On January 13th, 2022, the tent city at C.R.A.B. Park beat the Vancouver Parks Board in the B.C. provincial court. Their historic win is precedent-setting. Two General Orders that the Parks Board passed banning overnight sheltering in the park were also nullified. How did we get here? What is the violent history of state repression and the counter-resistance that has led to this monumental victory? And where do we go from here?
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).
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.
What lies ahead for 58 and the people of the Downtown Eastside? If history has been any lesson, the vision of 58 West Hastings was born and fought for in the streets. Its future cannot be won otherwise.