Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

'Good vibes' at homelessness rally

Pivot Legal Society continued its tightly-focused red tent campaign with a noon-time homelessness rally that felt almost like a celebration.

“It’s got a good vibe,” the group’s executive director John Richardson told the Tyee as he shook hands, shot smiles and composed a speech in his head.

Today was civil society’s spotlight moment. Numerous groups with diverse aims have used global attention around the Olympics to promote their causes.

The focus of last Saturday’s riotous protest, for example, was anti-capitalist and anti-colonialist. A Monday evening rally brought attention to Canada’s Afghanistan involvement.

Hundreds gathered under the bright spring sun today with a simple message: End homelessness in Canada. The Vancouver Art Gallery’s front steps were speckled with bright red tents. Easy-rocking jams by bands like the Magnetic Fields floated from loud speakers.

Three "raging grannies" sung about Vancouver’s social problems with creaking voices.

“The truth is that housing is a human right and must be addressed,” New Democratic Party MP Libby Davies told the crowd. Many homelessness advocates – and Vancouver city councillors – have been vocal about the need for federal involvement.

Last year, Davies introduced Bill C-304, a plan to enact a national housing strategy. The bill could be debated as early as March, when Parliament meets again.

That urgency gave fuel to today’s rally. Davies said she’d fight “tooth and nail” to get the strategy passed.

"Homelessness should not exist in a wealthy country like Canada," she said. "This is about political choices."

Over the past week, Pivot has unfurled banners, erected a tent city and “slept over” near Science World. Well-known social rights activist Am Johal hopes the energy continues long into the future.

“This movement doesn’t go away after the Olympics,” he said. “It has to go on.”

Geoff Dembicki reports for the Tyee.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus