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Grandview Park Fence Taken Down Again

by Isaac Oommen

Grandview Park Fence Taken Down Again
Grandview Park Fence Taken Down Again

The fence around Grandview Park on Commercial Drive was taken down again as part of an ongoing action against the gentrification of the park.

A group of local community members have been spearheading a Defend Grandview campaign over the summer against the restructuring of the park along what they say are plans meant to stop the poor and street vendors from congregating in the area.

The day began with a potluck picnic and discussion session around ways to take back the park, which had over the week been cordoned off for teardown.

Several participants at the discussion having called for a march, the group then went to the north side of the park, where they took down part of the fence and began enjoying the park the way it was before the barrier was set up.

Soon part of the east side of the fence that faced Commercial Drive also was taken down, and a "Grand Reopening" poster stuck outside.

Police vans that had been sequestered at the north side of the park strangely disappeared before the fence was broken through. Three bicycle policemen patrolled near the group, but did not engage anyone.

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Why Defendgrandviews tactics won`t work

This is what I think, since very few supporters showed up for this shindig last Saturday:

Response to David Beatty`s facebook page:

By the way, defendgrandview et al should have listened to me and acted on passive resistance, which would mean disavowing the use of violence, convincing the community that a massive sit-down strike on park grounds is essential while the work is going on, just like Claquot Sound, and training people to understand the techniques involved in this type of civil disobedience. Not calling for a class war,dressing up in masks, spray painting residents houses with disparaging comments, spreading the community with anarchy information posters, giving workshops on lock picking, calling the middle class losers or whatever, and generally alienating us, the 100,000-200,000 activists you are talking about. Surely we can act like police plant black bloc ass holes too, can`t we ? And why not start an anarchist scenario which would result in the possible death of human beings no matter what their political stripes ? After all, it`s for a good cause isn`t it ?

*sigh* Can you just let them


Can you just let them finish the thing so we can all get back in it? I mean seriously... what do you think is going to happen? Do you imagine the city will capitulate and just re-open the partially demolished park to the public? Who's interests does that serve? (And please answer. You can believe you'll win any supporters if you can explain the reasons/goals behind your actions.)

Why not go "help" somebody else. Pakistan could sure use some of this extra energy you have. Throw a benefit. Raise some dough and help one of the NGOs providing shelter and assistance to some of the 13 million affected.

John : I understand your concerns

I have been following your comments on various sites for awhile.  The people you refer to as `idiots`  who are responsible for disrupting the reno process will not dialogue with you since you are being disrespectful.

You know, unfortunately for you, defendgrandview consists of some very well informed people, educated and committed, but of course they are unwilling to talk with those they consider ignorant of the facts.  No they will not talk to you John.  They don`t even want to talk to me, and I attended one of their meetings, I am against any forms of redevelopment/gentrification since they are consistent with the state/ruling class alliance`s agenda for a `new world order`. The main difference between me and defendgrandview is that I disavow the use of violence, and so probably fall into the same category as David Eby. Though I am also poor, I also probably am seen as a yuppie sympathizer.  So you are right.  The neighbours close to GP just want this thing to go away, since they have to work the next day.  Unfortunately, just like the disenfranchised poor lumpen proles who are regularly demonized by the mainstream sheep/slaves who define themselves as the only ones who are worthy, legitimate voices for what`s right, defendgranview will never just go away, I hope. What will eventually happen is that there will be some kind of action which will hopefully,finally, educate the public about the big picture about what`s really going on here. Get it ?

For Christ sakes John, stop

For Christ sakes John, stop trolling already....

What purpose is this?

As somebody who has lived in the area for over 30 years, I have to question whose interests you are looking after. We've tried for years to improve the parks and playgrounds so that little boys and girls on the eastside can have the same clean, safe places as they do on the westside.

You are seriously protesting a park renovation? All this because you can't hang out at another park? Seriously?

This has nothing to do with gentrification/class warfare/ and any other conspiracy you might imagine it to be. 

There are plenty of things we need to do: find shelter for the homeless, get medical services  for under-privileged people, help flood victims in Pakistan. This is not one of them.


  • ‎"Whoever does not close his ear to the lamentations of the miserable, nor his heart to gentle pity; whoever is the friend and brother of the unfortunate; whoever has a heart capable of love and friendship; whoever is steadfast in adversity..., unwearied in the carrying out of whatever has been once engaged in, undaunted in the overcoming of difficulties; whoever does not mock and despise the weak; whose soul is susceptible of conceiving great designs, desirous of rising superior to all base motives, and of distinguishing itself by deeds of benevolence; whoever shuns idleness; whoever considers no knowledge as unessential which he may have the opportunity of acquiring, regarding the knowledge of mankind as his chief study; whoever, when truth and virtue are in question, despising the approbation of the multitude, is sufficiently courageous to follow the dictates of his own heart, - such a one is a proper candidate." See More
    3 minutes ago · LikeUnlike ·

  • Stephen Blumstein Unfortunately, we are well into the third: Division
    a few seconds ago · LikeUnlike ·

Trolling? How is it that

Trolling? How is it that anytime people on either the far right or left are challenged, they think they're being trolled?

Try offering an argument instead of mindless action. Christ... I might as well be talking to my refrigerator.

I was downtown last night and cruised by the park on the corner of Richards and Davie. And guess what I saw? Marginalized people! Lots of them! Hanging out everywhere, right alongside of the condo dwelling yuppies. And guess what I smelled. Pot! And you know what? Nobody fucking gave a shit. No cops came. And nobody needed your misguided help.

Stop being a bunch of fuck ups. Leave the park alone, and come back next spring with everybody else, kids, yuppies, hippies, homeless, gays, straights, everybody. But please don't do anything that will keep us out longer than we need to be. This serves no one but yourselves and your weird little egos.

Call me crazy Stephen, but I

Call me crazy Stephen, but I think coming into a neighbourhood, shouting insults, telling people they don't belong, throwing a massive protest/party that goes till 3am under threat of riot in a sleeping neighbourhood, is far more disrespectful than calling the people who did it "idiots".

I've actually tried to engage respectfully a number of times, but these twits run to the shadows rather than actually talk to us "masses". Their unilateral actions are now threatening to keep us out of the park for another summer, and I'm fucking sick if it.

They have no grasp of the issues, and neither do you if you think this is some conspiracy.

Again... if the park reopens, and everyone can simply walk right back in and resume their previous activities, how does this gentrify the neighbourhood? Just because yuppies like nice things doesn't mean the poor don't too. Real estate prices have been out of control for years now, and this has had nothing to do with the park reno. Any impact the finished park will have on housing prices will be negligible.

As for their other claims, that there was insufficient consultation, this is silly. The city had a number of meetings. It's a freaking park reno, we're not building the UN here. Parks are simple creatures... all we need is lots of places for people to hang out, kids to play, a place to poop, and trees to sit under. Community kitchens and homeless shelters are not really something that fit into a park this size.

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