DTES pandemic politics vs harm


here's the plan

or UNkettle

this is just so upsetting.

nobody knows what will happen, just that the future will not be the same. it doesnt have to be worse. we make our own history, and these are new circumstances. we can make something better, even in this place.

we can try to UNkettle

written in pink ink on a building: "the end is here'

the downtown eastside, as it’s been all this time, or when i described it in september, is done. let us out of rat park, we all have to get out of this cage. we can un-kettle, we have to, its a moral error to maintain this – living without choices is what has made this place a trap.

we are packed shoulder to shoulder. its increasingly intense, violent, desperate.

we cant look out for each other, we cant keep social distance, we cant Stay Safe because we can’t Stay Home. we dont have the option and we dont have the space and people are still out there hustling all day. everyone will continue to go out for their stuff until we create multiple routes of access to Safe Supply, because no-barrier for all is actually having lots of choices.

housing, food, incomes, occupation, safe supply, and each other, and its not for us, but FROM us to reduce the harm that the rest of the world faces too. all of us.

so —

Housing now, no NOW: people would stay home if they had homes or anywhere to go. not more shelters but transition centres sure. many people arent set to separate – which is understandable. street families, ie small groups of four or five could move into vacant storefronts everywhere. i bet tourism vancouver would agree to facilitate getting people into hotel rooms, thousands of them, right away. a small percentage of the vacant rooms.

this is not a short-term problem. the tourism industry is over. routing the $375/month to owner per room may ease the come-down for the hotels, but this is done.

moratorium on evictions, obviously rent freeze for duration.

Knowledge: i asked mark about this : grad students from the ubc school of population & public health out on the street answering questions. people need knowledge (good dope) and consistent sources of information. this is a super-intelligent but low-information population

– at least temporarily, a hub to accept and redistribute donations. maybe the Merchant’s Bank building? it’s empty. i dont think they will be renting that out anytime soon…

– creating social distance: ffs no non-essential vehicles on hastings from abbott to dunlevy.

-food depots, one per block, distributing standardized care packs daily. in storefronts.

– we would also like INTERNET thanks and about 4000 phones and 2000 tablets and 2000 laptops

– Income – no one has any reserves, there’s no food, we can’t trade. So-called “crimes” are anxiety-related and about poverty. increase shelter rate and clearly everyone needs a basic income

-if everyone has a bank account, they can choose for themselves when and how they receive their assistance. this isnt complicated (i despise the BCCSU for BCCSUing all over this. among other reasons). the poverty/binge economy + monthly cash dump ISNT THE BEST

– we should probably create a poor people’s bank, but not a crap one

– the police have to not arrest people for survival “crime” and people who arent convicted of anything shouldnt be in jail at all. also – no police.

– defund & dissolve CCAP

– join the Carnegie Community Centre Association board

– take over the Carnegie

– i’ll do those last three

– yes this is my plan

we’re running out of time

[slightly revised from a facebook post}

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