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Young Occupants

Conversation with Two of Occupy Nova Scotia's Youngest.

by Miles Howe

Photo: Miles Howe
Photo: Miles Howe

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.

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320 words
bar baz

Comments

Great interview

Can you try to interview members of the public that come through the Occupy and ask them their impressions?

Important voices

Great interview Miles. 

...

Wow.

I agree with you. But one of

I agree with you. But one of the downsides that happened here, is that me personally and a few other business owners have tried to give a few of the attendies at occupyNS jobs, which they happily turned down. We later found out that they receive unemployment and are happy with it.

This to me is a big slap to the face of hard working canadians. And change should come from it and block these abusers of the system.
 

There are many Haligonians out here that truely can not find work, are dissabled and can not work or are too young or old to work. These are the people that truely deserve our help.

Not people who would rather dress "down to hearth" and smoke weed all day.

And do not twist my words. You and I both know very well that this is the case.

Don't tar us all with the same brush

 

That may be true to some, but I would have loved it if someone offered me a job. I don't know who it was you spoke to, but I certainly don't smoke weed every day and was down there a lot. The time I was on unemployment benefits, I hated it and never want to be in that situation again, and no matter how hard I tried, it took months to get a job (though this wasn't while I lived in Halifax). I can't speak for everyone as there was a diverse crowd, but some people have jobs, some go to school, some don't, so please don't say we're all hippies that dress a certain way and take substances. I find that quite an offensive assumption as I don't fit into the above. I'm not trying to twist anything, or say that your experience didn't happen. Also, I don't really think people support occupy ns just to get a job - I think they (well, I do) that the elderly, disabled, young and old all need help. On the other hand, I say 17 year old kids that live on the streets and think weed is the answer to everything deserve help as well.

 

materials

hi to all halifax.mediacoop.caers this is my first post and thought i would say a big hello to yous -
thank yous speak soon
garry

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