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Vancouver Media Co-op, part 3

June 22, 2009

Vancouver Media Co-op, part 3

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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.

Picture 4: Journalism skillshare number one, at the Purple Thistle. The Thistle is a youth-space used for many things: sewing, silkscreening, presentations, and it has a computer lab too. The Media Co-op's plan is to hold weekly skillshares on how to write and structure a quality article, and how to post to the Media Co-op site. Eventually, the plan is to also pour audio and video teach-ins into the mix. A couple of new folks came out to the VMC's first, both interested and prone to making videos about Vancouver's DTES.

Picture 5: On the corner of the street where we were staying. Strathcona is located directly between the Downtown Eastside and Commercial Drive (an area strewn with expensive cafes, organic bakeries, and white people), and is itself an interesting cross section of the two.


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