[Hpn] Re: Pan-In PROTESTS panhandling ban in Vancouver, Canada FWD

ARON KAY pieman@pieman.org
Sat, 20 May 2000 02:13:17 -0400


perhaps an inexpensive street sheet called "spare change" should br
dissminated at the mass panhandle-in

Tom Boland wrote:
> 
> http://news.excite.ca/news/ap/000517/23/panhandling-rally
> FWD  Canadian Press - Wed, May 17, 2000
> 
> RALLY DEFIES VANCOUVER'S TOUGH ANTI-PANHANDLING BYLAW
> 
> VANCOUVER (CP) - Panhandlers and anti-poverty activists openly
> defied Vancouver's tough anti-panhandling law Wednesday on trendy
> Robson Street.
> 
> The protest and "Pan-In" challenged the legality of the city's
> bylaw enacted in May 1998.
> 
> The bylaw bans panhandling between sunset and sunrise.
> 
> Daytime begging is illegal within 10 metres of a bus stop,
> liquor store, bank or ATM machine or while sitting down. Violators
> can be fined up to $2,000.
> 
> The law has never been enforced - and wasn't Wednesday in spite
> of the mass influx of panhandlers at the corner of Robson and
> Burrard streets.
> 
> Protesters and homeless people charged that city police and
> private security guards are using the bylaw to abuse their
> authority.
> 
> "The police are using this bylaw to harass and threaten
> people," said Linda Moreau of End Legislated Poverty. "People
> have had their things taken from them by the police and not given
> back to them.
> 
> "It's a poor-bashing bylaw directly totally at poor people,"
> she said.
> 
> Governments are criminalizing begging while enacting legislation
> that is creating more poverty, said the National Anti-Poverty
> Organization position paper on anti-panhandling bylaws.
> 
> "A lot of people who are poor can't even get on welfare now,"
> Moreau said.
> 
> She said the lack of low-income housing and low welfare rates
> ($500 a month) exacerbates the problem.
> 
> "The social safety net is basically not there anymore," she
> said. "People are forced to beg."
> 
> Both the National Anti-Poverty Organization and End Legislated
> Poverty are challenging the bylaw in the fall in B.C. Supreme Court
> under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms on the grounds it
> discriminates against the poor and is a violation of free speech.
> 
> Panhandlers "are totally within their legal rights as long as
> they don't harass or threaten," Moreau said.
> 
> END FORWARD
> 
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Aron Kay 
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