rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

2010 Homelessness Hunger Strike Relay: Week 55, Day 1

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $5 per month!

Today was the first day of my participation in the 2010 Homelessness Hunger Strike Relay to end Homelessness in Canada. The Relay is in week 55! At noon today I proudly accepted the relay torch (a big wooden spoon) from Emily Walker who did week 54. We did this in front of the Olympics Countdown clock on Georgia Street and I was happy to see a fair number of media show up for the event. A big thank you to Am Johal, the hunger strike Co-ordinator from Impact on Communities Coalition who has organized the Hunger strike.  With the Olympics just about a month away - we need to expose the terrible reality that a billion dollars is being spent on security, (in adittion to all the other costs for the 2010 Olympics) but housing commitments have not been kept.

From the Olympic clock,  I headed down to Main and Hastings and set up shop in front of the Carnegie Center, with my flip chart and paper, pens, petitions, and cards and chair.

For the next of couple hours it was a total blast. This is a VERY busy corner that I am intimately familiar with for close to 40 years. You meet the most interesting people, all milling about, from drug dealers, to grandmas, veterans, homeless people, drug users, aboriginal elders, young folks, people selling, buying, people standing in a food line up, and even an avowed anarchist or two. I love this corner - because you really learn about what's happening for people. Luckily it wasn't raining and people were eager to write on the flip chart the most amazing comments and support. My favourite was, "To shun poor people is to mock the Creator". Many people wrote why they see housing as so important and what it means to not have housing. Some folks stood for awhile and said they didn't know what to write - then came back and wrote lots. 

I will keep the flip chart sheets and make sure the information recorded is used to strengthen the demand for housing.

Kim (my partner) checked in on me every once in awhile, and I was always deep in conversation, sitting right at the corner on my chair. Quite a few people asked me about Bill C304, my Housing Bill in Parliament that would ensure that the federal government develops a national housing program. I was happy to report that the Bill is alive and well, and once Parliament resumes (well, that's another story), will go on to 3rd reading. The Bill has had tremendous support across the country and continues to gather more. One of the main reasons for being part of the Hunger Strike Relay is to draw attention to the critical need for federal participation via Bill C304.  It's been a long time coming and there is no doubt we are seeing the consequences of that fateful decision by the federal government in 1995 to withdraw from housing. Its a disaster and homelessness and poverty have gotten worse in the past 2 decades.

So this is what I'll be doing for the next 7 days. And I'll be in front of Carnegie each day from noon to 3pm.

If you're in Vancouver and have time - please drop by and show your support for housing. Its a human right.


Note: This blog is cross-published at http://libbydavies.ca

Follow Libby on Twitter: http://twitter.com/libbydavies

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.