» Download file 'streetteens.mp3' (4.8MB)
I had seen the two youths, now pushing a shopping cart across Robie street, earlier at Grand Parade Square. They had the look of very young men playing at being older than they were. They are street kids, and like a significant portion of the population at Grand Parade Square, they are the city's poor.
One of the criticisms lobbed against Occupy NS, and the Occupy movement in general, is that there is no direction, or no goals. I would counter, from my limited experience at Parade Square, and at General Meetings, is that while it is very difficult (if not impossible) to create a media-friendly list of demands and goals, it is rendered all the more difficult because the Occupy movement is not only attempting to re-invent society, it is attempting to do so while learning how to immediately deal with those who this society has rejected.
A few nights on the streets is enough to render anyone out of a normal realm of "sanity". Imagine years. Then imagine a place where people who have been on and off the streets for years are welcomed. There will be yelling. There will be smells. There will be cursing. There may be an overflowing outhouse. There may even be a need to re-sod next spring. But at Parade Square, unlike this city's unfortunately over-taxed shelters and pitiful lack of affordable housing, no one is turned away, and everyone is still fed. After 3 weeks.
There is a poverty issue in this city, which refuses to be contained in sterile environments where you don't need to see them. Imagine, the poor have a voice, and some of them are upset!
Please enjoy this interview with two young men who have spent too long on the streets in their short lives. Be advised that the interview contains some expletives.
Full Disclosure: Miles Howe gave these young men $20 to take their picture, and he doesn't care how they spend it.