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Aug 1, 2014

Contents

Protesters at Oppenheimer Park vow to stay & fight
Protesters at Oppenheimer Park vow to stay & fight for low-income housing
The protesters want to negotiate with the City and remain at their camp, installed at Oppenheimer Park in the Downtown Eastside.

  The leaders of a group of some 40 people who are camping at Oppenheimer Park, in the Downtown Eastside, headed to City Council on Tuesday to negotiate their housing conditions.
 “This is not a camping trip,” said Lawrence Houle, one of the campers, who has been living at the park since last fall. "We need a permanent home, that’s what we are fighting for."
  At 9:00 a.m. they arrived at City Hall. As soon as the Council meeting started, they circulated a motion with their demands. Mayor Gregor Robertson responded by saying that it is the provincial government’s duty to provide solutions for housing problems. Robertson also requested the protesters to move to a private meeting with Councillor Kerry Jang and City Manager Penny Ballem.
 Before they moved to another room, Audrey Siegl, former resident of the Downtown Eastside and member of the Musqueam Indian Band, repeatedly asked: “Can you stop the eviction notices?”
  “There’s no eviction notice. It is public land, and obviously we need to make sure that the whole community is able to use that land, and that’s our primary concern. Anyone who is on the land right now has access to housing, anyone who needs that help and support can get that,” the Mayor responded.
  The discussion heated up, with both parties maintaining their positions. A couple of hours later, when the meeting with Jang and Ballem was over, the campers said they were going to work together with the City in order to push the other two levels of government for funding.
Neither Jang nor Ballem could be reached for comment at the time. However, according to information published on Wednesday by Metro, Jang said later that the City is committed to fix urgent problems like the unsanitary conditions of some SROs.
  Jang didn't mention anything about the campers' presence in the park. However, the protesters said they are allowed to stay there as long as they remove the tents and other structures. Washroom facilities will remain open for them, but no temporary toilets are going to be installed as they demanded.
  The City of Vancouver had already issued a notice on Saturday. It said that all campers had to remove their tents from the park by early Sunday. That notice was immediately countered by another eviction notice issued by the protesters themselves, some of whom were of Haida and Musqueam descent. They asked the City to remember that they hold the Aboriginal Title for the whole area where the City is based, and that local officials should “cease any attempts to remove people or their belongings” from the park.
 Buying time
Representatives from town hall visited the site Monday night. They stayed on the premises for some time, then talked to both Brody Williams, a camp organizer from the Haida Nation, and Wendy Pederson, a long-time   Downtown Eastside activist.
  “That bought us some time. At least 24 hours,” Williams said at the moment.
When approached by the Vancouver Observer to comment on the campers’ demands and situation, one of the officials declined comment and asked media to contact the City’s communication office.  
  Councillor Kerry Jang had previously told CKNW that outreach workers are there to make sure “that those who have really poor housing or substandard housing can go somewhere else first before they are moved out.”
  Rena Kendall-Craden, spokesperson for the City of Vancouver, said in the same story that people are working with BC Housing and the Evelyn Saller Centre to give temporary shelter for the campers.
She noted that the Downtown Eastside local area plan will result in improved living conditions at existing SROs.
 Mice, bed bugs and cockroaches at SROs
Not all people who are camping at Oppenheimer Park are homeless. Even the camp's organizer, Williams, admitted that he has a home, but he added that he’s staying there to support the housing cause which he has been fighting for over a decade.  
“I’ve been going to the meetings over and over. I’ve hoped for the best but they just talk and talk,” Williams said. Still, he was moved to action, especially after learning that the number of people sleeping on the streets grew com pared to 2013’s count.
“They are not going to move us away that easily...We are here to create pressure for subsidized housing,” Williams added.
As a way to justify their demands, Lawrence Houle said: “I’ve lived in three (SRO) hotels and they all had bed bugs, cockroaches, wolf spiders, and also mice and rats making holes through the walls. I caught 28 mice in one month.”
  Houle moved to Oppenheimer Park in October. Not even the winter cold could convince him to go back to an SRO or a temporary shelter.
“I can’t live in a place like that, getting bitten at night. I had to go sleep somewhere else,” he said.
After moving to the park, he applied for permanent housing. He's currently waiting for a response.

By Valentina Ruiz Leotaud (Vancouver Observer)
                                                                                               

[top]

What’s so Funny About Being An Artist in the DTES??

What’s so Funny About Being An Artist in the DTES??
An exhibition of cartoons by Jim Dewar

  I really enjoyed these insightful and hilarious cartoons.  The show was divided into 3 themes:  Community, Gentrification and Survival.  The different aspects of life down here are examined in a slyly witty and humorous way.  All his squiggly characters look like nobody specific down here yet somehow manage to convey the essence of what we look like to him.
  The opening night on July 5th happened to be the same day as Isabel Ramiriz memorial and many other events such as Rocking Girls so I was pleasantly surprised to see such a good turnout for the reception.  Mike Richter’s lovely guitar playing added a gentle background while people examined each cartoon and sometimes broke into laughter when they perused certain ones. I particularly like “Chickens in the BackYard” which was poking fun at our homeless problem in comparison to the chickens that ended up homeless after people couldn’t take care of them anymore!  The plate of goodies was consumed early on and they were delicious thanks to our wonderful cafeteria staff.
  As I went through the works, I realized that these cartoons are also a history of our neighbourhood as they examine all the things that have been happening to this Community in the past few years.
  Jim’s work will be showing in both the “Summer Show” at Interurban Gallery in August  and at the  Oppenheimer Art Show in September at Gallery Gachet.  Jim will continue to illustrate life in the DTES and be making a book of the best of his work.  His work is regularly published in the newsletter regularly.
  Meanwhile look for his latest cartoon about the Tent City which is being unveiled right in this very publication, our very own Carnegie Newsletter.
  Thank you to everyone that came to the show and watch out for this up and coming DTES artist in the future. Also thanks to the DTES Sm’Arts grant program which Jim was lucky enough to receive this year.

