CFS protesters set up camp outside human rights museum

Protesters expressing anger at Manitoba's child welfare system have set up a small camp outside the Canadian Museum for Human Rights after marching through downtown Winnipeg late Thursday.

Group calling for changes in Manitoba's child welfare system

Protesters expressing anger at Manitoba's child welfare system have set up a small camp outside the Canadian Museum for Human Rights after marching through downtown Winnipeg late Thursday. 1:36

Protesters expressing anger at Manitoba's child welfare system have set up a small camp outside the Canadian Museum for Human Rights after marching through downtown Winnipeg late Thursday.

About 20 people started marching from the Manitoba legislature at 5 p.m., slowing down traffic during the afternoon rush hour.

"Our children are falling in between the cracks of the CFS system," said Tyler Frederick, who held up a sign as the group walked on Portage Avenue.

Police officers carefully monitored the march, which ended at dusk outside the human rights museum at The Forks.

A couple tents were set up in what organizers hope will be the beginning of a new protest camp, as well as a safe place where homeless young people can stay.

"I used to be in foster care myself, which is why I fight for the CFS thing, because I went through a lot of nightmarish things going through that whole system," said organizer Cory Bruce, who has been off and on the streets for four years.

'People can change'

Also taking part in the march was Donna George, who made headlines in the 1990s as a young pregnant woman at the centre of a court challenge over the rights of the unborn.

"I feel I belong here, because the homelessness hits a spot in my heart. I was homeless for six years," she said at the camp.

George was known in court coverage as "Ms. G," who was forced by Manitoba authorities into treatment because she was pregnant and sniffing glue.

The case went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, which struck down the provincial government's challenge to force her to undergo treatment.

However, George went through treatment on her own. In a 2010 interview, she told CBC News the case and the birth of her son changed her life.

Her son Adam, who is now 17 years old and finishing high school, marched beside her on Thursday. They both called for changes to the child welfare system.

"People can change," she said. "If it comes from the heart, you will change."