Eulogy for Tooker, by Sasha Braun


Dear Tooker,

I want to thank you for all your love and passion for people and the environment, for your indefatigable sparking enthusiasm and creative activism that has inspired me on many occasions I had the privilege to share with you.

You were there on the streets and in the public eye tirelessly advocating for equal rights, protecting the interests of the disenfranchised, educating the public about sustainable living practices, and helping government officials to be better informed and functional. Everyone knew you and you knew everyone.

You were there to open the Pope Squat and helped to make it the most successful housing action in the history of Toronto. Your continuous presence at the Pope Squat gave us the necessary energy to keep it going and, with your efforts, the Pope Squat managed to house over fifty homeless and marginalized persons for over three months, prompting a stimulating and ongoing discussion worldwide about the issues of homelessness, affordable housing, and human rights.

You were there on the cold Hallowe’en night when police raided the Pope Squat and brought this housing initiative to an end. You set up your tent across the street in protest of their actions. You clothed and fed people, and for two weeks organized attempts to reconcile with the city. You were the last to leave the Pope Squat, on November 14, 2002.

I admire and honour your commitment to social wisdom and your empathy for all. Your heart was the size of the Universe and your life was the Love in your heart. If good things can happen, then they will happen. You made a sacrifice to bring the Good in God. Rest in Peace dear friend Tooker Gomberg.

“Some parts of the past must be preserved, and some of the future prevented at all costs.”