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Picture 1: We attend a meeting of Vancouver's Anti-Poverty Committee, and give a brief presentation about the Media Co-op. People express a desire to contribute financially to the project but it is fairly clear that what we'd like more than anything from a group like the APC (who struggles with funding, like many other activist groups), is based on what they are directly working on: ideas for coverage of the 2010 Olympics, information on poverty in Vancouver, articles for the site.
Picture 2: Next, the VMC posse rolled into an Olympics Resistance Network (ORN) meeting in the DTES. After giving a run-down of Media Co-op goings-on, people broke out their laptops for a tech session of sorts; those who needed computer help got it.
Picture 3: Dave Dickson. An ex-police officer with the Vancouver Police Force. He was the Police's one and only "Downtown Eastside Liaison" for many years, and also acted as their "Native Liaison." He was one of a special team which investigated the Pickton case. Of many of the city's sex-workers, he says he has known them since they were in pre-school. According to him, although this is questionable, he has built up a trust with many in the neighborhood over the years, and now spends his time doing outreach with women on the streets. On the topic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, Dickson maintains that the police have never treated anybody differently based on their race; they have been abusive, sure, but not based on race. As kind and fatherly as he is, I find something integral left to be desired.
On Monday November 3rd, Halifax Coalition Against Poverty (HCAP) members and supporters occupied the Halifax office of Nova Scotia Department of Community Services (DCS) for deciding not to fund Pendleton Place, a “harm reduction” shelter located in the basement of St. Patrick’s Church in Halifax. The closure was a move that one local housing activist, Paul O'Hara, described as a “life and death” decision gone the wrong way, and many more have made clear there will be a high risk of serious injury or death on the streets of Halifax this winter as a consequence.
“As long as DCS will commit poor people in our community to death, HCAP will refuse to allow business as usual within the Department.", stated HCAP as the action was underway
During the occupation, HCAP members and supporters numbered over a dozen. At 10 am they entered the DCS offices, occupying the space and stating – with megaphones blaring – their opposition to the closure of the shelter and demands for affordable housing. The occupation lasted approximately an hour. One DCS employee who was particularly sought after was an upper level bureaucrat, Lynn Brogan, regarded as having been in the position to have prevented the closure of Pendleton Place.
OCAP Action on September 26:
Raise the Rates! Mass Panhandle!
11:30 A.M. METRO PARK
(Queen and Church)
City-Wide Demonstration converging @ Queen's Park
On Wednesday, September 26, a broad coalition of community
organizations, trade unions, health providers and low income people will be challenging Queen's Park to increase social assistance by 40%, raise the minimum wage, build affordable and accessible housing, and implement a Don't Ask-Don't Tell policy .
There will be a rally at the Ontario Legislature under the name of ˜Toronto Anti Poverty". Many of the organizations participating in the event, will hold their own actions on that day before marching on the Legislature for the united event.
For more information about the Day of Action HERE.
The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.