[ View the story "Gentrification battle" on Storify] Gentrification battle Redevelopment project aimed to mix social classes ignites tensions.
The Stream· Mon, Jun 24 2013 11:42:37
Photo by Ivan DruryAJstream
#insite #harmreduction #dtes #easthastings #hastings #vancouver #poverty #addiction #illnessdowntowneastside
Downtown Eastside is known as a site of frequent drug use. Netizens online use #dtes to discuss the area.
The Involve own your own home billboard in front of 3 homeless shelters on cordova and main is deeply disturbing #dtesRobert Morrisey
Wondering why the #overdose of #DTES #Heroin rates are so high and no press? 4 #fataloverdose in only a span of a few days? #Poverty #YVRMAP VAN
"If you need help in the downtown eastside, people will help you. Even when they have nothing, they'll try to help." #DTES #overheard ^zobFirst United Church
, has been a particular target of protests for its location across the street from
, where "a typical day...will see numerous drug activities and people passed out".
Protesters marching through the neighbourhood have held signs saying "Feed the hungry, eat the rich" and "
Fire to the condos
Mayday 2013 Anarchist and IWW Rally and March in VancouverWilliam Prest
Another Vancouver-area restaurant, Save on Meats, has experienced community
, although its owner provides donates food to the city's poor population.
@AJStream some people will claim that they are here to help the #DTES by opening their profitable business here. they are lying.Leonashanana
In one instance, the store's sign was stolen.
In response to the theft, the restaurant's owner, Mark Brand, issued a challenge to the Vancouver community - post a picture with a similar sign meant to replace the stolen one, and Save on Meats will
help to feed
a person in need. The pictures were then circulated via social media.
The neighbourhood council has called for an end to the demonstrations,
that it "shares many of the goals of the anti-gentrification protesters". Netizens defended their anti-gentrification position:
@AJStream I spend a lot of time in Vancouver's Downtown East Side. I've seen a significant amount of development, some squeezes people outTimothy Hatt
“@AJEnglish: @AJStream 1930GMT The graffiti tells it all. Render the historic & casualties of austerity invisible behind ads4luxury condos.Susan Marie Martin
Others online reported mixed reactions from residents:
Heard #DTES resident say to @pidginvancouver protesters,"You shouldnt be here.You are creating heat for us.We live here."Couldnt agree more.Marie Hunter
In three days of covering the protest, we saw the spectrum: residents who shouted at the protesters, residents who cheered them on, residents who were ambivalent, and residents who accused them of being privileged, university-educated kids who live in Mount Pleasant and know nothing about the neighbourhood. The PiDGiN protestors should take this very seriously. If they continue their picket in the belief that the community and its council is mistaken (e.g. ‘they don’t know what’s in their own best interest’), then they run the risk of creating serious resentment — resentment between the community and the protestors that purport to support them.terry.ubc.ca
The Downtown East newspaper explained criticism of the project:
Upscale businesses create zones of exclusion where we are uncomfortable, ridiculed or asked to leave. Our networks of care and support are threatened or disrupted. Gentrification is changing a community where low-income people feel at home and accepted amongst people in the same boat into a space where low-income people are managed through institutional control and policing, or pushed out.downtowneast.net
But others defended the redevelopment and pushed back against critics of "gentrification".
It looks like the @pidginvancouver protest has collapsed while the restaurant thrives. Economic terrorism failed. #DTESPaul Done/epicmedia
@AJStream I think it's ridiculous that people trying to build something nice in what was a slum are being bullied out of the area. #DTESS. Buck
The Stream asked "who are the winners and losers in gentrifying neighbourhoods?":
@AJStream Winners - developers, politicians, bankers, the wealthy. Losers - real people.Copito
@AJStream Gentrification is a sign of economic growth. As it creates jobs ,improve infrastructure,Crime rates decline.jamalo chelsea