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Fighting the Height at City Hall

by murray bush - flux photo

Bright spot in a sea of red
Outside City Hall
Outside City Hall
Opponents to the towers plan
Supporters of the 10 Sites Campaign for social housing
Full house - all red
Youth who wouldn't give up their seats for elders
Negotiations for seats with City manager Penny Ballem
Talks continue
Banner from the balcony
Overflow crowd listening from the next room
Carnegie Community Action Project's Jean Swanson at the mike

VANCOUVER - City Council was literally packed for the first night of hearings on lifting restrictions on Chinatown building heights. When opponents of the plan to allow 15-story luxury condo towers in Chinatown arrived, every seat was already occupied by condo supporters - all dressed in matching red t-shirts. They wouldn't even budge for elders.

So opponents of the "Historic Area Height Review" took up seats around the Council table - prompting City Manager Penny Ballem to force some of the red shirts to give up their seats for seniors.

Once the council meeting got underway, the split became apparent - the red shirts were generally speculators, property owners and their families - the opponents were small business owners, residents and their supporters.

Speakers against the plan cited the devastating impact condo towers would have on the low-income residents of Chinatown. They talked about the importance of affordable fresh food stores. They also cited the City's lack of public consultation and criticized the Vision Council's ploy to split off Chinatown from the rest of the Downtown Eastside in the height debate.

With 118 speakers on the list, more meetings are expected over the coming weeks - only 17 speakers made it to the podium. The next hearing is scheduled for April 5.



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Great shots Murray...

...and the talks continue!


Video of Sid Tan speaking to City Council on the history of working class struggle in Salt Water City.

power to you people

power to you people organizing to fight for your rights!

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