                                                     By Adrienne Macallum
                                                                                                                                              


[top]

OPEN LETTER RE: HOMELESSNESS IN VANCOUVER

Hon. Rich Coleman
Minister Responsible for Housing
Room 128, Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4
OPEN LETTER RE: HOMELESSNESS IN VANCOUVER AND OPPENHEIMER PARK ENCAMPMENT

 Dear Minister Coleman,
 I write to you today to bring forward the cases of multiple constituents who are homeless and currently camping in Oppenheimer Park.  Campers have compiled a list of names of 40 people who are currently homeless and camping at the park. I have spoken with many of these constituents directly and provide their information to you in order to assist with urgent placement in appropriate housing.  The composition of this group of people is diverse. To give you a glimpse of the make-up of the campers; they are singles, couples, men and women, seniors; some are individuals with disabilities or serious chronic illnesses; some have struggled with addictions.  There is an expectant woman who is expecting to deliver her baby later this year.  
As you know, the costs of homelessness – the personal costs to individual health and well-being, as well as the cost to the province and to supporting organizations & charities – are enormous when compared with the alternatives. The constituents that I spoke with talked about the extraordinary barriers that they have faced in securing housing including: poverty; the very high market rent rates in Vancouver when compared to their limited or fixed incomes; health challenges that restrict their ability to accept some units; very long wait times to access BC Housing or other affordable housing developments; as well as substandard housing conditions, such as mould and bed-bug infestations. Many that I spoke with are Aboriginal, and some have been looking for a home for years.
Similarly, some campers said that seeking a temporary placement in emergency shelters is not always an option that works for every individual; some of the concerns raised included concerns about health and safety; concerns about maintaining sobriety where a different neighbourhood setting would be more appropriate; and the relative lack of shelter spaces where a couple can remain together. One Aboriginal man said that shelters remind some elders of their traumatic residential school experiences, showing a clear need for expanded culturally appropriate shelter facilities.
In coming together, the campers are seeking relative safety and support with and amongst each other. One member of the community, a woman, said of the encampment: “When we are together, we are safe”. There is strong support within our community for the campers, and for the need to provide long-term solutions that would address the housing situation of the campers and others in similar situations.
 I understand that City of Vancouver elected officials recently met with campers as well, and have indicated that they believe that responsibility for providing housing is an issue of provincial jurisdiction. There is no question that an effective approach to ending homelessness requires the partnership of all levels of government via a long term comprehensive strategy. For the immediate present, I appeal to your Ministry to provide urgent assistance. Offers of secure, affordable, and appropriate housing would go a long way to ensuring the well-being of these constituents. I am committed to working cooperatively in any way possible to ensure that individuals facing homelessness in our community are able to access housing in a timely manner. I look forward to your response.

 Sincerely,
 Jenny Kwan, MLA
Vancouver – Mount Pleasant
 cc: Shayne Ramsay, CEO BC Housing  

[top]

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Friday, August 15, 1 – 3 PM
Carnegie Theatre

[top]

The 'New' Americanadian Way !?!

The 'New' Americanadian Way !?!

 The young man who is the creator of this piece, who goes by the YouTube handle StormCloudsGathering
(I have no idea of his real name) is truly one of the greatest heroes of YouTube. His earliest videos were shot by him, with a camera on a stick, while walking his infant to sleep in the woods.
  To anyone who has been following his work, it is more than clear that he is making these videos to fight for the rights of his children and if he so blessed, for the rights of his children's children.
  He's fighting for you, too.
"Regardless of where on this planet you live, and no matter what your nationality, the fact that the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA are still on the books, should disturb you on a fundamental level. If not, give it three minutes.
 "The National Defense Authorization Act, which was passed in 2012 and extended in 2013 and 2014, authorizes the US military to arrest anyone, anywhere on the planet, to deny them access to a lawyer, and to detain them indefinitely without at trial. Furthermore the U.S. government claims the right to do all of this in secret.
 "The right to a fair trial is gone, &without the right to a fair trial, you have no rights at all.
 "Of course some would argue that the NDAA only targets enemies of the United States, as if this somehow would make it ok, but that defense doesn't hold water. (And by the way the NDAA does apply to US citizens.)
 "It doesn't matter who the law claims to target, and it doesn't matter under what conditions the politicians claim it can be used. If you don't have the right to a lawyer, and you don't get your day in court, and if the government isn't even obligated to disclose the fact that they dragged you from your house in the middle of the night, then who is going to make sure this isn't abused? The soldiers? The politicians? Come on.
 "The power to make someone disappear without a trial is the power to make up any excuse that's convenient. Evidence is only needed if you have to prove your case in court. That's why we have courts.
 "The protections codified in the constitution were put there for a reason, but at this point it looks very much as if America is going to learn that lesson the hard way.
 "Land of the free right?
 "You can put your hand over your heart and celebrate something that no longer exists, or you can be honest with yourself.
 "That might be a bit painful. No one wants to believe that their kids are going to live under a military dictatorship. No one wants to see this coming, So most people put their head in the sand.
 "Those who don't, always start with one question: What can we do?
 "The first thing you need to understand is that our problem is psychological, not material. You have the means to take your power. And you don't need a set of specific instructions. You don't need someone to hold your hand & explain your role. You don't need someone to give you permission. What you need, is to turn off your tv, turn off your radio, put down the iPad, and ask yourself if you're going to be able to look your grandchildren in the eyes and tell them honestly that you did everything in your power to turn this around.
 "Are you going to push this out of your mind because it's uncomfortable, or are you going convert that discomfort into a driving force?
 "I'll tell you this much: If that thought itches in the minds of enough people, we'll figure out a way to scratch it, & If that driven feeling is fully established in your heart, you'll find a way to make it spread.
 "If you want a practical starting point to take action on the NDAA, get in contact with ...the People Against the NDAA (PANDA).
Dan Johnson (the founder) is one of those driven people who are making a difference.

