Downtown East June 2013

Downtown East June 2013


The June 2013 issue of the Downtown East is focused on the ongoing gentrification pressures on low-income residents. Gentrification and the constant threat of displacement is reshaping the long-standing low-income dominated community and the sense of social justice that binds these communities together. Begin reading with an editorial that examines the strains that gentrification puts on the fabric of these communities and continue to see what these pressures mean for sex workers, migrant people, and other low-income residents, as well as how – from hunger strikes and demonstrations to planning work – these residents are fighting back.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUnder pressure of gentrification

By Downtown East editorial collective

Throughout the history of the DTES, resident-based groups have arisen to build and strengthen the community through the struggle for social justice. Today, determined work continues to defend our community against spreading homelessness and inequality, rapid gentrification and forced displacement. (…)

sjz_group-of-residentsA 5-point plan to make the DTES a Social Justice Zone

By the Anti-Gentrification Caucus of the DTES LAPP Committee

The future of the Downtown Eastside (DTES) is being made by super rich real estate investors and developers who are profiting off changing the neighbourhood from a place where low-income people feel at home into yet another fashionable strip mall. (…)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe struggle continues after the BC election

By Harold Lavender

The May 14 provincial election proved to be a disappointment to many in the DTES. We are now saddled with four more years of a right-wing Christy Clark-led B.C. Liberal government dedicated to serving the interests of the rich and powerful. How can we respond to this situation? We are not responsible for the election results. (…)

louise-copyHome Turf: A sex worker speaks out against gentrification

By Lulu Bordeaux and Shannon Bundock

The invasion of high end businesses and expensive condos into the Downtown Eastside has brought pressure against women working in street level sex work. The changes in the neighbourhood threaten  to drive them away from the area that they are most safe and comfortable working. Many street level sex workers choose to work in the DTES because it is an affordable and familiar community. (…)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADTES Community Plan challenges City Hall’s pro-developer planning process

By Ivan Drury

As the main points of the City’s coming DTES Local Area Plan (LAPP) begin to emerge from the highest offices of city hall, a caucus of low-income people who have been involved in the consultation process around the LAPP are developing their own plan. (…)

conceptdesignHomes or an art palace? Which would you choose?

By Jean Swanson

City council is happy with a new deal to give $22 million worth of land to a non-profit developer to build about 350 units of rental housing on four sites in South Vancouver. I probably would have voted for the project myself if I had been on council. But there is another council decision I wouldn’t have voted for: a decision to give an estimated $200 million worth of land and relief of taxes to help build a fancy new art gallery. (…)

dewc_chinese_seniors-copyA Chinese elders commitment to the DTES community

By Mercedes Eng

I recently met with Sheung Leung, a Chinese elder better know as Popo Su, and Deanna Wong, the Chinese Seniors Outreach coordinator at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. I wanted to talk with her because of her long-time commitment to the DTES community. (…)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGood Neighbour, Bad Neighbour: Learning from experiences with ‘Good Neighbour’ agreements in Victoria

By Tamara Herman

“Good Neighbour Agreements” may sound like friendly and harmless arrangements for community living, but what’s behind their seemingly innocent names? (…)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Now, more than ever, we need unity and solidarity.” DTES hunger strike campaign wraps up and looks ahead

By Jean Swanson

Over 125 Downtown Eastside residents packed into the Carnegie Theatre on May 26th for a celebration and feast in honour of (formerly) Homeless Dave’s hunger strike. Homeless Dave ended his 36-day hunger strike on April 28th. (…)

dtenews_spread_v03 (1)Pull-out poster: How it is (Hastings St 2007-2012)

A poem by Mercedes Eng

alexandra-copyA housing crisis in Canadian fields

By Agricultural Workers’ Alliance – Surrey Support Centre

The next time you visit Richmond, Surrey, Langley, the Okanagan Valley, or other places in BC, pay attention to the fields where our food is being grown and harvested. Have you ever noticed the workers toiling to put that food on our tables? Would you have guessed that they are actually temporary foreign workers, who come from Mexico, Guatemala, the Caribbean and the Philippines? (…)

alexandra-copyUna crisis de vivienda en los campos de Canada

Por la Alianza de Trabajadores Agrícolas, Centro de Apoyo de Surrey

La proxima vez que usted visite Richmond, Surrey, Langley, el Valle del Okanagan, o cualquier lugar en BC, preste atención a los campos donde nuestros alimentos están siendo sembrados y cultivados. ¿Alguna vez ha notado los trabajadores que laboran duro para poner esa comida en su mesa? ¿Se ha imaginado usted que en realidad son trabajadores temporales extranjeros (…)

mad-pride-copyBorderlines: Mad Pride show at Gallery Gachet

By Diane Wood adapted from a statement by Gallery Gachet

When does a behaviour, mood, thought become a disorder?  BorderLines is a group art exhibition about behaviour, mood and thoughts as seen by contemporary Western medicine. Mental illness labelling can be destructive and limiting; it can also help us understand behaviour. (…)

stephenlyttonWhy I Love the Downtown Eastside

Poem by Stephen Lytton

First of all, let me ask you some questions./ What is it that you wish to capture?/ Is it the essence or the moment?/ Or the character – heart and soul of the Downtown Eastside?/ Or is it about the human spirit/ and its will to survive in spite of all the challenges it encounters?/ What will you take from your experience? (…)

4-334-paint-inAmalia lives on

By Byron Cruz

Her name was Amalia, Amalia from Hastings, Amalia from Guatemala. Amalia was one of the first Latin American women to live and work in the DTES. Amalia had a history of pain, a history of suffering. She had been kidnapped and tortured by the Guatemalan army. Amalia started working in DEYAS (Downtown Eastside Youth Activities Society) (…)


Film review: My Brooklyn

By Harold Lavender

“My Brooklyn” is a moving, informative but ultimately very sad documentary about how a vibrant diverse neighbourhood can be wiped out by the forces of gentrification. (…)

margaret-stellaThe Bottle Depot is home

By Ivan Drury

On May 16 Vancouver City Council passed a motion to support the United We Can bottle depot to move from its long-time home at the 000 block of East Hastings to an industrial area south of Terminal Avenue. The Vancouver Police Department celebrated the move as breaking up “crime” on a public street (…)

asiahotel-copyGood news for Asia Hotel residents

By Jean Swanson

ATIRA women’s resource society will be the new manager of the Asia Hotel on Pender St. owned by the Mah Society. This news comes after over a year of uncertainty. The building was scheduled for renovation. It was unclear when current residents would be evicted. Nor was it clear whether they could come back, and what rents would be changed. (…)

404 Not Found

404 Not Found