaders’ children, and those of the upper middle class. It is rare for there to be any people of color on the OCAP executive. Mark Brill  is a perfect example of this.

While OCAP claims to represent `the people’ if you attend their General Meetings for the non-elites where they get to rubber stamp the decisions of the Executive Committee, the meetings have few members who are people of color who stick around for very long. While OCAP claims to have many members who are people of color these are mostly the Somali members who make up the OCAP Women of Etobicoke (OWE) who mostly only had ties to OCAP in relation to the special diet program. OCAP is mostly a white people while it repeatedly tries to recruit people of color with little success.

 

 

 

My association with OCAP came not as a member but rather, as an observer of their activities as well as those of other fringe groups over the past several years as a street photographer. Being an image arts student at Ryerson University offered me a rather rare  chance opportunity to see this organization for a brief moment from the inside. This opportunity was made possible as a result of my involvement with the student union there which was housed in the same building as CKLN. One of the top persons at OCAP, Mark  ( aka: Marque )  Robert Brill worked as a technical person at CKLN, the campus radio station before the station lost its operating license as a result of many significant violation of the CRTC act.

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 Mark  Brill personally invited me to the new OCAP offices on Labatte Ave. after they moved to that location from their previous one from a local church. OCAP has since moved again. During the time of my invited visit, they held office space owned by a tech firm n the second floor of an industrial complex. The OCAP offices were in the very back of the building and getting there was like going through a maze. In a rather strange twist, that no doubt provided them with some humor, was the fact that these new ( at that time ) offices were in one of the most desirable areas of the city, by the Don River. This area is the new hot spot for developers at this moment. The building they were situated in was right next to an Audi automobile dealership, a corner unit no less. So, here they were, a group claiming to represent the poorest of the poor, in one of the most expensive, most desirable areas of the city, next to a car dealership that sells some the most expensive cars around.   Good move OCAP, you really reached out to the people in those surroundings. I will expand on Mark Brill later on in this series.

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As with all previous fringe group offices I have seen, these offices appeared as did the others, somewhat draconian in furnishings with milk crate holding up printers and fax machines, mismatched chairs,  old appearing computers, a long flat table to work off of. What I found rather odd, however, was the fact that for an organization that has a long history of questionable activities that flaunted the law, they used cordless phones which even the cheapest of radio scanners can detect. It was almost as if they were saying to the police who could have been listening, “ we dare you to try and catch us . “

 

Draconian furnishing and surroundings are no accident. In fact, this is a very deliberate way to throw off those who may question the funding these groups have. Most will stop questions things like that, upon sight of the surroundings. The second reason for draconian surroundings is so that in the event of a police raid where items are confiscated, the loss would be minimal to the organization as they would easily be replaced later on. Since my visit there some time ago, they have, fairly recently moved again, back into some local church that is much closer to their target area of Carlton Street near George Street,  and vicinity.

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OCAP has been called many things but what sticks out with the highest level of prominence is  a name that is as unflattering as one can get. It has been stated that OCAP is a domestic terrorist organization. Based on what i have seen of their actions, images and videos posted, in my opinion,  I couldn’t agree more with the below stated sentiment.

ocap terrorist 1

ocap 2a

While this next image pertains to USA policies, ours here in Canada follow much the same lines, hence the reason it is being used here

terrorism 3

 

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The trouble is that OCAP uses people who actually believe in advocating for what ever cause OCAP tells them is the flavor of the month. Some of these protestors are, and I hate to say this, live with issues that may make them unaware of exactly what they are getting into. These are cannon fodder for OCAP when the shit hits the fan so to speak, as the main leaders will often be far enough away to avoid arrest. These people they use are human shields, nothing more, to the heads of OCAP.  Have a look at the above graphics to show what is actually considered domestic terrorism and you will see why, in my opinion,  OCAP is deserving of this.

 

OCAP has been directly involved in many violent actions of a relatively short period of time. Most people are all too sadly aware of the famous Queens park riot where anything that could be thrown as a projectile, was thrown.  There was the equally famous Pope squat where OCAP members felt it was their right to occupy a building that was simply not theirs. OCAP was involved in organizing the G20 protests. OCAP tried to occupy  the offices of the liberal party a few years resulting in several person getting arrested. OCAP had tried to occupy the mayors of here recently, resulting on close to forty persons getting arrested. OCAP tried to occupy Metro Hall, resulting on more persons getting arrested. Is this the type of group you want to invite to advocate for you?

2007 city hall disruption (1)

 2007 city hall disruption (2) 2007 city hall disruption

 

And now for good ol’ OCAP rioting at Queens Park

2001 ocap queens park riot (4)

2001 ocap queens park riot (2)

2001 ocap queens park riot (3)

I supported a suggestion made as shown above in a screen shot where it was postulated that OCAP is a domestic terrorist organization. Like any organizations that operate outside the law and openly defy it, they have a recruiting practice that they hope ensures not only loyalty, but also, hopefully, ensures that they get the “ right kind of person “. Most of the people recruited will be nothing more cannon fodder for them, human shields that will act as a distraction to law enforcement while the main leaders, in typical cowardly fashion, remain just far enough away to avoid either detection or arrest. Chances are good as well, that those arrested in support of them will be abandoned, just ask Derek Soberal. He was there to support a protest put on by OCAP at Metro hall as I made mention of above, he was arrested and as quickly, abandoned by OCAP once his usefulness was over.

Violence is not the only tool OCAP uses. One of the thing they harp on a great deal is the special diet allowance for person on disability support. Let me very clear here in that this special diet allowance  is needed for many people. However, if you applied for it and DID NOT get it, you have OCAP to thank for it, as they ran a huge scan run by a Dr. Roland Wong who was the so called ” staff Dr. for OCAP. People were not tested for these claimed medical problems, conditions and diseases, but government forms were signed by sympathetic medical professions attesting it was true. They would coach the people as to what medical conditions to claim to get the maximum of $250 per person. For a family of 4 this would result in an extra $1,000 a month in government payments even if they were not sick. The Ontario government said this costed them tens of millions of dollars and rather than hiring additional people to weed out any frauds, they cut back benefits to all including those who really deserved these benefits. The most telling case was that of Dr. Ronald Wong, who signed up almost 90,000 people, few of whom where his patients, receiving $20 per form, or about $1.8 MILLION ( http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/toronto-doctor-who-signed-off-on-welfare-dietary-forms-stands-by-his-intentions/article2230094/). Additionally the OCAP Women of Etobicoke arranged busloads of their people, some of whom where claiming 6 or even 8 kids. It is reported that OCAP members involved in these OCAP special diet clinics claim to have signed up some of the people OWE brought in under multiple identities. John Clarke justified it as it being everybody’s “duty to bleed the beast”. I don’t understand why Clarke says it is people’s duty to defraud our governments and what is the origin of calling the government “the beast”. There have been a repeated but unsubstantiated allegations that OWE brought in busloads of people as an organised crime scheme with some of the proceeds possibly ending up offshore to fund the civil war in Somalia and that there were kickbacks from them and Dr. Wong to OCAP’s John Clarke.

 

 OCAP is a very intrusive organization right from the start. Prospective members are grilled about their back grounds, their police history and their political views. My insider, who is a high ranking member of OCAP told me that they take these aggressive steps to ensure that all the members have a strong anti police stance and are willing to protect the leaders when and if it become necessary.  

 

So far, I have offered a small overview of who and what OCAP is and a little bit of what they have done so far.  Part two of this article will focus on the who’s who within OCAP. Stay tuned ……..