The Olympic torch was forced to reroute off its planned path down Commercial Drive by protesters from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Protesters say that the money spent on hosting the Olympic games could be used to create a Vancouver where programs to prevent poverty, homelessness and addictions are available.
Protesters were clear about why they were participating in the march.
"How could you not be at this protest? 10 million dollars in cuts in the Sun this morning. 10 million dollars that's what Harper came here to tell us. Ten million more cuts for the poor, ten million more cuts in housing. How could you not be here?" said protester Louise Leclair.
"I have an athletic background, and I'm all for nations showing pride for where you're from, but what it comes down to is that all the money that went into this could fix Vancouver," said another protester who gave his first name as Jameson.
"This is my neighborhood," said Rebecca as she stood waiting to join the demonstration. "I have an 8-year old son, and his school is supporting it. It makes me sick. I'm a single mom, I'm going to school to learn to work with street youth, and it goes against everything I stand for, all my beliefs," she continued.
"There were some complexes near where I used to live and a bunch of my family lived there. They kicked us all out because they wanted to move the Olympics there, they kicked us all out then all of a sudden they said we're moving the Olympics somewhere else now. So we all had to move to Richmond and now a lot of my friends are in gangs and stuff," said Chatelaine Fulbard.
Protestors running ahead of the torch were blocked from continuing along Commercial drive at Charles St. by a row of police horses. Undeterred, the protest moved along another route as demonstrators stationed on nearby rooftops used bullhorns to direct the marchers to their next destination.