Go ahead displace me, you’re going to have to kill me to get me to stop fighting: By Daniel Bernard Phillip Isadore (Driftpile Cree)

After being arrested and displaced from the Thornton Park tent city, Daniel (far right) has been continually displaced.
After being arrested and displaced from the Thornton Park tent city, Daniel (far right) has been continually displaced.

Well to be quite honest I only recently came to know what DISPLACEMENT means. Being displaced is first of all illegal and most of all is degrading, plus it’s abuse of all types.

Displacement means being taken advantage of and stripped from my home (well what little I have that I call home), and pushed around and placed somewhere where I know it’s only gonna be a few days before they come and force me by intimidation to pack up whatever I can before they throw what I couldn’t pack up into the garbage. Displacement means cops belittling me as they call me names, even getting physical whenever I intervene and try and stop the “park rangers” from dismantling my home. They get violent with me if I “breach of a court order.” They steal my personal property right in front of me. And I’m not supposed to get mad or do anything about it. How would you people reading this – or even the people who sign these court orders – feel? What would you do in my situation? I’m just trying to live a comfortable life with what the “system” left me with.

So I have been homeless and living on the streets of the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver for close to 9 months having only myself to survive. Nothing new to me cause I’ve only had myself since the age of 7 years old, which is when I was deemed a ward of the government of Alberta. FUCK THE SYSTEM. For the last 8 or 9 months I have been displaced, let me see… 12 or 13 different times.

Displacing someone from their home, community, and even their land is unsafe. Displacing people puts everyone who is involved or even watching as a bystander in harm’s way or at risk. Homeless people in the DTES have mental illnesses, addictions or even both because they come hand in hand. If you’re homeless and have addiction (especially the people who use heroin) you are at a high risk of dying from an overdose. Not only are you at risk of overdosing, you’re at risk of being involved in dangerous street life situations. Being alone makes you more vulnerable then if you were with a group of people. Even just 1 other person is a lot safer. There are a lot of reasons why DISPLACEMENT is unsafe.

I feel that if you’re gonna displace someone from their home or community then at least give us what we deserve. We deserve the necessities of life, it should be our right as human beings. HOMES. But most of all give us Indigenous people our land back.

So go ahead displace me, go ahead steal my stuff, go ahead dismantle and destroy my home, go ahead belittle me. SHIT even go ahead hurt me beat me up throw me in jail. Because you’re gonna have to kill me to get me to give up and stop fighting. I’m not going to stop until my people and I get what we want as an EQUAL.

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