It’s 2015 and the deadline for the City of Vancouver’s pledge to end homeless is here. Instead of working to build real responses to the homelessness crisis, the city has continued to look the other way. Homelessness has increased while the city has stood by as projects like Gallery Gachet and the Carnegie Community Action Project have had their funding threatened. And all the while rents creep ever higher. The cost of housing is oppressive for most people who live here, but it is a matter of life and death for the poor.
Front line communities across so-called BC are bearing the brunt of capitalist austerity policies that continue to ensure profits for the few on the backs of poor, working class, and racialized communities. How many people face a future of precarious employment due to the overseas outsourcing of even more greatly exploited labour? How many people in the North have been displaced to make way for pipelines, dams and other mega-projects? How many find that their best option is to work in towns like Kitimat or Fort McMurray, away from their communities and loved ones? How many indigenous communities find the land that once gave them life is now being polluted and destroyed? In other words, how many people have been displaced from their homes because the economic base there collapsed due to environmental destruction?
Meanwhile here in Vancouver developers get tax breaks, landlords benefit with the absence of adequate rent controls, and the gentrification of neighbourhoods continues to line the pockets of the wealthy at the expense of those who lived there.
The systems that created the climate crisis and the housing crisis are the same. Both capitalism and colonialism need constant growth to survive, both treat some lives as more worthy than others. Developers are benefiting and condos are being built while homelessness is increasing. Frontline communities suffer as the rich benefit from the violence of colonialism. Indigenous land is stolen for profit and communities are displaced, no matter whether it’s for a new pipeline or a new condo. The Downtown Eastside is one of these frontline communities.
Only by supporting frontline communities in struggle can we build a true climate justice movement. Only by attacking the root causes of colonialism, capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy can we have a healthy environment and a city liveable for all. That is why we as Rising Tide call on all who support climate justice to #FloodtheSystem and demand real change by listening to those who are the most impacted.
Join Us on Saturday, October 10 at NOON @ 955 East Hastings, as we stand with VANDU and echo their demands:
Adequate, healthy, and secure living conditions.
Stop gentrification in its tracks, protect all affordable housing.
Address the root causes of poverty.
Build homes not jails.
Build at least 1,000 units of social housing per year in the Lower Mainland.
Demand a real definition of social housing at rates for low-income people and pensioners.
End Housing Racism and all forms of tenancy discrimination, including discrimination based on mental health, addictions, physical or cognitive dis/ability, citizen status, gender identity, and other forms of landlord discrimination.
Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/179566422375680/
The colonial state, the oil companies, and the condo developers stand together in their policies of displacement, corporate profit, and environmental destruction. We call on all people to unite behind frontline communities to show a different future where mutual aid and community action is possible.