Streets are for People to deliver "petition-car" to Queen's Park
The petition-car, a car that's been collecting signatures down in Kensington Market, will end its journey down at Queen's Park. Read more of the Streets are for People's press release:
Toronto activist group Streets Are for People! will be making a special Earth Day delivery to Ontario's Legislative Building on Tuesday, April 22.
The group has organized a parade that will push its "petition-car" – a motorless automobile covered with over 4,000 signatures – from Kensington Market to Queen's Park, where they will deliver it along with a paper petition to be presented by MPP Rosario Marchese at the Legislative Assembly that afternoon. The parade leaves Bellevue Park at 1 pm.
Painted entirely white with names scrawled all over its surface, the automobile will make a striking addition to the Legislative Grounds. The text on the dead car's windshield reads: "We the undersigned do hereby demand that not one more dollar go to promote, support, or perpetuate car culture. We want bike lanes, public transit and a train system. We want our public space back. We want local food, clean air, sustainable industry, a livable future for our children, and an end to oil wars. We want to dance in the street. We want a government that values life over money."
Streets are for People! hopes the petition-car's appearance at Queen's Park on Earth Day will drive home their message that "cars suck."
"Despite the pretense we make at being civilized beings, it is our addiction and devotion to the automobile that reveals our true, wasteful, selfish, and cruel nature," says Streets are for People! co-founder Shamez Amlani. "Cars are a blight on our planet. They contribute to resource depletion, corporate hegemony, perpetual war, and urban decay."
In the formal draft of the petition, the group is calling on the Ontario government to redirect funds spent supporting the automobile industry towards pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, public transit, and an inter-city train system. The petition encourages the government to create programs to help shift the focus of Ontario's labour force into these sectors. It also asks for a ban on automobile advertising, similar to that which has been placed on the tobacco industry.
"The government is supposed to protect the public health. It's time our money stopped supporting the very thing that is killing us. Let's put Ontario to work in sectors that need working on," says Michael Louis Johnson, Streets are for People! member and one of the authors of the formal petition. The petition-car will also be part of the Earth Day festivities hosted by Streets are for People! and the Toronto Climate Coalition on Sunday, April 20. The day's events will start with a rally at noon at Yonge-Dundas Square, followed by a parade and a street festival on John Street between Queen and Richmond.
The full text of the petition is at www.thepetitionsite.com/1/anti-car-culture
For more information about the events Streets are for People! has planned for Earth day, visit www.streetsareforpeople.org
About Streets Are for People! Since 2002, Streets Are for People! has been engaging citizens and governments through creative and playful street actions in order to demonstrate the absurdity of our auto-addicted culture. Its goal is to foster open dialogue about alternate visions for our city streets, and to create and inspire collaborative projects which continue to push the agenda of a livable city and a sustainable future. The group is also behind the popular Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market, Mirvish Village, and Baldwin Village, in which streets are closed to cars on the last Sunday of each month.