Who Are Squeegee Punks?
They are your neighbors, friends, brothers, sisters or children. They pour into the big cities
year-round to look for freedom and security on the streets. They find neither.
Kids end up homeless for many reasons: Escaping from abuse and neglect, a broken home,
or youth detention. On the streets they learn how to survive, find money and shelter, use
drugs,turn tricks, and avoid the police.
There are thousands of homeless kids on the streets: Missing Children of Canada
estimates there may be 50,000 children on the streets of Canada. Children under 21 are
the fastest-growing demographic of street people.
Most North American cities have banned squeegeeing (and many have banned begging).
Kids accumulate thousands of dollars worth of fines and then go to jail, deepening the
cycle of poverty.
Street youth are one of the highest at-risk groups for HIV, Hepatitis C, tuberculosis,
STD’s, drug overdose and many other health problems. They rely on a complex network of
friends,shelters and aid workers to survive.
Squeegee PUNKSare forced to question the establishment in a way that only
the disenfranchised can, providing a view of a world most don’t see: cops on horseback
storming parks at dawn, beatings in back alleys, imprisonment for months by mistaken
identity because punks all dress the same and they’re hard to tell apart.
They have become nomads—owning almost nothing, never knowing stability, living an alien
existence. No sleeping in this park. Don’t squeegee in front of my store. You’re not
allowed in this part of town. If you’re still here when we come back, we’ll arrest you.
These kids refuse to obey, assimilate, or conform to society’s values—their beliefs and
realities are scarred into their flesh in the form of piercings, tattoos, track marks,
bruised veins, rotting teeth, gangrene, scurvy…
We made this film because these kids have something vital to say, with their Words
(Corruption… Riot … Anarchy) with their Actions (storming Parliament to speak to their
government), with their Attitude (stepping into traffic and announcing their poverty).
People are scared of squeegee kids because they’re different, and new laws are constantly
being introduced across the country which allow police to target and arrest them. These
laws are killing a rite of passage into adulthood in which young people are allowed to
rebel and question the establishment.
With this film we hope to break down the fears and stereotypes that are turning
a generation of Canadian kids into enemies of the state.