Blog

Pivot open letter: harms of camp evictions

We worked with Pivot Legal Society to document service providers' perspectives on the ways the provincial government's enforcement order is harming people living in Pandora & Topaz tent cities. The most important perspectives, the people who should most be listened to and believed, are the people living at Topaz and Pandora. But we hope these … Continue reading Pivot open letter: harms of camp evictions

Action: Write City Council – Align with United Nations Directives

On April 30, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing released a National Protocol for Homeless Encampments in Canada. This document identifies municipalities' obligations, under international human rights law, regarding treatment of people sheltering outside in tent cities. The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing also recently set out … Continue reading Action: Write City Council – Align with United Nations Directives

The Talk From Topaz: Where do we go from here? By Topaz Residents

Over four gatherings in late April and early May, Topaz Camp residents brainstormed ideas on two large whiteboards about what they wanted the public/decision makers to know and what would make them feel cared about. Outreach workers from AVI set up the logistics for the meetings. Volunteers from Poverty Kills 2020 transcribed and compiled the … Continue reading The Talk From Topaz: Where do we go from here? By Topaz Residents

New eviction deadline, same old fuckery

In colonial capitalist land, Friday is fun times. For people at tent cities, Friday is the time when you get extra-fucked over by bureaucrats who set things up to happen just before they take the weekend off to go pursue work-life-balance. THE NEW DEADLINE IS MAY 20... On April 25th the provincial government, aka Nastily … Continue reading New eviction deadline, same old fuckery

7 weeks in: update

On Tuesday March 17, the provincial government declared a public health emergency due to COVID-19 and shelters and other survival services started closing down or reducing spaces. The following day, a provincial state of emergency was declared, giving the government power to remove or restrict people from anywhere in ‘bc’ and do other things. On … Continue reading 7 weeks in: update

McShelters: Numbers harmed today

Under capitalism and colonialism, "success" is often measured in appalling ways. Big institutions are often very efficient at causing mass harm, and very bad at responding to crises in good ways. (Especially crises that they have largely caused.) It can be confusing to sift through government PR to figure out what's actually going on. The … Continue reading McShelters: Numbers harmed today

When government is the public health emergency

On September 23, 1997, after pressure from street community activists, the Vancouver/Richmond Health Board declared a public health emergency in the Downtown Eastside. HIV rates had skyrocketed as a result of insufficient access to clean needles and more than 1,000 people had died of drug overdoses. On April 14, 2016, BC’s provincial health officer declared … Continue reading When government is the public health emergency

Reality check: situation on the ground

Two days ago the provincial government announced their plans to close down tent cities at Topaz Park and Pandora Avenue here, and Oppenheimer Park in the Downtown Eastside, by May 9. The headline of the accompanying BC Housing release is "Province secures safe shelter, supports for people living in major encampments". People have been told … Continue reading Reality check: situation on the ground

Displacing tent cities: today’s government announcement

This morning the provincial NDP government held a press conference to announce their plans to close down tent cities at Topaz Park and Pandora Avenue here, and Oppenheimer Park in the Downtown Eastside. This was supposed to be a gradual process, but minutes after the press conference BC Housing and VicPD came to Pandora to … Continue reading Displacing tent cities: today’s government announcement