Occupy Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territory, November 11, 2011
The Occupy Vancouver movement announced that it will be hosting a rally and march on Saturday to bring attention to the city’s social housing problems. The rally comes after weeks of criticism against the occupation site for housing people with nowhere else to go.
“Although not originally expected or intended by any of us, Occupy Vancouver has actually done a better job of housing, feeding, and caring for many of the city’s marginalized population than the City of Vancouver and the Province of British Columbia have, despite their immense resources,” says Eric Hamilton-Smith, a protester and organizer at Occupy Vancouver. “The key difference between the housing situation at the Occupy Vancouver site, and the housing provided through city shelters and social housing units is that people at our site feel part of a community, many for the first time in their lives.”
Occupy Vancouver has been partnering with non-profits and community organizations to host a number of speakers and discussions on housing. In addition, the Occupy Vancouver General Assembly will be advocating for a number of practical solutions to immediately address the current housing crisis.
The City of Vancouver has said they will have BC Housing on site to ensure that all homeless occupiers receive proper housing – housing Occupy Vancouver says is provided by displacing people who are already on a waiting list for housing.
“Many Occupiers have no interest in moving into the squalid conditions of the city’s social housing units,” says Hamilton-Smith, “especially if it means displacing the thousands currently on the waiting list.” The theme of the rally is “Housing is a Right, Not a Commodity!” and will take place on Saturday, November the 12th, beginning at 12:00pm at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
If you would like more information on this event, or would like to schedule an interview with Eric Hamilton-Smith, please contact:
Occupy Vancouver Media Committee,