[top]

New branch head welcomes all to Carnegie library

New branch head welcomes all to Carnegie library

  The corner of Main & Hastings may intimidate some but Natalie Porter knew this was the area she wanted to work in. Last month, Porter became the head of the Vancouver Public Library’s branch at the Carnegie Community Centre. “This was my one and only long-term career goal — to be here,” said Porter. “I think librarians naturally love to serve and share and find resources and be a part of a community, and this is the ultimate place if you’re passionate about community. The centre itself, connecting in with all the different services, learning all the different opportunities that are here — there’s so much going on.”
Carnegie Community Centre is often referred to as the living room of the Downtown Eastside. The library inside is no different and works closely with the centre for events and initiatives. “The space itself is a quiet refuge where people can come,” said Porter. “They don’t have to justify why they’re here.”
 Tall shelves and long wooden tables welcome everyone to grab a book and wind down. There are three computers for public use, limited to half-an-hour sessions as there are often lineups. Patrons love puzzles, and generous stacks of photocopied sudoku puzzles and crossword pages from newspapers are made available by branch staff near the library’s entrance.
Porter said some popular choices are DVDs, westerns, sci-fi and Chinese kung fu novels.
  It can be difficult for residents without permanent addresses to acquire a VPL card, so a special Carnegie Reading Room card bypasses this and allows individuals to borrow materials from the branch. Staff also try to be flexible with overdue books.
“We try to accommodate people where they’re at,” said Porter.
  Porter started off as a library assistant with the VPL in 2006 and later pursued studies at the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at UBC. She worked as a community librarian at the VPL for three years before switching to her new position as Carnegie’s branch head.
  Originally from Ontario, Porter was initially intimidated by the area when she moved to Vancouver in 1996, but that soon changed after experiencing the area as a community librarian.
  “At first glance it might seem quite harsh and raw,” she said. “At the same time, after hanging out here, it’s a place of deep empathy and love and really vibrant in the sense that people know each other, and perhaps they’ve been here for quite some time.” She stressed the importance of listening. “Instead of coming in with great ideals to change, just be really open to people’s stories.”
Popular events include health fairs in the alley, book giveaways on Friday afternoons due to the huge amount of donations received by the VPL as well as visits by many local authors. The branch is always interested in new innovations to serve the interests of the community.
“I actually feel really humbled to be here,” said Porter. “I think it’s a privilege to be here to be a part of people’s stories and experiences. I’m excited to see how everything evolves.”
[Chris C wrote this for the Courier but here, all we have to do is see Natalie smile! Ed.]

[top]

