The legalization of public drinking was top-of-mind for many in Vancouver in the wake of COVID-19 – but don’t be fooled. These “progressive” policies won’t be made available to everyone, especially not people who need an end to alcohol criminalization the most.
In November 2020, Vancouver City Council unanimously passed a motion to request that the federal government decriminalize the simple possession of illicit drugs in Vancouver. This long-overdue attempt to change the status quo came too little too late, and now the proposed changes risk worsening the situation for illicit drug users in Vancouver and across Canada
In the early hours of January 5, 2021 – just five days into the new year – the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) executed a man in cold blood on East Hastings Street in the Downtown Eastside (DTES).
Defunding the police seems to be the topic for the last few months. Everyone is wondering: should it be done, or should it not be done. In my view it’s the right thing to do. There are just too many cops using the badge as a way of trampling on our rights and even taking lives.
For over a decade we’ve heard breathless celebrations of local and artisanal businesses as the antidote to the runaway corporatization of daily life. Unfortunately, this upbeat narrative often breaks down when the workers in these local enterprises tell their own stories.
Though we should treat the overdose crisis with the severity it deserves, desperately bleak portrayals in the mainstream press can overshadow the actual experiences, autonomy, community, and acts of solidarity among people who use drugs.
In the wake of political events erupting across North America over the past month, we are now at a moment in history when Vancouver City Council can end police street checks for good – if it has the will.