For at least a century there have been two Strathconas in Vancouver: the Strathcona of urban elites and the Strathcona of the working class. At important moments in history the second Strathcona – the neighborhood of immigrants, workers, and Indigenous people – has been able to resist, build alternatives, and stand in the way of state and capitalist plans for the area.

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

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.