In late 2015, Harm Reduction communities in Toronto successfully organized against the co-optation of their critical services by the Toronto police force. Harm reduction workers, community members, and service providers were shocked to discover harm reduction workers from local organizations John Howard Society and The Works were being accompanied by plain clothed police officers from Toronto Police Services. Through successful community and grassroots organizing this community has successfully shifted these practices and reduced the power of the police over street-based drug users.
As police and state co-optation of our life saving and critical street services proliferates throughout North America, stories of successful organizing and resistance are necessary forms of Everyday Abolition.
This is the story of their community organizing victory and why these fights are critical.