Issue 7, Winter 2017

Issue 7, Winter 2017 Cover art by Beverly Denise Ho


Under an unjust state, break unjust laws – A call to revisit our strategies and take different actions

By the Editors

Our protests for social justice usually shout out in one of two directions: we shout against the laws that police use against homeless people in tent cities and resource corporations use to extract oil from sovereign Indigenous lands, or we shout for the state to look after our people with higher welfare rates or more social housing. (…)

Go ahead displace me, you’re going to have to kill me to get me to stop fighting

By Daniel Bernard Phillip Isadore (Driftpile Cree)

Well to be quite honest I only recently came to know what DISPLACEMENT means. (…)

The only way to survive is to break the law – Vancouver’s DTES Economic Development Plan continues the criminalization of the poor

By Maria Wallstam

Over 13,000 people are on social assistance in the Downtown Eastside. (…)

Expanding our sovereignty, not Kinder Morgan’s pipelines – Kwantlen nation stands against Trudeau’s pipeline plans

Interview with Brandon Gabriel by Dave Diewert

When Prime Minister Trudeau’s government approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, the Kwantlen First Nation replied quickly and decisively with protest. (…)

Sex workers must break the laws that deny us protections as workers

By Sex Workers United Against Violence (SWUAV)

Criminal codes around the world have long been useful tools for oppressors. (…)

Our veins run with water, not oil – fighting for our lives against capitalism and colonialism across Turtle Island

By Seb Bonet

In 1971, Eduardo Galeano published The Open Veins of Latin America. (…)

Hell No We Won’t Go – Demovictions, the end of social democracy, and the rise of an alternative

By Ivan Drury

On the last day of January I knocked on Nick’s door to give him a pamphlet about his rights as a renter being demovicted in Burnaby. (…)

The (Un)realities of Reconciliation

By Herb Varley

As what is now known as Canada gets ready to celebrate 150 years of Confederation, there has been renewed talk about reconciliation between the First Nations Peoples of this land and the Canadian government. (…)

Displacement, Gentrification, and Harm Reduction

Homelessness is not a crime – Resistance to the criminalization of homeless survival in the everyday Downtown Eastside

By Maria Wallstam

In the week leading up to cheque day at the end of November, the Downtown Eastside had the highest number of overdose-related 911 calls ever recorded. (…)

“It’s gotten creepy down here now” – Police Occupy the Strip in Surrey

By Dave Diewert

In early December 2016, the City of Surrey and the RCMP launched a new surveillance and containment strategy along 135A Street. (…)

The class anxiety of Ridgeilantes – Uncovering the shared roots of homelessness and anti-homeless hate in Maple Ridge

By Ivan Drury

For those anti-displacement activists who showed up to support the low-income community at a BC Liberal-organized meeting about homeless shelters, the outpouring of hate from Maple Ridge homeowners was jarring. (…)

Death prevention sites don’t stop overdoses: decriminalize drugs now!

By Sarah Sheridan

In the fall of 2016, through necessity, two alleyway tents complete with clean injection supplies and staffed by naloxone-trained volunteers were set up in Vancouver responding to the overdose crisis that killed over 900 people in British Columbia alone last year. (…)

Will fixed term leases erase 40 years of tenant organizing in the Downtown Eastside?

By Jean Swanson

A boisterous crew was standing outside the Ross Hotel in Vancouver on New Years Day. (…)

Provincial housing money a drop in the bucket

By Jean Swanson

The BC government says it’s the “largest single-year housing investment by any province in Canada,”  $500 million for about 2,900 housing units across BC. (…)

Sites of Resistance

Healing, a poem

By Jacqueline Sine

Throughout the moments, the moments of truth. / Staying positive, happy, and strong. / Curiosity for whats next. / Having my life getting on track. / Chilling here with my big fat cat. / Eight and half years has now past. / Since I first saw him, under that barn. (…)

Announcement from the Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee

The first women’s memorial march was held in 1991 in response to the murder of a Coast Salish woman on Powell Street in Vancouver. (…)

Rebuilding Hogan’s Alley through the Black community’s struggle for historical justice

By Lama Mugabo

Hogan’s Alley was the only Black neigbourhood that existed in Vancouver’s history. (…)

Community media and the fight against gentrification in Medellin, Colombia

By Jhony Alexánder Díaz Castañeda – Corporación Mi Comuna, Medellin

The city of Medellin, Colombia was built through grassroots community processes without the participation of and in conflict with the central state, which wanted to stop urban expansion. (…)

Cut the CRAP! Chinatown Concern Group fights Vancouver’s rezoning and gentrification of Chinatown

By Beverly Ho, Chinatown Concern Group

City staff began preparing an update on the Chinatown Economic Revitalization Action Plan (CRAP) in October of last year, which included two open houses for the public to share feedback regarding the proposed changes. (…)

Alone, a poem

By Fauzia Rafique

Discover me / like Columbus / discovered America // Disregard and overlook / my brand new citizenship card, / esl abilities, my bridging / capabilities. There still are / some Indians (and many / Pakistanis) in me– spoiling / for education, assimilation, / in short, civilization. (…)

Chinatown not Coffeetown! An interview with Mrs. Kong from the Chinatown Concern Group

By Sarah Sheridan

Mrs. Kong, who goes by 鄺太 (or Kong Tai), has lived in BC Housing in Vancouver’s Chinatown neighbourhood for over 20 years. (…)

In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Mary Dawn Vickers

Heiltsuk activist, parent, and contributor to many communities, Mary was fierce, funny, playful, loving, generous, and never afraid of a confrontation with power. (…)

Remembering Art Manuel, leader of an intergenerational struggle to unsettle Canada

By Mike Krebs, Blackfoot

Art Manuel, former Chief of the Neskonlith band of the Secwepemc nation, and lifelong fighter for Indigenous sovereignty, died unexpectedly in early January at the age of 66. (…)

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