Issue #16 - July 6, 2001



Survivor Pride: nine years of celebrating triumph over adversity

  Toronto -  It was the summer of 1993 when a small group of psychiatric survivors  first explored the idea of a celebration to honor the resiliance, diversity and  talents of persons who have encountered the ‘mental health’ system of oppression and prevailed. 
    Inspired by the annual celebrations of lesbian and gay pride that take place in many major cities, the first annual Psychiatric Survivor Pride Day took place on September 18, 1993. On this day nearly 200 people came together at a public library in Toronto’s west end for workshops, theatre, music, a Native healing ceremony and a shared meal, followed by a march to the grounds of the Queen Street Mental Health Centre, where a memorial for those who have died in institutions took  place.
    Following the success of this first event, somewhat smaller gatherings took place in the early fall through the next several years. In 1998, a march was again held following a day of workshops and other events - this time to the site of a large rooming house that had recently been destroyed by fire, claiming the lives of two women.
    Last summer, the scope of the celebrations expanded considerably with workshops occurring over a period of several days, along with a video screening, a historical walking tour of the grounds of the Queen Street Mental Health Centre, a candlelight ‘Vigil of Voices’ to honour the dead, and  capped off with a march and rally on Bastille Day (July 14)
    Also for the first time, last year saw ‘Mad Pride’ celebrations take place in a number of other locations in the United States, Britain, and even the Congo! 
    With the rapidly escalating repression aimed at persons with psychiatric labels, these celebrations of resistance are assuming an even greater importance. Draconian forced ‘treatment’ laws are being pushed through in jurisdictions throughout the United States and Canada, parts of Australia, and a number of European countries. ‘Family advocacy’ organizations like the Schizophrenia Society of Canada, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in the States, or SANE (Schizophrenia: A National Emergency) in the UK are collaborating with psychiatrists, media, and multinational drug companies to promote this particularly insidious facet of the globalization agenda. 
    With the World Bank now involved in creating  a ‘global template’ for mental health ‘services’ and policy, this spread of repression is likely to become an unstoppable juggernaut - unless survivors and allies take a firm stand.
    This year’s events get underway with the ‘This Belongs To You’ theatre workshop July 6 to 8. This event will offer previews of two works in progress from the Friendly Spike Theatre Band  (The Edmond Yu Project, and The Girls of Grandview) with an opportunity for audience members to contribute to the development of both plays through post-performance discussion. The Friday will officially launch this year’s Pride events, with members of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty being the honoured guests on the Saturday. The Sunday afternoon performance is dedicated to women survivors of psychiatry and other institutional abuses. <Survivor Pride - continued>
Subsequent events will include a ‘rant in the park’ (a quasi-theatrical event focusing on police misconduct), a repeat of last year’s historical walking tour and ‘Vigil of Voices’ at QSMHC, and several days of workshops. The July 22 March against the Globalization of Mental Health Oppression will cap off the events by making important links between the expansion of coercive psychiatry and the corporate globalization agenda.

Psyche Survivor Pride Events 
Toronto, July 2001
July 6, 7, 8
This Belongs To You Theatre Workshop
Friendly Spike Theatre Band
Joseph Workman Theatre, 1001 Queen St. W.
July 6,  7 PM - Official Psychepride Start
July 7, 7 PM - OCAP Night
July 8, 1 PM - Women Survivors Day
*    *    * 
July 14 4-7 PM  Rant in the Park
Committee to Stop Targeted Policing
Trinity-Bellwoods Park 
Queen St W. at Strachan Ave. 

*    *    *
July 14 7 PM  Second Annual Historical Walking Tour - grounds of Queen Street Mental Health Center
Assemble Ossington Ave./Queen St. W.
9 PM  Second annual Vigil of Voices
in front of QSMHC

*    *    * 
July 15 7-10:30 PM Edmond Yu Kick-off Cabaret @ Parkdale Activity & Recreation Centre, 1499 Queen St. W.

*    *    *
July 17 - Two Workshops by People Against Coercive Treatment
Toronto City Hall Committee Room 3
100 Queen St. W.

10 AM-1 PM  Psychiatric Drugs: ‘Safe and Effective’ - or a Hazard to your Health?
2 PM - 5 PM  Electroshock - A Crime Against Humanity

*    *    *
July 18 7-9 PM Women and Psychiatry forum 
Masaryk/Cowan Community Centre 220 Cowan Ave. @ Queen St. W.
(Note: To ensure a safe environment for participants this forum is open to women only)

*    *    *
July 20 11 AM-4 PM Rights Forum
Masaryk/Cowan Community Centre
220 Cowan Ave. @ Queen St. W.

*    *    *
July 22 11 AM March against the Globalization of Mental Health Oppression - Assemble 1001 Queen St. W. (@ Ossington)
1 PM BBQ and Celebration 
Stanley Park -  King St. W. @ Walnut St.


(From Support Coalition International)


"Globalization of Psychiatry" To Be Challenged By Human Rights Protest In Front Of The Vancouver, Canada Convention Center, Sunday, July 22, 2001, 3PM


Russell Tribunal on Human Rights in Psychiatry from June 29 to July 2, 2001, sponsored by IRREN-OFFENSIVE, an SCI sponsor group based in Berlin.
Free Booklet On German Mad Pride Event Now Available


     Prison Reform Actions on July 14, 2001
A three-day vigil against involuntary psychiatric oppression in Albany, New York. This event is being hosted by an SCI Sponsor Group, one of the founding groups, Mental Patients' Liberation Alliance of Central New York (Syracuse). The Alliance first developed the use of Bastille Day (July14) as a united day to speak out against psychiatric human rights violations. You are especially
invited to speak out against forced electroshock by the New YorK Office of Mental Health. 
For more information, send e-mail to <>

 Mad Pride will be celebrated Saturday, July 14 in the Community Village in the heart of the Oregon Country Fair near Veneta, Oregon. The local host is Support Coalition Northwest. Contact us for complete information. <>


 "Asylum in the 21st Century" is a conference to be held on Bastille Day, July 14, 2001, in Manchester, UK. This is being sponsored by Psychology Politics Resistance, a sponsor of SCI. 


Association Stop Abus-Psy's is a Sponsor Group of Support Coalition International based in Paris.  For many years they have held a small vigil on Bastille Day to commemorate and remember people who have resisted psychiatric oppression. Of course, Bastille Day itself began in France, so it's especially appropriate that Association Stop Abus-Psy's holds these vigils at the Bastille itself. When  the Bastille was liberated, at the very bottom were some psychiatric inmates, and this is why our  movement has used this day to remember those still locked up unjustly in psychiatric prisons.

Support Coalition International is an alliance of almost one hundred grassroots groups in 13 countries united to win human rights in the "mental health system." 

For full information on  international Mad Pride events visit SCI’s Mad Pride website at

Updated details on Toronto events are listed at

Psychiatric Survivor 
Resources in Toronto

 People Against Coercive Treatment 
P: 760-2795 F: 368-5984 
Internet: <>
* * *
Queen Street Patient’s Council
Room 2059, 1001 Queen St. W.
Toronto, Ontario M6J 1H4 
P: 535-8501x2018 F: 325-9749
Internet: <>
* * *
No Force! Coalition
(c/o Queen Street Patient’s Council)

319 Dundas St. E. #408
Toronto, Ontario M5A 2A2
Fax: (416) 368-5984
E-mail: <>

Contributions welcome!
(Contributions may be 
edited for space)