raise shit – a downtown eastside poem of resistance

raise shit – a downtown eastside poem of resistance

"the myth of the frontier is an invention that rationalizes the violence of gentrification, and displacement"
-  NEIL SMITH
"these pioneers in the gradual gentrification of the downtown eastside say their hopes for a middle-class lifestyle are undermined by the tenderloin scene down the street"
- DOUG WARD  1997
"prominent amid the aspects of this story which have caught the imagination are the massacres of innocent peoples - atrocities committed against them and, among other horrific excesses, the ways in which towns, provinces, and whole kingdoms have been entirely cleared of their native inhabitants"
             BARTOLOME DE LA CASAS, 1542
there is a planetary resistance
against consequences of globalization
against poor people being driven from
   land
they have occupied in common
and in community for many years
and while resistance to and rapidity of
global gentrification
differs according to specific local conditions
we in the downtown eastside
in the poorest and most disabled and ill     
    community     
in canada     
are part of the resistance which includes
the zapatistas in chiapas, mexico
the ogoni tribe in nigeria
and the resistance efforts on behalf of
   and with
the lavalas in haiti
the minjung in korea
the dalits in india
the zabaleen in egypt
the johatsu in japan
and these are names for
the flood
the abandoned
the outcasts
the garbage people
the homeless poor
and marginalized people
and gentrification has become a central
   characteristic
of what neil smith perceives as
"a revengeful and reactionary
   viciousness against
various populations accused of
   'stealing' the city
from the white upper classes"
and this viciousness and violence
brought to the downtown eastside
by friendly predators
such as builders planners architects
   landlords
bankers and politicians
is like violence brought to our
   community
by other predators
by johns and oblivion seekers
by sensationalizing journalists
 by arrogant evangelizing christians
predators like
developers and real estate agents
who remind me of no one so much
as gilbert jordan
the serial killer
who came down here repeatedly
and seduced bribed and bullied
10 native women
into drinking alcohol until they were
   dead
and one woman
revived after a night with jordan
though pronounced dead on arrival
at st. paul's hospital
described jordan as
"a real decent-looking person
very mild-mannered
a real gentleman
he looked like a school teacher
white shirt and tie
I trusted him"
and in our situation in the downtown
   eastside
the single weapon we wield
like the weapon native indian prophets
like the weapon ancient hebrew prophets
used in situations of vicious
   displacement
and threatened destruction of their
   communities
was the word
words against the power
of money and law and politics and media
words against a global economic system
the word "hebrew" originally designated
not a racial class but a social class
of despised drifters and outcasts
who existed on the margins of middle
   eastern cultures
and those advocates
those ancient hebrew prophets said
"the wealthy move the boundaries and
the poor have to keep out of the way
the poor spend the night naked, lacking
   clothes
with no covering against the cold
the child of the poor is exacted as
   security
from the city comes the groan of
   the dying
and the gasp of the wounded
   crying for help
damn those who destroy the huts of
   the poor
plundering their homes instead of
   building them up
those who tear the skin from off our
   people
who grind the faces of the poor
who join house to house
who add field to field
until there is room for no one but them
those who turn aside the way of the
   afflicted
who trample upon the oppressed"
and the native prophets of the americas
   who said
"when these times arrive
we will leave our homes like dying deer
the land will be sold and the people will
   be moved
and many things that we used to have
   in this land
will be taken from us
we have been made to drink
of the bitter cup of humiliation
they have taken away our lands
until we find ourselves fugitives,
   vagrants and strangers
in our own community
our existence as a distinct community
seems to be drawing to a close
our position may be compared
to a solitary tree in an open space
where all the forest trees around have
   been prostrated
by a furious tornado"
we have become a community of
   prophets
in the downtown eastside
rebuking the system
and speaking hope and possibility into
   situations
of apparent impossibility
a first nations man recently told me
he had come to the downtown eastside
   to die
he heard the propaganda
that this is only a place of death, disease
   and despair
and since his life had become a hopeless
   misery
he came here specifically to die
but he said
since living in the downtown eastside
what with the people he has met
and the groups he has found
he now wants very much to live
and his words go directly
to the heart of what makes for real
   community
a new life out of apparent death
and this is what we speak and live
with our words our weapons
our words
like bolts of lightning in a dark night
lighting our way
our words
like tears like rain like cries like hail
   from our hearts
feeling with each other in our suffering
   for each other
our words
angry as thunder exploding in the ears
   of those
who would ignore or dismiss or inflict
   upon us
what they in their ignorance think is
   best for us
our words defiant as streetkids in a
   cop's face
our words
brilliant and beautiful as the rainbow
   I saw
spanning our streets
our words
of resistance and comfort and
   commitment

