Published online by the Student Activist Network, 17 July 1999
“Stop the war on the poor, throw this council out the door,” a crowd of 50 concerned citizens chanted as they marched through the streets of downtown Victoria on July 17. They were preceded by placards bearing the faces of six city counsellors who voted in favour of an anti-panhandling bylaw last month. The word “Out!” was scrawled across the placards.
A municipal election is slated for November 20.
Beginning on the lawn of City Hall, the march proceeded past the offices of the Victoria Business Improvement Association, one of the main players behind the bylaw. “Housing for all, poverty for none,” protesters chanted. They marched to the Tourism Victoria office in the city’s quaint inner harbour.
A golden trophy for “economic cleansing” was presented in absentia to the organization’s president, Paul Miller.
Seven hundred leaflets were distributed to passersby, and following music, speeches, and festive protest, the participants marched up Government Street to conclude the demonstration back at City Hall.
Under the umbrella of Action Victoria, a campaign has been launched to force issues such as poverty, social housing, education, and daycare onto the election agenda.