Several COPE members joined with the Alliance Against Displacement in opposition to eviction of tent city residents at 58 W Hastings and helped them move (in terrible weather) to a new location at Thornton Park. Those of us with warm dry homes to go to felt guilt and shame on leaving the scene. Surely our city can do better!
Lawrence Boxall writes:
I have just arrived home from Thornton Park.
I had to leave because my hands began to hurt with a sharp pain from the sharp cold. This is a disgraceful episode in the historic record of Vancouver.
Gregor Robertson and those who support him bring shame to the community of Vancouver by destroying the shelter of the homeless before he has provided the housing he bragged of some 8-odd years ago. I couldn’t even stay to take photographs I was suffering so much. But these homeless people have no option. They are forced to remain in the hostile wet cold while Gregor’s law enforcement circles waiting for their moment to strike. My shame does this people no good for it does nothing to drive away the cold and the alienation while Gregor and I sit in our heated homes.
Here is the AAD press release:
For Immediate Release
November 24th, 2016
TENT CITY RESIDENTS DISPLACED FROM 58 W HASTINGS MOVE TO NEW SITE
Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories
This evening, residents of the 58 W. Hastings tent city were ordered to vacate as a result of a Supreme Court ruling in support of the City’s injunction. The residents and their supporters took over the streets of Downtown Eastside and marched together to Thornton Park, the decided-upon new site, where residents and supporters worked together in the heavy rain to set up tents. The residents of the Wendy Poole Park tent city have also been displaced today and some have also moved to Thornton Park. The City’s injunction shows that the City has put the rights of private property over human rights, which must be opposed.
In order to meet the basic needs of the residents, the City must provide garbage bins and regular garbage pickup to this site and provide portable washrooms suiting the number of residents at the site.
Despite the difficult weather conditions, it is not clear how long the tent city will be able to remain at this site and another injunction is not unlikely. The presence of the media and the supporters is greatly needed over the course of the next few days to ensure the residents are not left vulnerable to potential harassment from the police. Donations in the form of warm clothing, especially socks, hats, and gloves, and supplies including tents, tarps, ropes, umbrellas, garbage bags, and battery-powered lanterns with batteries would be immensely helpful. For drop-offs please contact Maria at the number below to make arrangements ahead of time.
Thornton Park is at 1166 Main St. across from the Pacific Central Station and Main St. Skytrain station.
For more info contact Maria Wallstam 604-500-2731