like mountains
our words
prophetic on behalf of the hard-pressed
poor
our words
buttons t-shirts fliers inserts
   newsletters pamphlets
posters spraypaint slogans stickers
   placards speeches
interviews essays poetry songs letters
   chalks paints
graffiti
for as one prophet said
"when all is dark the murderer leaves
   his bed
to kill the poor and oppressed"
jeff and muggs and eldon and kathleen
   and frank and
maggie and carl and lori and duncan
   and margaret and
mark and sonny and ken and fred and
   sheila and Liz
and tora and terri and ian and chris and
   bob and leigh
and jen and shawn and darren and
   sarah and irene and
cathy and ann and lorelie and nick and
   linda and john
and lorraine and joanne and judy and
   allison and sharon
and deb and marg and dan and jean and
   don and libby
and carol and Iou and dayle and mo and
   barb and ellen
and sandy and tom and luke and gary
   and travis and
bruce and paul and deidre and jim and
   lisa and so many others
our words and our presence create
a strange and profound unity
outraged at each other
disappointing each other
misinterpreting each other
reacting against each other
resenting each other
unhealed wounds dividing us
when to be about unity
is to be caught in a crossfire
of conflicting ambitions understandings
   perspectives
still our words and our presence create
a strange and profound and strong
   unity
as in memory of the long hard nerve-
   wracking battles
for the carnegie centre
against the casino
for crab park
against brad holme
for zero displacement bylaws
against hotel evictions
for poor people living in woodward's
against condominium monstrosities
and for our very name .
-the downtown eastside
removed from city maps
the most stable community and
   neighbourhood
in vancouver     suddenly
disappeared
but recovered through struggle
our name reclaimed but the meetings
the pressure
the downtown eastside community
besieged and beleaguered
strung-out and dissipated
running on constant low-grade burn-
   out fever
meetings and meetings and meetings
a dozen fronts to fight at the same time
deal with one and a dozen more appear
another dehumanizing media story
or a new condo threat
a hundred needs crying out all at once
a hundred individuals with emergencies
crying for a response
sirens and sirens and sirens
construction noise
automobile mayhem
a disabled population
a poor and ill population
criminalized
up against globalization
pressure cooker emotional atmosphere
excruciating questions and dilemmas
so much happens so fast
how much compromise?
how to organize?
where to fight?
more sirens and screams and break-ins
welfare cuts
more murders and suicides
more bodies on the sidewalks and in
   alleys and parks
space and places for poor people
   shrinking
and the ambiguities of advocacy
the rumours
the well-founded paranoias
the political manipulations
exploitations confusions deliberate
   obfuscations
and seduction of the gentrification
   system
the backroom deals somewhere else
in office towers and government offices
meetings and more meetings
and yet
beneath the ostensible reason
for attending another goddamned
   meeting
is that which truly holds us together
holds and has held every real
   community together
love
not as passive abstraction or a
   commodity privatized
but love
as fiery personal and collective social
   justice passion
love as in our public celebrations 
love as in our public grieving
love going past fatigue again
love taking risks in the face of
   uncertainty
love as stubbornness sticking to
   community principles
love as willingness to go one more
   length
to make one more leaflet
love sitting down together one more
   time
love saying hello to hate and fear and
   goodbye
love as resistance, tolerance and
   acceptance
love
for this poor beloved community
reeling from global upheavals
love
taking on the consequences of a system
   producing
more wounded
more damaged
more excluded
more refugees
more unemployed and never-to-be-
   employed
and love's
immense capacity to care
and love as courage
like the other day near main and
   hastings
an old white man headed across
   hastings
in the middle of the block
traffic roared and blasted in both
   directions
the man was using a cane and moving
   very slowly
his eyes fixed somewhere beyond
it sure looked like he'd never make it
but would become
another vehicular maiming or death
   down here
and then a native fellow
waiting at the bus stop
like a matador dodging furious bulls
dodged into the traffic
and stopped it
using his body as a shield
and escorted the old white man
safely to the curb
words and courage and love and hope
   and unity
if only we had
the means for self-determination
instead
"the real estate cowboys ... also
   enlisted the cavalry of
city government for ... reclaiming the
   land and quelling
the natives, in its housing policy, drug
   crackdowns, and
especially in its parks strategy, the city
   devoted its
efforts not toward providing basic
   services and living
opportunities for existing residents but
   toward routing
many of the locals and subsidizing
   opportunities for
real estate development"
wrote neil smith about the lower east
   side of new york
sounds familiar, literal
like the day the police showed up on
   horseback
to patrol the 100 block of east hastings
horses on the sidewalk
where some of the most ill and suffering
  human beings
most drugged and drunk and
   staggering human beings
slipped and stumbled through the huge
   horse turds
left laying on the sidewalk
I remember attending a kind of
   gentrification summit
called by a vancouver city planner
to examine the city's victory square
   redevelopment plan
david ley, jeff sommers, nick blomley,
   and chris olds
reached a similar conclusion
the plan does nothing to prevent
displacement and gentrification
but when recently reminded of this
   verdict
the city planner still pushing his plan
   said
"I don't care if god and david ley ... "
and that's just it
the necessity for heeding
the prophetic blast and rallying cry
delivered by larry campbell
now the provincial coroner
in the carnegie centre last summer
“raise shit,” he said
raise shit
against the kind of "urban cleansing"
gentrification unleashes
it's a war
against the poorest of the poor
1,000 overdose deaths
in the downtown eastside in 4 years
highest rate and number of suicides in
   vancouver
lowest life expectancy for both men and
   women
fatal epidemics of aids and hepatitis c
and lack of humane housing
identified as a major factor
in all this violence against us
raise shit
when a friend of mine, a gay native
   man, tells me
''I'll try anything to get a decent home
I'm gonna become a mental case
I'll even go into an institution if it'll    
   help me
get a decent home"
raise shit
when both young people and hard core
   addicts
either deliberately infect themselves
   with hiv or 
take no precautions to prevent infection
   so that they
have a better chance at
obtaining housing, income, health care
   and meals
raise shit
when a city cop in a newspaper column
   says
"the locals were at their best fighting
   and howling"
and calls drug addicts "vampires"
raise shit
when an extremely influential north
   american
theoretician of displacement, george
   kelling
is brought to vancouver
by the business people and the police
to define and divide our community
   against itself
against panhandlers and prostitutes

raise shit
when a city planner in with the
   convention centre scam
says "the voters of vancouver can easily
   live with
20 to 25,000 homeless people and not
   even notice"
and when I think of raising shit
I think of this basketball team I once
   played on
composed of middle-aged beat-up
   alcoholics
and addicts from the streets
who'd been sober for awhile
and we entered a city recreational
   league
against teams that were
younger, stronger, faster, healthier and
   more skilled
and though we lost most games by a
   large margin
we determined that
no matter what the score
each hotshot team we played would
   know
by their fatigue and sweat and bruises
that they had been in a game
that they were up against an opponent
we knew we couldn't out jump or
   outrun those teams
but we sure could raise shit
better than they could
and amazingly we actually won a few
   games·
to raise shit is to actively resist
and we resist with our presence
with our words
with our love
with our courage
we resist
person by person
square foot by square foot
room by room
building by building
block by block
we resist
because we are a community
of prophets, of activists, of advocates,
of volunteers, and agency workers
and we, you and I, us
are all that stands between
the unique vulnerable troubled life-
   giving and death-
attacked community of the downtown
   eastside
we are all that stands between our vast
   community
and those who would
gentrify and displace and replace it
replace with greed
the singular leadership we have here
where it is said we lack
a single dynamic individual leader
but we have
the most powerful leader there is
the most effective leader we can have
in this grave situation
our community
our community itself
has emerged as our leader
the downtown eastside community
   itself
leads us
and it is to our credit that this is so
for it is from our
prophetic, courageous, conflictual and
   loving
unity
that our community
raises shit
and resists

