Downtown Eastside housing organizers blockade Vancouver City Hall: The fight for 58 W. Hastings escalates in historic May Day action

Organizers from the Our Homes Can’t Wait Coalition (OHCW) have blockaded the entrances of Vancouver City Hall in an effort to shut down the office’s activity for the entirety of May 1, 2018. The Coalition has issued the following statement:

“The Our Homes Can’t Wait Coalition demands that the development at 58 W. Hastings be rented at 100% welfare and pension rates, as promised by Mayor Gregor Robertson on August 2, 2016. A 2018 document produced by the City states that only one third of the proposed 231 units at 58 W. Hastings will be rented at welfare and pension rates. With at least 1,200 homeless individuals living in the Downtown Eastside alone, 77 units will do little to address the mounting crisis we face today.

The City’s lies and inaction on 58 W. Hastings will claim the lives of hundreds unless Mayor Robertson’s promise is followed through. We, the poor and the homeless of the Downtown Eastside will not sit idly as our elected officials deprive us of the housing we need. We are not a statistic; numbers to be counted and shuffled around in the attempt to remake the city for the rich. We will fight for our lives and our right to live with dignity. There will be no business as usual at City Hall on May 1 unless our demands are met.”

Vancouver City Council was scheduled to convene this day at 9:30 AM. The first item on Council’s agenda is listed as “Response to Homelessness,” with a presentation from the Director of Homelessness Services. It has been ten years since Mayor Gregor Robertson promised to “end homelessness.” OHCW has been fighting for 100% welfare- and pension-rate housing to be built at 58 W. Hastings since 2007.

Representatives from the blockade will be available for statements beginning at 8:30 AM. There will be a press conference held at the south entrance of Vancouver City Hall at 9:00 AM, followed by a rally at 10:30 AM.


延續 58 W. Hastings的抗爭


我們家園不能等待聯盟的成員們已經封鎖了市政廳的各入口,協力割斷辦事處 5月1日的運作。以下是聯盟的聲明

我們家園不能等待聯盟要求 58 W. Hastings 的發展項目出租為100%符合福利金和養老金率的社會住房,正如羅品信市長曾於2016年8月2日所承諾。在一份2018年由政府所寫的文件內,指出 58 W. Hastings項目所建議的231個單位中,只有3分1會以符合福利金和養老金比率來出租。當最少有1,200 個無家可歸者在市中心東端露宿街頭時,單單77個單位並足夠應對目前刻不容緩的危機。

除非市長羅品信兌現他的承諾,否則市政府對 58 W. Hastings 的失信和漠視將會奪取數以百計的生命。我們市中心東端的窮人和露宿者絕不會坐以待斃,任由大家所推選的官員剝奪自己對房屋的需要。我們不是統計數字,也不是富人在企圖篡掌城市區劃時 所搬弄的數據。我們會有尊嚴地為自己的性命和權利抗爭。除非市政廳滿足我們的要求,否則今天市政廳將不會照常運作。

溫哥華市議會本於今天9時半召開會議。日程的第一項是由 無家可歸服務計劃 總監以『對無家可歸者的回應』為題的匯報。由羅品信市長承諾『結束無家可歸』起以有十年光陰。

由早上8時半起,聯盟的發言代表將在封鎖入口的位置提供聲明。於早上9時,在市政廳的南面入口舉行新聞發布會,10時半的集會從而跟隨 。