Dave Hamm

Articles by Dave Hamm

davehammFighting the Injustice of By-Law Tickets and “Proactive” Policing

My first ticket for vending happened at Denman and Robson. I had injured my back, and was staying with a friend in a hotel. I needed to get $10 each day to pay the hotel guest fee, so I would push a cart along Granville, Davie, Denman and Robson collecting items and selling them. I did that for a month or so. When I set up outside Safeway, they didn’t like it and I got a ticket for illegal vending. I couldn’t pay the fine so I fought it, hoping the cop wouldn’t show up and it would be thrown out. But she did and I got banned from the block for a year and ordered to keep the peace. After returning to work for a while I encountered further health problems and ended up on social assistance. It was not enough to survive on, so I started selling stuff on the street. As I see it, vending is a benign way to survive within an economy of enforced poverty. It’s an informal bartering system that actually fits within the mayor’s Green City idea of renew, reuse, recycle. (…)