           BUD OSBORN
                      2001
























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From the Library

From the Library
 The Library is excited to announce that, in collaboration with local organizations Hives for Humanity and the Hastings Urban Farm we will be offering a DTES Seed Library in the branch for anyone to take, share and donate seeds, as well as a big addition to our book collection on bees, bee-keeping and pollinators.  
  To celebrate, we will be hosting a special event on Wednesday August 6th, 6pm to 7:30pm in the Carnegie Theatre that will include honey-tasting and readings from Mark Winston (author of Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive), and community gardener,  Jim McLeod.   
Due to the recent passing of Neil Benson, who was a member of this community and took care of the bees this event and collection will be dedicated to him.  Please join us in honouring his memory, while learning about the miracle of bees, and how to make our community more sustainable.
Our bee book library will include,
Attracting Native Pollinators:  Protecting North America’s bees and butterflies by Xerces Society.
The Backyard Beekeeper  by Kim Flottum.
Homegrown Honey Bees:  An absolute beginner’s guide by Alethea Morrison.
The Rooftop Beekeeper: A scrappy guide to keeping urban honeybees  by Megan Paska.
Wisdom for Beekeepers: 500 tips for successful beekeeping  by James E. Tew.

                               Your Carnegie Librarian, Natalie

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“Get Back to Active” Program
 “Get Back to Active” Program    
     *Small Class Sessions Offered to Anyone With
Existing Muscle, Bone or Body Injuries.
     *FREE injury assessment and exercise program
by certified personal trainer.
     *Get back to being your active self!
Get help with issues such as arthritis, osteoporosis,
muscle degeneration or aches and pains with a
personalized exercise and stretching regimen.
             Tuesdays, 12-1pm
           Thursdays, 10-11am

Starting Aug 5, Carnegie Centre, Classroom 2
Facilitated by NCSA Certified Personal Trainer
For more info, Contact Mary Ellen at 604-665-3005

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Munich beer garten Sweaten

 Munich beer garten Sweaten

never been there but
can taste  smell  feel froth
of good german beer
trailing down my beard, neck
straight into my
subversive Celtic Soul
like the taste of
a 1000 sweet Persian kisses

                                                             JA Douglas

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The Serpico Effect

               The Serpico Effect

  In 1973 director Sidney Lumet made the film Serpico starring Al Pacino. It was based on a non-fiction book by Peter Maas that detailed a New York cop's fervent commitment to his job, for which he received a salary that he considered sufficient remuneration. His problem was, he didn't take bribe money, figuring it would compromise him when it came to doing the job. He was resourceful and courageous – the first one through the door kind of cop. Being first through the door eventually got him shot in the face.
  His colleagues, almost to a man, despised him. He likely was set up by them to be murdered – for they knew he was often first through the door. It’s an absolute miracle he wasn’t killed. If he had been killed, the Knapp Commission hearings into police corruption would likely not have taken place. The investigation, barely in its nascence, would have died along with Serpico.  
  Now what’s interesting is, to this day, cops generally have a low opinion of Frank Serpico. He wasn't just hated by fellow officers at the time who felt threatened by his complete disregard for the holy Blue Wall; oh no, apparently cops nowadays still hate the man. He's the most famous police officer of the 20th Century and to those of us who aren't cops, he's an icon of integrity and bravery.
  But to many cops, too many cops, he's a bum and a rat because he cared more about the average citizen than he did about crooked policemen.
    And the police wonder why we don’t think the world of them?
  Next time a cop gives you a hard time for no reason, ask him, "When Al Pacino got shot in the face in Serpico, did that make you happy or sad? It made me sad. Something tells me it made you happy."  Then turn around and run away, while yelling "Don't shoot me, Chipperfield!”
(The comprehension of that last sentence depends on
your having read the previous newsletter.
)

                                                         By DAN PAGE

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A Natural Path

A Natural Path

To keep moving & grooving, to find the energy or to wander around in a stunning quandary of confusion, when your body says ‘No. I am physically burnt out & shot for the time being; I need some serious downtime pretty please’ however my mind says ‘No way: you can do this! You can drag yourself off the floor and get a move on!’ (to who knows where) ‘otherwise you might miss something really really good!’Better outside; maybe better inside – it’s summer, people.
Not too far off are the rain & cold & relentless monsoons, and flashfloods arrive, seemingly forever…..
So try real hard to get the lead out and experience something mind-blowing other than televisionsmartphonescomputers – better to experience something real, alive & true, unforgettable creating fond pleasant memories for a long, long time.
How good does that sound to you?! Could be a great new beginning after recharging your internal, kinetic, frenetic batteries set out on a brand new course of exploration, adventure and transcendental enlightenment. Enjoy your new journeys and many happy returns..bon voyage..happy landings..bon appetite!

                                      ROBYN LIVINGSTONE.

