did you know ‘hotel’ and ‘hospital’ are derived from the same word
and there will be 1-3% of visitors as in the beforetimes and why would they i mean who takes the risk of boarding a plane to look at a pile of corpses and the monuments the survivors built for themselves and then sold to a corporate investor for a 3.4% profit on spec #vanre
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.
It’s important to understand why emergency measures are still what are needed in terms of the overdose crisis, if the fact that four people each day are dying unnecessarily in this province, and that that number will continue to climb slowly, inexorably, up. To do so, it’s helpful to take a step back and take a look from a wider perspective. Sometimes, you need to hear about something that you know close-up and very well from someone looking from far away, with different experiences. This is @johannhari101 speaking last fall about harm reduction and the Downtown Eastside.
>>>>>>we must expand our concept of HARM [because clearly we did not] [because everything became much more harmful very quickly
fatal, in fact
HARM is actually dynamic, a shapeshifter.
this is about inequality of possibility. the distance between us – in for example, the Woodwards building, emblematic of everything ever in this tiny world – on this stolen land on which we have built this city.
between the resident of the condo building and us in supportive housing – is a distance that capitalism measures in dollars, and therefore in value. it is an unfathomable distance, a gap that that can only be crossed by a miracle like celebrity, winning lottery, sports stardom
or the production and sale of synthetic narcotics.
And fentanyl is only the first.
and every day we are all a little poorer and more desperate, more harmed and capable of harm. and people have been so poor for so long.
people get desperate. plus they see this unreasonable wealth all around, and no other ways to live! they would never raise welfare. things would never change. it’s very profitable, as Hugh makes clear.
everyone is poor and just needs one break. you don’t need to be a genius to make money with this, but it’s not an income if you err by a micrograin and all your customers die. it’s as complicated and difficult to make money in an illicit market as it is to be a pharmacist. not many people are good at both, it turns out.
and so hundreds are dead here.
this is the world that we all have created. All of Us.
it’s not about blame! but it is not a moral response to shut the cage and say “i’m sure you all know best.”
FIVE years – TWO years, at this point this is all we know, endless crisis
so thanks everyone for stopping bothering to ask when will we find a bit of time to relax, and sort out our lives. We Need Some Damn Help. NOW because there’s no time left. We have to make a decision, you too, that we have to End this Emergency.
i mean, of course we want to live. ffs, that we have to say so, after everyone’s friends are dead.
it’s like “being in a war that no one else sees.” we should listen to this speech by Vito Russo, at the height of the AIDs crisis.
What’s happened is a moral outrage. So let’s not let it continue. because in the future (SHOULD SUCH a THING OCCUR),
they will wonder how all this could have happened in such a beautiful, rich, decent place
i see you all trying to make this about “those” people who “aren’t from Here” but come on, i can see the fear in your nonsense: these are your children, and this is You, and ffs! this is your money! i thought you cared about that!
as Harm changes, we have to change how we respond. HARM isn’t a monument frozen in time since 2003! Insite is Very Important. But that Right Turn back around the turn of the millennium was much more harmful than even we realized then, and to people in this place in particular. it was a long fight, and we won, and that matters. but afterwards it’s as if it was frozen in time: like a Museum of Acceptable Practices on the 100-block. War is over if you want it, right? and nothing changed inside, it was widely believed , as if there had been an MOU signed with the external world that everything out there would stay the same too.
There was no MOU. Donald MacPherson of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition would say that the Iron Law of Prohibition holds: that prohibited substances become increasingly potent and dangerous over time, because of prohibition.
because of poverty > and the role of the #DTES in cda, >>> the Harm changed dramatically, and users sounded the alarm, and were ignored.
this whole misery-management industry is costing everyone a lot and also, it’s appallingly corrupt and just disgusting. and we’re trapped in it. like RATS in a Cage, not a Park. 20 years ago, they wanted to build Rat Park.
but this – these conditions – has become a terrible cage.
we ARE trying.
this is the fentanyl of place
we are trying to use capital to relieve pain
(it’s not going to work. well, it will, for a while. but it’ll f@ck you up)
with #SafeSupply we can remove the profit motive from the drug market….if we can do it there – we can do it anywhere– no bunk
we can End the War on Drugs, and on ourselves, but we have to be serious about ending this Emergency, because that must be the goal for us here.
but we can do this on the 100-Block, and we must do it now.
the updated phrase HarmReduction is about meeting people where they’re at, but not leaving them there is key to understanding what has happened in #DTES, wide-frame. the stakes are high. this is the history we must awaken from if we want a future. because not only are lots of things much more harmful –down here everything is so messed up (this is the capital of fucktup canada) — we’re an industry leader in inventing new ways to harm as every day we are all a little poorer and more desperate, more harmed and harming.
This is a clip from “Frontline Fentanyl” in which Huey Lampkin of Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users explains the economics of fentanyl. This is the clearest explanation you will ever hear of this, and it is a brilliant analysis, and really important to watch. The full documentary is here: http://frontlinefentanyl.com/
this is about inequality of possibility. the distance between us – in for example, the Woodwards building, emblematic of everything ever in this tiny world – between the resident of the condo building and us in supportive housing – is a distance that capitalism measures in dollars, and therefore in value. it is an unfathomable distance, a gap that that can only be crossed by a miracle like celebrity, lottery, sports stardom, or the production and sale of synthetic narcotics. but not everyone is cut out to be a pharmacist, and the slightest error or lack of care results in death. but to the best of your knowledge, this is the only means of generating wealth known to you — because criminalization and poverty and the stigma have slammed shut many doors.