Category Archives: politics

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 the crisis

many of the issues – massive, structural, civilization-damning fails – that i focus my efforts on are very local and immediate to me: deep poverty, homelessness, mental illness, drug use/ harm reduction, catastrophic overdose deaths, colonial murders, ecocide. because i live in the downtown eastside – vancouver, british columbia, all the unceded territory. this is canada’s lost & found box, and everyone in it is broken or breaking. maybe i am close to understanding it. but we must not replicate this

one thing i am sure of – these crises will spin endlessly if marginalized people continue to be dependent, and continue to make demands of Them (and so cede the possibilities of our own expressions of power). ongoing total dependence, after all, is a growth industry for everyone but us

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we must instead demand more of ourselves and each other.

“i could do that better if i was given the chance,” lots of people say and i agree. but that’s not a thing, that chance, it’s not going to be given. so take it.       take the chance

history – which is to say, time – does change the meaning of things. mine was, and is, a decision made with an awareness of consequence and risk. it signifies something, surely, to abandon a liferaft. but that’s ok! everyone return to your islands so we can watch each other drown, better than being shot into the sun, past some mathematical horizon

for whatever’s waiting    on the other side of that graph

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