I Am NOT A 'Homeless Activist' (D. A. Johnston - Victoria, BC)




Let me make myself perfectly clear. The giant 'right to sleep' campaign did not originate over some altruistic desire to help the 'homeless'. The biggest inspiration came when, one night in late 2003, I put my bedroll down at one of my sleeping spots in Beacon Hill park, laid down then noticed an unusual smell. Upon inspection I found the ground covered in fertilizer (ground up fish) and subsequently my blanket was filthy. It was obviously placed there on purpose and from then on the fertilizer came to be known as 'bum-away'. To hold those responsible accountable the 'right to sleep' campaign began in earnest January 16th, 2004.


Up until that point I had been on the job as a preacher of fate, primarily meditating down at the lower Causeway and conversing with the multitudes of people strolling by. Since the campaign began the role switched from meditating everyday to playing this political character that, almost perpetually, has to defend itself from malicious defamation.


I have learned much. The thing has evolved from fighting for the right to sleep with a blanket under a tree, to sleeping in a tent, to, now, sleeping during the day. The city (which I'll now refer to as the Chamber of Commerce) has been fighting every step of the way attempting to protect its shallow little tourism industry from the visual effects of poverty. Part of my education has included becoming aware of the massively devilish take-over-the-world plan that, for instance, has the government giving out 30,000 needles (minimum) a month and a media that has blame placed on the 'homeless' for needles being found everywhere... a good plan in raising the 'need' to hire more cops. 'They' say permanent tent encampments are horribly dark magnets for crime, the truth is that there is a large population of people on the verge of nervous breakdowns (because they have to work 40 hours a week to pay for sleep) who might relieve themselves of some stress by 'choosing' to be homeless and taking advantage of their right to camp.


ON DECEMBER 31ST AT 9:30 AM IN COURTROOM #203, the Chamber of Commerce is hoping to convince a Provincial Court Judge, even after the Supreme Court of BC ruled that it is illegal to have an 'across the board' prohibition on sleeping, that an 'across the board' prohibition from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM is acceptable. I've seen how the Provincial Court works and will not be surprised if their judge finds that it is O.K. to force people not to sleep during the day. If that is going to be the case I will be immediately making an issue right in the courtroom, as the judge will be acting illegally, contravening the Constitution and the Supreme Court ruling.


So, even if I used money and had the biggest house in the world it would still morally behoove me to risk it all to find justice, as it would any and all. Not for some obscure notion of 'homeless' people, but for sanity, itself, lest it lack the peace justice provides. Patience be with us all.


David Arthur Johnston


Victoria, BC, Canada




Home page- http://www.angelfire.com/apes/hatrackman


Journal of the Occupation of St. Ann's Academy (Victoria, BC, Canada)- http://www.angelfire.com/apes/hatrackman/welcome.htm


Crimes of Necessity- http://www.loveandfearlessness.com (from filmmaker Andrew Ainsley. Very comprehensive.)


Concise Coverage of Victoria Municipal Politics- http://electionsvictoria.ca