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The Fire burns on - Vancouver Anti-Olympics Torch on its way to London

Itchy the Bedbug, one of Vancouver's Poverty Olympics' anti-mascots, was present when Vancouver anti-Olympics activists handed over their Anti-Olympics Torch to Elizabeth Hogg from the London Coalition Against Poverty. The handover, the first stage in the torch's journey to London, took place next to the Olympic Cauldron in Jack Poole Plaza.

3rd Annual Vancouver Poverty Olympics poster/flyer3rd Annual Vancouver Poverty Olympics poster/flyerThe torch was used in a province wide tour of British Columbia to herald the Poverty Olympics which were held in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside in February 2010 to highlight the plight of homeless people and to remind politicians, VANOC and the IOC of promises made when Vancouver bid for the 2010 Games.

Robert Bonner, who handed over the torch, said the Poverty Olympics group had been successful in drawing attention to the problems and Rick Cooey, the handover's organiser, said they had spurred the province to implement a poverty-reduction strategy and highlighted problems in B.C., including a nation-leading rate in child poverty and a lack of social housing.

Unlike the Beijing Olympics torch, which had to be bussed around London to avoid protests, the event passed off peacefully and the torch will soon be welcomed to Britain where it will contribute to the continuing anti-Olympics campaign.

The other torch will no doubt face further well deserved attempts to put it out which will require a heavy security presence and lots of buses!

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