Minutes from the Toronto Workers Assembly G-20/Free Transit Campaign Meeting,

June 7, 2010


Jennifer (Chair), Howard, Jordy, Kamilla, Xavier, Manuel, Omar, Herman, Patricia

- The Agenda was read out, amended and approved:

1. Discussion and Report from June 20th Subcommittee on the G-20 Forum

2. Free Transit Materials

3. Free Transit Forum

4. Outreach

5. The Free Transit Wiki

- June 20 Workshop Discussion

· Herman, Jordy and Patricia reported on the plans for the June 20 forum on the G-20;

· The plan and poster were approved

· We agreed to add John Clarke’s name and the Assembly website address to the poster, produce leaflet-sized notes and distribute them at the June 18th kick-off to the Peoples Assembly.

· Once Patricia had made revisions, Manuel agreed to make copies and bring them to the next meeting to organize distribution.

· A number of people agreed to be responsible for distributing the leaflet (see assignments section).

- Free Transit Materials

· We agreed to make suggestions for amending the proposed handout for introducing the Free Transit campaign on the morning of June 25th. Jennifer will bring another version to the next meeting.

· People were assigned to investigate the list of cities that have free transit, to make sure it is accurate;

· At the next meeting, we will approve a final version and discuss distribution.

· We also looked at some proposed rough drafts of street theatre scripts from Jordy and will discuss, at the next meeting, how and if we can organize a performance(s) around the time of the G-20 on selected transit vehicles. We also decided to consult the Culture Committee for ideas on how to do this.

- Free Transit Forum

· We had a very spirited discussion about the content of our proposed Forum on Free Transit, to be held on July 14th or 16th (subject to the approval of the CC);

· We agreed that the forum would reflect a frank discussion about larger strategic issues, underlying the Free Transit campaign (such as the who is our base, what are our goals, how we integrate longer and shorter-term demands/goals, etc.). We would also invite other progressive transit activists to engage with us.

· We will have featured discussion on the Forum at a future Committee meeting

· People suggested that we contact people who engaged in similar campaigns for Free Transit or are currently involved in one (although, people reminded the group that the approach we take is to argue for the principle of the right to mobility as part of a decommodified set of services.) Xavier agreed to consult some folks he know who had a similar campaign that ultimately failed in Montreal.

- Outreach

· We spoke with Franz Hartmann of TEA and will meet with Deb Cowen of the U of T this Wednesday. Franz is critical of the Free Transit demand, but agrees with the principle of the right of mobility. He would agree to participate on a panel at the July forum. (Jim Stanford strongly agrees, but won’t be back in the country until August sometime.)

- Wiki

· Kamilla will post the minutes of meetings on the Wiki;

· We will look at asking Shiraz to put the wiki address on the Assembly website;

- Other

· We will ask the CC to produce a banner for the G-20, included a slogan around Free Transit

· The next meeting will be held at OISIE, next Monday, June 14, at 6:30. Kamilla will chair it.

Assignments (courtesy of Patricia)

1) G-20 Forum

· Patricia will revise the flyer, create leaflet-sized versions.

· Manuel will photocopy and bring them to the next meeting.

· Howard will circulate it through the CSEW;

· David will contact

· Jordy and Jennifer will circulate it through their labour lists/contacts

· Omar will contact NOW magazine

· Herman will have it posted on the SP website and attached to Bullet

2) Other stuff

· Jordy will contact the Cultural Committee about the script (Jordy, if you have trouble getting hold of them, please give me a shout – Herman); Jordy and Patricia will explore the possibility of getting a speaker from the Toronto and York District Labour Council for the July forum.

· Herman will ask the CC about the Assembly banner and the date of the July forum, will speak with Shiraz about adding the wiki to the Assembly webpage and will talk with Peter Brogan about the Right to the City, as a way of framing the Free Transit campaign – perhaps at the July Forum.

· Kamilla and Jennifer will research cities with free transit, and a slew of others agreed to take a few cities, to see if they truly do have free transit systems

· Manuel will book a room at OISIE for next week’s meeting;

· Kamilla will chair and Jordy will take notes

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