All posts by k ward

Hows your drug war, Canada?

canadian drug war year in review:
IT’S GOING GREAT

what a tragic waste of human. thousands of lawyers and clerks and judges and they could all do something beautiful with their lives instead of enforcing this violent farce

"The majority of our prosecutors' files involve drug-related offences."
Drug-releated - 48746 - 75.9%
Criminal Code - 10034 - 15.6%
Regulatory & Economic Offenses - 4813
Other - 610 - 1%

850,000~ hours is a lot of hours!

Overall, PPSC prosecutors, paralegals, legal support staff, and legal agents working on behalf of the PPSC spent a total of 1,179,206 hours working on prosecution files in 2018–2019. #PPSCAnnualReport

it was not a huge waste of time why would you say that

Most of the charges brought to the PPSC dont result in a trial. See our Disposition of Charges info below."
Acquittal after trial: 1577
Convinction: 1947
Guilty plea: 21208
Judicial Stay: 109
Charge withdrawn an/or Stay (crown): 43571
Other: 108

we were getting the druuuugs off the street and really thats the point of public safety

yeah a crisis

The opioid crisis has led to an increasing number of PPSC prosecutions of possession for the purpose of trafficking and the trafficking of fentanyl and carfentanil, particularly in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. #PPSCAnnualReport

so these “prosecutions” were economic interventions in an unregulated market which besides depriving people of their liberty accelerated the contamination of the drug supply, an entirely predictable consequence

Thats what the law is for WOW THATS A LOT OF DEAD PEOPLE

Legalizing hard drugs not a ‘panacea’ to opioids crisis, Trudeau says

no one said it was. this is a political massacre and its your policy. one change wont end this.

this is Canada’s drug war and its become part of this place. its colonial violence. its racist to the core. this part of the marketplace is a specifically illegal capitalism and its used to scare people into obedient capitalism, stealing from the dispossessed. as you do.

you call it the law and pursue it.

decade

Our Streets, 2010

12″ x 54″, acrylic on wood.

Amid the creeping gentrification that is transforming our neighbourhood and making it even more difficult to live, the ‘mall’ on Hastings that runs from Pigeon Park at Carrall to Main (or Columbia, depending on your opinion) is one of the nerve centres of our community. These are Our Streets.

It is one of the places where we make our own rules and do our thing. Yeah, some of us use drugs, and we buy them on the street. We also meet our friends, go to United we Can, watch the world go by.

What’s crucial is how out of the ordinary this is. I get out of the neighbourhood a couple times a month, and I’m consistently unnerved by the conspicuous lack of people, the lack of conversation, the lack of difference in other parts of Vancouver. It’s kind of creepy. In this painting, I tried to create the atmosphere of the street without the people. As you look at it, I bet your mind and imagination fill in the people. But this is what some people want, all of us in our rooms and not filling the streets with our spirit and beauty. This is what we must fight to prevent, and keep these streets ours.

well. that was from 2010.

levelling

on coroner’s update day, december 2019

i was at a meeting and a health authority person said “the numbers are leveling off” and i didnt let myself flinch because i didnt want to leave the room to exhale and i had to say “those numbers are human lives. people. your numbers are of the dead. numbers numb.”

at a different meeting a policeman said “the prevention sites are consistently full, the same,” and i said “you do realize that these are Different people, right? because 600+ people have died in two years in these few blocks.” #DTES

more than that obviously. there are many ways of dying but always of injustice. all these fragile bonds that held us barely together are frayed and torn and arent coming back

and people are throwing each other liferafts and waterwings in a sea of poison. from a boat made of duct tape. and the boat is on fire.

this is a vision of your future which is why you cant bear to look

its an emergency, you know

will you let people die at this unacceptable rate because its better than before? as long as its contained in this place that you can scare the disobedient with? the purpose of structural violence is to enforce structural power – its victims must be visible, and silent

because the rest of you must FEAR

so what will you do?

these are some towns in #bcpoli with by-laws criminalizing poverty – the persecution and hate are real. there is no place to go. down the road and west.

but the numbers are steady here. the demographic is younger.

i dont think people can take much more of this.

not dead is not enough

all in

this is a cage again

All the recommendations from the task force passed -unanimously, as is, no amendments. So the safe supply statement has been adopted by council:

“….we are all in this together.

Urgent action is required on multiple levels to prevent further deaths from drug poisoning. This includes advocating for a safe supply as well as supporting people in their chosen paths to wellness. We call upon health professionals, all levels of governments, and the public to join us in advocating for a safe supply of drugs, to protect and prevent further loss of our family members, friends, neighbours and loved ones.”

its really important that its “we” and “us”. its not Those People, or The Most Vulnerable. #SafeSupply isnt a competition. and stop building ‘models’. actually meeting people where they are can be really particular, and whoever is more comfortable will probably need to step out of their comfort zone. we are in this together. everybody keep six.

[what about decrim? that is also up to us. the substance itself – its a nothing. there’s a magic moral value attached to druuuuuugs, which is a direct consequence of many political choices intended to coerce, divide, dispossess, impoverish, terrify and imprison the vast majority of humanity – all those unwealthy, unwhite, unobeying, unfamilied, and so on. very little to do with Drugs; the war on drugs is itself the weapon.

because an illicit economy is unregulated, concentrated capitalism. it is the War of All Against All. its a cautionary metaphor, the Downtown Eastside, for those stepping dangerously out of line, or those so wounded and scarred by o canada’s systemic structural violence that the World Out There cannot bear to look, and you become unhumaned. shit happens. how’d you wind up down here?

turns out living in someone else’s metaphor sucks.

now friends are stealing from friends, bro from bro. as assistance remain the same, living gets more expensive, OH NO its Gentrification (hint : we are the gentry. look around, and look at where the old dope, the plant-based stuff, was/is produced. YEAH WE’RE THE GENTRY, GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS.)

as we get poorer, the supply becomes more degraded in the sense that there’s less actual [synthetic chemical compound] opioid. so people are out, and not high. its benzos. we’re full circle back to everyone in the neighbourhood being slammed with psych meds. except they’re made in a garage somewhere and bought online. in a few decades people will get their shit and know their dope because they will be able to customize a compound of choice and it will come out of a 3-D printer, but all of us will be dead.

we are all in this together.

what we dont have is shared knowledge. we have to know our dope. “fentanyl drug checking” completely misses the point and again is a Blame the Drug reaction, magical thinking. again, its prohibition that makes the green stuff deadly but this other green is the thing. or which is horse tranquilizer, or bathtub benzos, all of it bunk. for fucks sake.

the price on the street is the same because down here people are not only poor, but trapped. and angry, because people cant get high. because its not dope. all you know is that you’re trapped. the idea was Rat Park, but it’s clearly a cage again. and everybody knows it.

safe supply means a chance to put the brakes on this cycle (The Deathspiral, is what i call it). of course there will be druuuuugs on the street. but we have this moment – probably a brief moment – to decriminalize ourselves, to self-regulate our economy. we must decommodify dope. no one will do this for us. we cannot Demand it of anyone but ourselves.

for years we’ve all heard “this is how it is down here.”

that is not true. that is a choice. and this choice is ours now.

it does not have to be this way. not at all.