The 2nd Annual Poverty Olympics
Olympic protesters took part in the 2nd annual "Poverty Olympics" yesterday on the Vancouver downtown east side. The protesters are trying to bring awareness to the poverty and homelessness in Vancouver which has resulted from the decision to host the 2010 Olympic Games.
An estimated 500 people showed up to the lighthearted event that started with a mock torch carry from East Hastings to the Japanese Language School on Alexander St. One man dressed up as Mayor Gregor Robertson and was joined by three Poverty Olympics mascots: Itchy the Bed Bug, Chewy the Rat and Creepy the Cockroach.
After performances by Coastal Salish singer Sara Good and a skit by the Streams of Justice the torch was lite. Several protesters spoke out about there disappointment in the government, pointing out how much money has been spent on the Olympics at the cost of poverty stricken individuals. Wendy Pederson, an Olympic protester pointed out that, " The cost of a ticket to the Opening Ceremonies is $ 1,182. A single person on welfare get $610 a month."
Sharon Burns, who was part of the opening ceremonies choir and danced in the closing ceremonies finale, is a Carnegie Centre volunteer who has lived on the Downtown Eastside most of her life.
"The Olympic Games are for rich business people, developers and people with money. We need to get the information out there about the real needs we have in this province," she said.