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.
On Saturday April 18th, our members and supporters organized the Kennedy Stewart Squat in the Downtown Eastside to provide emergency shelter for unhoused and underhoused residents seeking space during the COVID-19 global health pandemic. It has been heartening to receive support for the squat in our community and our member organizations. The squat was also supported by Vancouver School Board commissioners, following cities in Ontario, Massachusetts, Arkansas and elsewhere that have used schools for emergency shelter during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gentrification is alive and well in Vancouver Chinatown. This article gives an update on the current situation in Chinatown, how city planners are pursuing an ethnic tourism gentrification strategy, and what we can learn from the recent tenant organizing victory at Solheim Place.