Homeless protest CHOGM restrictions

April 17, 2011
Homeless march commences
Homeless march commences. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

Twenty five people joined a demonstration organised by homeless people to protest plans by the Western Australian government to remove homeless people from the city during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in October.
on the street.”

A parliamentary debate on April 7 revealed that homeless people would be directed away from CHOGM security areas in the city.

Protesters were upset the government wanted to keep them out of sight during the CHOGM summit without doing anything to tackle homelessness.

Video: Homeless protest plans to sweep them off the streets for CHOGM. Alex Bainbridge.

“We may be homeless, but we are not stupid,” one rally participant told Green Left Weekly.

Ken, one of the rally organisers, told GLW: “We're here to protest the government's views on homeless people.

“When CHOGM comes in October, they want to take a few street people off the streets and put them in accommodation for seven days, and then after the thing is finished they want to throw them back on the street.

“We cop enough flak from the government and the public as it is without the government putting it on TV and in the newspapers that we're not even worthy to be seen by dignitaries [coming to CHOGM].

“The government can spend hundreds of millions of dollars to redevelop the waterfront and then yesterday they announced they are going to spend $9 million to upgrade the facility at Kings Park for the CHOGM meeting.

“But they can’t afford any money to open up a 24 hour hostel or to organise some permanent accommodation. We just think that is totally unfair."

[Alex Bainbridge is a member of the CHOGM Action Network, which is organising a mass protest on the first day of the CHOGM summit.]

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