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The Vancouver Media Co-op held a meeting several days ago for folks who are interested in helping with organizing, promoting events, and covering stories. About 7 or so amazingly solid folks showed up to our meeting on the back balcony of Spartacus Books. People threw around some great story ideas, agreed to taking on specific tasks (ie postering and flyering), planned a group trip to Sutikalh, talked about the structure and purpose of the co-op, as well as its goals, and shared contact information. It was an impressive tone-setter to say the least.
The bulk of Media Co-op work so far has consisted of talking to or emailing people, getting contact info for other people, talking to them, setting up meetings, and then talking some more. Several meetings with a diverse cross-section of folks linked to media production, cooperatives, and unions have been arranged and are slowly filling up the VMC calendar.
Picture 1: A demonstrator at a women's housing march put on by local group Power of Women (POW). The march was a dignified expression of anger at the government for authorizing mass evictions in poorer areas of the city (most notably the downtown eastside), as well as destroying potential social housing sites in favour of making way for the Olympic Games in 2010. Aboriginal people comprise about 3 per cent of BC's population yet make up over 32 per cent of the homeless population. Aboriginal women are particularly vulnerable to losing their homes.
Picture 2: One of many street and traffic bylaws aimed at "cleaning up" the city for the 2010 games. During a bus ride along Hastings, we noticed five security cameras on the ceiling of the bus. The driver said that they were not yet activated; they too, will be part of the massive Olympic security infrastructure.
Picture 3: Car-free Day. It happens once a year, this time around, in four locations throughout the city. Here, dancers at the Commercial Drive edition reclaim the pavement. However fun the street party though, it is worth noting that car-freedom falls on a Sunday, and not on a workday, which would undoubtedly cause more inconvenience and make much more of a statement about our failing oil culture. But, at least for the day, a colourful flurry of vendors, dancers, musicians, and food stands celebrated the temporary anti-drive Drive. The Vancouver Media Co-op talked to passersby for several hours, and passed out about 800 flyers.
Picture 4: Massive piles of industrial sulphur, as seen from Vancouver's scenic "seawall."
Dominion Weblogs compiles the weblogs of Dominion editors and writers. The topics discussed are wide-ranging, but Canadian Foreign Policy, grassroots politics, and independent media are chief among them.