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Tent Village on the move

by murray bush - flux photo

Tent Village moves to an empty lot outside Olympic Athletes' Village
March to the Olympic Athletes' Village
Agressive police meet steadfast community
Village in a bag
Setting up on empty lot
Raising the big tent
Police "protecting the property owner's rights" on an empty lot.
Solid resistance to police pressure
Moving house
Serving and protecting Olympic Village
Attempted intimidation
Warm hearts

OLYMPIC VILLAGE - Housing activists are meeting outside the Olympic Village community centre to plan their next move. The occupation to protest the Olympic Village social housing sell-off and to demand more social housing has moved twice following constant harrassment from Vancouver police.

After a noon rally in the Downtown Eastside, about 250 tent villagers and supporters moved to the main plaza in the centre of the Olympic Village. City officials threatened to have them removed as they were still setting up. The City of Vancouver head of "Corporate Security" tried repeatedly (and unsuccessfully)  to read a notice to disburse.  Police presence was high with cops constantly moving through the crowd.

Villagers decided to move to an empty lot outside the Olympic Village at Second and Manitoba. Police continued their harassment, "to protect the property owner's rights." Police managed to quickly get an injunction from Pinnacle International Group, the "owner" of the empty lot, and gave protesters 15 minutes to vacate.

Around 4pm, the villagers decided to pack up and move to the nearby community centre to make plans, only to find all the doors of the public community centre locked by the police.

The tent villagers are now discussing their next move.

 

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Comments

Keep up the pressure!

Rock it peeps!

I am sending out solidarity vibes from deadmonton.

Wishing I was there.

Inspiring photos Murray. Thank you.

Tami Starlight - VMC Editorial Collective & Femininjas

"To Protect the Property Owner's Rights"

"Villagers decided to move to an empty lot outside the Olympic Village at Second and Manitoba. Police continued their harassment, 'to protect the property owner's rights.' Police managed to quickly get an injunction from Pinnacle International Group, the 'owner' of the empty lot, and gave protesters 15 minutes to vacate."

This is a great example of how the cops are little more than enforcers of gentrification, working hand in glove with landlords, property developers and poor bashing governments, including the so-called "progressives" of the Vancouver Vision party (a motley coalition of the NDP, union bureaucrats and "liberal" property developers). 

Since the end of the Woodward's Squat, any time housing activists have tried to set up a squat or land occupation (with the exception of the Tent City set up during the Olympics, which was shut down by the cops shortly after the international media left town), Vancouver cops have responded with force arresting people, tearing down tents and blocking access to empty buildings and vacant lots.  They appear determined to prevent 'another Woodward's' which, despite its many flaws and limitations, generated much public sympathy and solidarity and raised the issue of the deplorable housing conditions existing in the DTES (which have only gotten worse despite Vision's empty rhetoric about "helping the homeless"). 

How ironic that during an uncharacteristically snowy and cold late winter weekend, Vancouver cops wouldn't even allow a few tents to be set up on a vacant lot (and how petty and vindictive to lock the doors of a public community centre to prevent it's use by protestors!).

I heard a report somewhere that Mayor Gregor Robertson had told the cops to prevent any take-overs of unoccupied buildings and land.  It would be interesting if see if this could be confirmed.

 

 

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