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Cuts To The CBC (Part Two)

    Cuts To The CBC   (Part Two):
    In the last few weeks, Hubert Lacroix, the CEO of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, has announced some brutal cuts to the CBC.
     "I'm sorry about the cuts," I've told 2 or 3 people." But the CBC isn't a progressive organization. So I don't feel too sorry."
     In recent years the CBC radio and t.v. stations have said little or nothing about the terribly low welfare rates and the pitiful disability and old age pensions that people have to live on. Also as far as I can recall, it's never said a word in recent years about the massive debts that young people are burdened with when they exit from universities. I met one young mam who came out of a community college owing $120,000.
   This is a terrible way for young people to start their adult life. The CBC won't touch this topic with a ten foot barge pole. So when Lacroix, a lawyer announced his cuts, I said, "Sorry, but not too sorry."
  Yer a woman I'll call Gladys disagrees with me on this issue. Gladys is a sixtyish female marooned in a Vancouver apartment. Two successive strokes have sidelined her and she can't really walk on her own. She loves CBC and thinks my views on this topic are just plain wrong.
    "I can't get through the day without CBC Radio," she says. People like Michael Enright and Anna Maria Tremonti are certainly enlightened." (In my previous story on the CBC I mentioned Tremonti but forgot Enright). Also Gladys points out that radio morning host Jian Ghomeshi has dealt sensitively with topics like gays, lesbianism and the transgendered.
    "I also love some of the young men on CBC tv, especially Evan Solomon and Ian Hanomansing. You just don't get these people on other stations." I agree with part of this. Yet I can't forget Jian Ghomeshi interviewing an American mother  of a soldier whose son had died in the Iraqi War. The whole interview seemed to justify the NATO invasion of Iraq in 2002. I felt for the mother and her dead son. Yet I thought back then that the invasion of Iraq was a crime. I still do.
    Also at times the CBC acted as a publicist for the war in Afghanistan. I opposed this was completely though I felt badly about the close to 160 Canadian soldiers who died there.
     Then there's Evan Solomon whom Gladys admires. Once upon a time Solomon had the American progressive and author Noam Chomsky on his Sunday morning show. This hasn't happened in years.To-day Solomon has an afternoon show on t.v. and his guests won't disturb any mainstream audience. Neither will any of Ian Hanomansing's reporting.
     Finally Gladys points to the music that CBC's Radio Two station used tp lay like classical music. Yet CBC has already cut playing classical music s from 24 hours a day to about five hours. (I may have exaggerated the number of hours classical music was played since some of the night time was given over to new wave pop music. Still classical music was played in the past a lot more than five hours a day).
    Last Gladys and others point out that C.B.C. is not the same as CBC radio. I agree. as the very conservative cultural critic Robert Fulford said in effect, "T.V. is the most conservative medium there is." C.B.C. t.v. for instance, has headlined business people like Kevin O'Leary. If people like O'Leary had had their way, C.B.C. wouldn't exist.
     Also let's not forget C.B.C's treatment or attitude to the DTES and the poor in general. Last winter the Vancouver C.B.C. put on a Food Bank day where protestors from the DTES showed up. This Food Bank Day was an insult to poor people who need food banks because of the very low cheques they get from the governments of Canada.
     The C.B.C. always refers to the DTES as "Canada's poorest postal code."
     Now I've written letters to the Harper government denouncing cuts to C.B.C. Yet C.B.C.  doesn't inspire much loyalty in me these days. When I think of it these days I'll paraphrase Churchill's famous saying about democracy. "The C.B.C. is the worst broadcasting system of all, until  you look at all the other t.v. and radio stations."

                                                 By Dave Jaffe

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CARNEGIE COMMUNITY CENTRE: BARRING GUIDELINES
We have recently revised the Carnegie Community Centre Conduct & Consequences Policy.  The changes made reflect our desire to give patrons a clear message as to why they are being asked to leave and when they can return.  We have also reduced the number of consequences requiring patrons to “see security coordinator” .  The policy was supported and approved by the Carnegie Community Centre Association at the Board Meeting on July 3, 2014 and is effective immediately. 
CARNEGIE COMMUNITY CENTRE:  BARRING GUIDELINES
The following are guidelines for use by Carnegie Security Staff in dealing with misconduct or a disregard for the rules of Carnegie. These policies were approved by the Carnegie Community Centre Association (CCCA) Board of Directors on December 6, 2001 and have been filed with the City of Vancouver in March, 2002. These policies were amended by the CCCA Board and Directors on July 3, 2014 and have been prepared in accordance with the Carnegie’s “Guiding Principles”.
    The penalties listed here may be more or less severe depending on circumstances and will increase with repeat offences. Other inappropriate behaviors not covered here will be dealt with at the discretion of staff.

CONDUCT
CONSEQUENCE:  Not allowed in the building for:
1.  Behaviour indicates alcohol / drug use.
One day.
2. Consuming alcohol / drugs on premises.
One day.
3. Dealing in drugs on the premises.
One month.
4. Participating in drug activity & seeks entrance.
One day.
5. Non-threatening, disruptive behaviour.
One day.
6. Verbally abusive and/or harassment.
One day.
7. Escalated verbal abuse and/or harassment.
One week.
8. Verbal threats or threatening behaviour.
One week.
9. Fighting on premises.
One month minimum.
10. Common Assault on premises.
Two months minimum.
11. Sexual Assault or Abuse.
One year - police involved.
12. Sexual offences involving children.
Permanently – police involved.
13. Wilful damage to property.
Two months and pay-back arrangements made.
14. Gambling.
One day.
15. Theft.
Determined by situation and if police involved.
16. Refusal to leave for one of the above.
Must see Security Coordinator.
REVIEW AND APPEALS
A person who has been barred from Carnegie for longer than one day must make an appointment to speak with the Security Coordinator.  The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the incident, ensure you have an understanding of the rules of conduct and decide the date on which you may re-enter Carnegie.  A person may bring an advocate if preferred.  The Security Coordinator will review decisions and consider appeals by the person affected. The final decision is with the Centre Director or Assistant Director.
                                        For Further Information:
                                                                                      Sharon Belli, Assistant Director:  604-665-3545

