Ezra Bloom is an artist, organizer, curator and critic, currently studying at Emily Carr. He grew up on Salt Spring Island, and has spent his life surrounded by art, counter-culture and activism. He has lived in East Vancouver for eight years and is connected to Vancouver’s underground and radical arts communities.
Ezra’s experience as an organizer and fundraiser, both for nonprofits and art organizations, has taught him valuable skills which he brings to COPE. Aiding with membership and community outreach in the lead-up to the election, he has been tremendously inspired by the people he has been working alongside, and those who meets on the doorstep while canvassing. Thanks to these inspiring people, Ezra feels that his confidence in a brighter, more just future, is constantly growing.
He believes that the purpose of a community based political movement is to direct power towards citizens, and to direct it away from corporate interests and the state. He sees that the tradition of direct democracy which comes with community-based political movements is a proven way of opposing the legacy of colonialism– a destructive process which is ongoing.
Ezra was raised alongside his two sisters by a single-mom, with very little money, and he went on to put himself through his degree at Emily Carr on his own. These experiences have led him to understand the struggle of living in poverty first hand, and to deeply respect the strength of mothers and women in our society.
In 2012, Ezra hitch-hiked to Montreal to take part in Quebec’s student movement. As an artist, it was an eye-opening experience, to see how the culture of the city, by-and-large, embraced the struggle of its people. By participating creatively, as well as in demonstrations and actions, he honed many skills that he has brought back to the West Coast.
Ezra recognizes that Parks, Greens, and Commons, are where the inhabitants of Vancouver spend the majority of their free time. Throughout the history of citizen movements, these spaces are where we have come together to meet, celebrate, and build resilience. Together, these are places where we remind ourselves and the world that there is more in our hearts than plastic – and that the oil needed for plastic isn’t worth risking our lives over. It is our collective beliefs and determination that can make this city livable for the common folk, and not a playground for the super-rich.
“We must continue to work at many levels to create safer, healthier communities. However, if we plan to stop the omnipresent and completely mind-boggling destruction of our planet, we must re-appropriate the democratic political process.”