(Click on piture to see where I first learned of David in the comments under the post)
The following is a letter from a friend that provides an update on the fight for human rights in a country that pretends and brags about being a leader in that category. The TRUTH shows quite the opposite, and while the mainstream media is quick to jump on the Pro-Olympics bandwagon serving up more and more propaganda, they tend to slant and downplay the life and death effects that come with them.
I would like to remind the reader at this point of a quote; "As you do to the least of my people, so you do to me."
So this guy has been sentenced to 45 days, starting on Nov 25th, because he set up a tent under the Sequoia beside Victoria City Hall. The City and their legal machine really doesn't want him to set up a tent or to sleep outside at all. I think that's why they keep locking him up. So far he has been in jail for nearly 150 days over nearly ten years, all without food. There were a lot of other instances and confinements too, which the man has documented in his Journal of the Occupation of St Ann's Accademy, available online, that include police officers driving him to the city limits on several occasions and using severe emotional abuse on him, as well as an interesting account of how the Provincial Capital Commission hired a contingent of security guards expressly for the purpose of making this man's life miserable.
So, people ask, why is he homeless? Former Victoria Mayor Alan Lowe was fond of referring to the man, David Johnston, as not really homeless and a professional activist. Crown counsel has repeatedly questioned his mental health, as well as his mother's mental health when she came forward to say she supports her son's efforts. Media has been viscious to the man, saying that he was trained as a baker, a point many people think means he has no excuse not to be working. But really, all of this is so far from reality it's like the establishment is delusional.
David is homeless because he will not use money. He won't touch it. In the rare occasions over the last few years that he did come into posession of money, he destroyed it. He eats mostly what he can find in the garbage, and at soup kitchens. This is why David is homeless. People tell him he is not a member of the homeless they are trying to help: the ones that want to get a place and get some money so maybe they won't be that poor. David's response to this is to deny choice all together. His core philosophy rests on extreme determinism and on the concept of patience being a virtue, and he has slowly fought against his perceived injustices for many years.
At one point, before his efforts led to the successful Supreme Court ruling that found Canada's constitution protects the homeless' rights to shelter themselves, David was sentenced to seven months. He served 35 days of his sentence before community pressure forced his release. I quit my job and concentrated on this for 35 days. I met people who despised David and hoped he would die in prison. And I met a lot of other people that shared moments with David they remembered fondly. The man has reached a lot of people. He serves as a sort of shaman or holy man, and he also serves as a kind of counsellor. I remember speaking to everyone I could find on the subject, and so many of them knew him. I'm not from Victoria and I don't know many people at all there, or I didn't back then. A good example of what I mean is what a busker told me. He had been really sad, once, finding himself on the streets, and David approached him and offered him some sausage he'd found in the garbage. This is the kind of work David does.
The man is not perfect. I will let Bill Cleverly or Troy DeSouza or some other David hater dwell on David's shortcomings. Even if David was a thousand times more flawed, it still wouldn't warrant the tremendous disrespect and abuse he's endured.
David is my friend, and I'd hate to lose him. I have had the pleasure of being arrested with him several times, and yet I have never had to break the law once! People can't seem to understand that. Victoria arrested us for laws that didn't exist, and they arrested us without evidence. David and I were the last two standing at the Camp Cambell protest. There have been hundreds of people arrested in this movement David champions; I have been arrested with several dozens of people over the years, and, like I said, I don't even live in Victoria.
I'd hate to lose David, but maybe it would be better if he died. Maybe it would be better if everyone with integrity would just die. I like to think I have some integrity, but I don't think I could let myself waste away like David does. It's not good for him. To do a 45 day fast you at least have to have clean water, and I've seen the water they have at Wilkinson Road Penitentiary. If he dies, I think they will have to kill me next. But I am not like David. I don't prioritize patience, I embrace disruption. If David dies I will campaign in every Victoria election, and I will disrupt every all-candidates forum and destroy all the signs and I will destroy property and cost small fortunes. In the end they will have to kill me too, I guess. Eventually, they will have killed us all, and then they can be happy in their Vibrant Victoria Lie of a town. Then they can pretend they really want to help the people that slave for them and nobody will disagree. For now, I am alive, and so is David, and there are others too, so maybe, with a little patience, something really cool will happen. It wouldn't be the first time.
One last point, the longer you allow this to happen to others, the greater the chance you create of it happening to you.