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Humanities 101: Info & Application sessions (see July 15, 2014 for details)

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The DTES Small Arts Grants Summershow
The DTES Small Arts Grants Summershow exhibition will showcase the work of 34 DTES artists from Aug 6-16th at Interurban gallery. Take in paintings, chinese cultural opera, photography, video, sculpture, textile and feather work, and balloon art performance! Opening night is Aug 6th from 7-10pm. Free and all are welcome.

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So It is Time

So It is Time

So it’s time
Eighteen-twelve all over again
Those pesky Yanks
L’Anglais, the Red Coats,
Yan Kee in Mohawk  that tongue
Etait l’enemie
Howsoever things were fragmented
        in the Day
Plus ?a change, plus le m?me chose.

Some nation s did, and do not recognize
    the 49th Parallel still
No reasonable division
Except in those European courts.
Separation of peoples by imaginary lines
    on pieces of paper
Only read by engineers and potentates…

                 Wilhelmina Miles

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People Bashing Hurts Our Soul

People Bashing Hurts Our Soul

Why do Vancouver people live this way?
And yet ... it's not really our place to say.

Gossip must not be used by word of mouth,
Like in the North to West and East or South.

Do we bash others to make them happy?
Or does it make their lives feel crappy?

It's only adding too much strain,
And never blocks the hurting pain.

Why should the very rich and poor,
Knock them down to the very floor?

Humans were meant to be the same,
Different colors must have no shame.

It's not only animals that we are harming,
We pollute the Earth with global warming.

Many people seem kind of strange,
There is no time to make a change.

We are people of the human race,
Just like the song 'Amazing Grace.'

If only we could make things meet,
God help me to practice what I preach.

                                       © DJ Bruce

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Affliction Finder

Affliction Finder
The silence is ringing bells never before rung   ‘tis the everyday of the common man today he shall swing as his mortal coil is hung like overdosed underdogs out-performing the cheaters This evil is not new & never has, like blaming the poor for overpopulation yeah & we also helped create camps for concentration 1 day theatre will be equal parts good & evil but we will be in different rooms ours is the poverty/poetry class, “looking back is what I do best” so said the Affliction Finder pondering on whose head shall his elbow rest evil just got into town this night pure evil has never used class, like being released as when he put away his falsetto smile drives the multitudes to him yet to mock him poverty & infestation of rotting souls was just the beginning of his way our torment is his joy & paramount to his rapture & delight, he feeds off our energy & fear
The Affliction Finder has made a living out of bad news the dead know better but we are still very unclear: “do the letting down ‘round here” this is his calling and it is very very clear in this overheated night, his litter of introduction is full of sin so much we have not seen the likes of such massive diseases does he bring turmoil and the sounds of children & dogs whimpering – now that is his thing, like his open casket afterglowish charm the Affliction Finder found us now he shows off all levels of harm he is a showoff The best intentions of the D.T.E.S. will soon be old stories of how we fought him off but even when he loses we won’t mean a bloody thing,
That ancient soil was ours he doesn’t give a shit “if money were to be thrown in the sewer how long before the various ailments begin this non-neglectable nor refundable creature” in volatile form like an exorcism puppet show this patch of land is ours to much evil please fuck-off please, he wears the crowns of empty-hearted kings when Martha&theVandellas told us to dance he commanded us to do nothing like a pesticide butter & ink remover sandwich just enough poison to get you on those worn-out knees,
‘I constantly hear the cries of our people to many cranes & to many strollers nothing is ever equal same as these churches and their sky high no land tax steeples there is nothing to compare unless you live in Death Valley screw you we are those other people,
Like an outpouring of emotion from our curious leader ‘I have met better-versed winos & they are not cursed’   myself ‘I consume 410ml of methadone’ am I any cleaner but the Affliction Finder bathes in blood as the ManInTheMoon can only watch & cry,
He dispenses cancer with racism and slavery with world wars yes the carnage club social event of the fiscal year would open wide its doors as for the used & thrownaways who really cares do the A.F. a favour walk as far as you can then fall down & die!, like arsonists helping firefighters keep their jobs of course these minor victories are also irritations now is intimidation the sincerest form of insinuation does the Affliction Finder always somehow win? like declaring war on Vatican City or parading around the Middle East in your birthday suit the Affliction Finder never said anything about being pretty now there’s a mourning of weather predicting as the magnified world of our colour & shame is and will always be a sin, inside your bag of torment/turmoil & other tidy shames your disruptive audience dispersal choir have chosen to settle a few scores so they pulled out one of a thousand pieces of paper (they all had your name) & now it’s your turn for a dressing down, the more misery you create toughens that opencasketafterglow
..give us a chance just one more you never know may-be just maybe the harmony of no armies might just be a hit in this and every single town:  We shall see –

                                   By ROBERT McGILLIVRAY
“Who that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill; our antagonist is our helper.”
                                                          -Edmund Burke

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August 1, 2014