Tag Archives: vanpoli

abundant harm, vancouver

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 are still doing #harmReduction but

>>>>>>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.

this is Hugh Lampkin from the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users explaining the economics of fentanyl to you:

Frontline Fentanyl” is the best documentation of the 2016-17 phase of the overdose crisis.

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.

this is how it is down here

Downtown Eastside

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.”

you need to read this again, by Travis Lupick, published december 10, 2016

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.


and they DON’T GIVE A SHIT .

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.

Tim Out

Apparently the morning after the election, Tim was saying on the radio that his party lost because of the “fentanyl overdose crisis,” which I haven’t heard. i mean the radio interview. then following opinion(s) were among the post-election explainers the day after.

he’s sitting on the steps.

new council: different people, different arrangement, new dynamics, and everyone is a BLONDE WHITE LADY. so look, Tim, just please stop explaining things, yeah? let these immortal words be your last public comment, echoing through the ages pic.twitter.com/m1XHTwjrYB

— Karen Ward (@kwardvancouver) October 24, 2018

so, is 10 years 10 years? is that long? in terms of years?

that was july 26 2017.

oh that was when he was coming back from the Sochii olympics and i was demanding that he resign for floating the idea of the forced military removal of drug users from the streets of vancouver, and Jeremy got him at the airport and that was the lead story. august is slow, ok!

the question in the original article was “what will happen with vision?” is impossible to answer, and also who cares what this guy says?

aaaaaand a little later. of course i made a choice to, you know, temporarily modulate my anger, because of the humans – so really if you have sudden issues with me waiting, because your political goals are more important that all those units of housing – it’s probably best we don’t discuss.

COPE, with harm reduction

two days out, final reviews of parties on overdose-related and other drug policy issues. didn’t want to have to do this. I haven’t heard or read anything to indicate a serious understanding of this issue from COPE: The Coalition of Progressive Electors. Others have asked for thoughts, reached out, asked questions, developed solid ideas. this platform has less than what the city is doing now. in Factual Reality. it’s less than what Gregor has done. that is a fact. it’s clear they have no idea what has been done, and what is being done now.

i have tried to convey these concerns privately. but critique, disagreement, whatever, is always taken as an *attack*. I worked with Jean for years, and Wendy Pedersen same. this document tells me that you have not taken any time to understand this issue seriously. you don’t know the facts. your statistics are incorrect. and they aren’t “just numbers.” there is zero meaningful engagement with the complexity of this massacre.


their platform is heavy on traditional COPE specials like “stuff that is already happening” and “stuff that the city doesn’t have the authority to do” and empty symbolism

the fact that you clearly haven’t read a word I’ve written or paid any attention to anything i’ve done for the last 16 months or whatever stings a bit. but the fact that you present this naive, ideologically-driven (yeah, science, fact, evidence, and experience are much better) retrograde policy to the public, and our city, our neighbours (the ones who aren’t dead) (yet) does not trouble me. it angers me.

I have waited as long as possible. but I won’t sit here and let this go silently (because “the cause”). there’s nothing left or progressive about this. more people will die. I don’t give a shit what you think your ideology says about that.

sure it hurts. but if Jean Swanson & others are elected saturday, others will be hurt more.