Downtown East February 2013

Downtown East February 2013

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The February 2013 issue of the Downtown East was published at the emergence of two movements. One, the massive and inspiring Idle No More movement of Indigenous people, we tried to cover with interviews with Indigenous DTES residents, and tying our community struggles to wider concerns for Indigenous people and colonialism. Secondly, the emergent movement to put low-income peoples’ issues on the agenda of the spring provincial election. There are also many articles about gentrification, as the pressures bear down on the community.

sha-fiery-file_protest-in-ndp-office_greyMaking BC’s housing crisis an issue

By Harold Lavender

Vancouver and other parts of B.C. are experiencing a dire housing crisis. Huge numbers of people are affected when rents soar far beyond their incomes and ability to pay. But the crisis hits hardest and most cruelly at those who struggle the most and have the least ability to pay. This especially includes indigenous people, women, new immigrants and migrants, people with disabilities and seniors. (…)

khelsilemIdle? Know More!  Learning about Indigenous Sovereignty and Land-based Resurgence

By Jean Swanson

Three hundred people packed into a large room at the main Vancouver Public Library and another 1200 watched on Facebook.  It was the Idle? Know More! event on Jan 22.  “It’s for those of us who aren’t Indigenous to open our hearts,” organizer Harsha Walia told the crowd. (…)

Kelvin Bee

Idle No More! Voices from Indigenous people in the DTES


Time for Aboriginal people to stand up and fight — for the reserve to fight for us. My reserve is the same as when I grew up. No more making promises. I’m raising my kids here and not up there because nothing has changed. No more broken promises! – Beatrice Starr (…)


A Very Chilling & Alarming Contrast!

By Therese Lulf

I think we have now come full circle with the insanity and cruelty known as gentrification. There is no room for doubt about the message that is being sent to this neighborhood: “We do not care about you, nor do we care for you.” (…)

waldorf“Save the Waldorf”? A letter to Change.Org

By Gena Thompson

This letter was sent to, an online website that hosts petitions and posted a petition to “Save the Waldorf.” (…)

sequel_rally1Letter to the editors (unprinted by the Vancouver Sun)

By Christiane Bordier

(This was sent to the editor of the Vancouver Sun but wasn’t printed.) Why is the builder of the condos, Marc Williams, at 138 E. Hastings, getting a private $23 million loan from BC Housing to build a condo complex in the 100 block? (…)

dncNew DNC Board Elected

By Shannon Bundock

On December 8th 2012, the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council held elections for a new board for the upcoming year of organizing and actions. Board positions are divided according to housing type, in rough proportion to the housing types in the DTES, with a total of seventeen elected board seats. (…)

PNG1908S Davie Police12.jpgCops must be accountable for all police violence

By Jen Allan

The mandate of the new police Independent Investigations Office (IIO), led by Richard Rosenthal, is to investigate deaths in police custody or police violence causing serious bodily harm. We think Rosenthal was brought in because, in the last ten-years, BC has the highest per-capita number of in-custody deaths in Canada and that’s embarrassing for the government. (…)

policedogAccountability and law enforcement: First Nations Perspectives from Northern BC

By Preston Guno – Nisga’a Nation, Carrier Sekani Family Services

Preston Guno, Nisga’a Nation, Carrier Sekani Family Services gave the following speech on November 13 2012, at the Pivot Legal Society panel at SFU, entitled, “What is the state of police accountability in BC?” (…)


Collective Habitat, art show at Gallery Gachet

By Diane Wood

Collective Habitat is an Art show at the Gallery Gachet at 88 E. Cordova. Twenty seven past or present members of the Gachet collective are involved. The curator, Bernadine Fox, asked the artists for work representing their relationship to the Gachet. (…)



By Harold Lavender

Well over 1,000 people took to the streets of Vancouver in a very spirited, creative and loud protest against Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway and other pipeline projects. The January 14 action occurred on the opening evening of Vancouver’s public hearings of the Joint Review Panel on the issue. (…)

socialjusticezoneDo we want a Social Justice Zone in the Downtown Eastside?

By Jean Swanson

All over the world, low income areas are being gentrified and low income and vulnerable people pushed out of their neighbourhoods. Could Vancouver be different? Could we get the city, other levels of government, business and agencies to adopt a special Social Justice Zone in the DTES? If we did, what exactly would that mean? (…)

dec11sequel138_rally1Vancity is Supporting Gentrification Not DTES Low Income Community

By Dave Diewert (*see correction at the top of article)

The drive to sell Sequel 138 condos is on. The project at 138 E. Hastings, the former site of the Pantages Theatre, has generated very strong community opposition. It would directly threaten the housing and services for low income residents of the 100 block E. Hastings and surrounding DTES neighbourhood. (…)

canada_is_a_racist_stateThe Myth of the Wealthy Asian Invader

By Sozan Savehilag

As low income and working residents of Vancouver continue to face the devastating consequences of an affordable housing crisis, many of us grapple with how this happened and how we can change it.  Unfortunately an ugly part of Vancouver’s racist history is rearing its head yet again when media attribute the cause of the lack of affordable housing to the imaginary throes of invading Asian investors. (…)


29th_-_pearly_mayPower Hour: Shelter Hopping with My Son

By Pearly May – DTES Power of Women Group

My son Ulrich and I were homeless a few years ago. A worker at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House found us a space at the Powell Street Shelter. I imagined that the shelter would be a big warehouse with rows of cots, but I was relieved to discover that we would have our own room. (…)

stand4socialhousingTaking a Stand for Social Housing

By Dave Diewert

“STANDs for Social Housing” is a campaign strategy currently used by the Social Housing Coalition BC to draw public attention to the housing crisis in the province and the need for social housing. Every Saturday, on street corners across BC, people are making a STAND for social housing. (…)

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