Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Nov 26 Rally

Yesterday's leaflet:
On the front (in both French and English) :
"$ 2 million tax dollars already spent evaluating Vancouver's Supervised Injection Site. Why spend more public money trying to prove the Earth is flat? Keep Insite saving lives."
On the back (in both French and English):

"Canadian taxpayers have paid more than $2 Million for an extensive scientific evaluation of Vancouver's Supervised Injection Site.
25 research papers published in medical journals have concluded that Insite:
*prevents drug overdose deaths
*reduces the spread of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C
*increases access to detox and addiction treatment
More than 1, 000, 000 injections have taken place under the supervision of Insite nurses-- that's 1, 000, 000 injections that did not take place in streets or alleys.Why spend more trying to prove the Earth is flat?
Tell Stephen Harper to do the right thing--stop wasting tax dollars on more academic studies and base decisions on accepted scientific fact, not ideology.The evidence is in. The world is round and Insite saves lives.www.communityinsite.ca"

The eye-catcher was a big (like 8 feet in diametre) flat earth complete with dinosaurs, dragons and mermaidens. This was made by a local artist who donated his time. The volcano had dry ice that smoldered all afternoon. We also set up the easels and posters that we had to forgo from the other day (due to snow). Still a bit windy, but attention getters just the same.


One of our main problems on the day was the proximity of us to daily-protester, "Anti-everything guy" (abortion, same-sex marriage, anything he deems ungodly) with a flat earth was a pretty quick leap for most people who assumed we were together.

MP of the day was Paul Dewar (NDP, Ottawa Centre). Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture, and he didn't get a chance to talk to Nathan from InSite for Community Safety as Nathan was being monopolized (strategically?) by some anti-harm reduction guys.


Despite the lack of people (5-6 at any given time), we still drew attention and were able to talk to alot of people. My strategy (to create a buffer between us and anti-everything guy) was to let people get their bearings and then as they headed down the walk let them take in the leaflet and posters then tell them why we were there and did they have any questions.
Most disheartening response of the day (and this from a government employee):
Her: We shouldn't have people like that in our society.
Me: What do you propose we do?
Her: I don't care.
Me: Well, that's a pretty unsophisticated response.
Her: (indignant, so she cared that I called her response unsophisticated...): We shouldn't have people like that in our society...
At this point her companion broke in and pointed out that one of our French words was spelt in correctly and we were at the stairs.


My most heartening responses of the day (and these out numbered the negative for me, although one volunteer gave up in frustration):
"You're preaching to the converted!" and "We're from SanFrancisco, I hope we open one there!"

I hope you do too.

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