Archives

Portraits of Regions in Struggle

Abbotsford—Dignity Village Nick, one of the attendees from Abbotsford, explained how “Multi-family crime-free housing” prevented him from finding a safe place to live once his mother died.” I have…

We are all persons and we all belong

Politicians, government officials, business owners, real estate developers, landlords, and media pundits shape a common perspective on low-income, homeless, drug user, and low-wage working class…

Housing and sex work

Since the Sex Workers United Against Violence (SWUAV) Society formed, we have been working for better living and working conditions for sex workers, primarily through our participation in…

S.O.S. at PHS

A report from inside Victoria’s first Portland Hotel Society-run “supportive” housing In April after the government hired Portland Hotel Society (PHS) to manage Super InTent City, SIC Society…

Social work as social control

We can learn a great deal from the state responses to Super InTent City (SIC). In contracting the Portland Hotel Society (PHS) in April 2016 to “manage” the camp after losing their first injunction…

Inside the jail of supportive housing

Since Canada’s federal government cut regular social housing construction in 1993, homelessness has become the central issue of anti-poverty and housing justice movements. Our movements have fought…

No One Grows Up Wanting

All should have to live the life That we were forced to do For just a little while at least To understand our point of view No one grows up wanting To live on some dirty street…

Homeless on the Stage

For a Muse of Fire is an original live performance piece set on the #20 bus that weaves personal stories from the DTES, quirky dialogue, wild humour, original text and a little Shakespeare. The…

In Memory of Wolverine

Love, respect, hope, strength, and a deep thirst for freedom and justice flowed through Wolverine’s Memorial held a few days after the 84-year-old warrior released his spirit on March 22nd, World…

Real Crisis, Fake Responses: Editorial

This issue of The Volcano circles around two main topics: One: The ongoing, widespread Indigenous resistance and resurgence through land-based struggles against dispossession. From our cover art,…

Volcano Community Spotlight

At the rally for the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the tent city on Maple Ridge’s Cliff Avenue, Tracy was upset because fewer former residents of the tent city had turned up than she…

Rest in Power Brother Richard!

Richard David Cunningham 7 February 1961 - 23 December 2015 Richard was a member of Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) “from the start” as he always said. He was an activist and leader in…

Rent Supplements Subsidize Landlords

How can governments maintain the scarcity of housing, keep renters in crisis, and subsidize people who don’t need subsidies with one simple program? The answer? Spend $750 million on rent…

Rental Housing Crisis in Victoria

With a vacancy rate approaching zero, a fast dwindling rental housing stock, and low interest rates encouraging the growth of luxury condominium developments catering to babyboomer retirees and…

Homeless on the Strip in Surrey

My name is Wanda and I live in Surrey on the strip (135A Street). I’ve been on the strip for 2 years now. I lost my home over two years ago, and it’s been a struggle. Everybody has their own…

Access Without Fear: By Byron Cruz

Recently members of Sanctuary Health and their allies attended a council meeting at Vancouver City Hall where the Access Without Fear policy was voted on. We made sure that Lucía Vega Jimenez…

Social Mix is Exclusion

I’ve lived in Vancouver for thirteen years, in SROs for seven, I was homeless for about eight months, and now I live in supportive housing at Woodward’s. I’m an artist, and I live with a mental…

Canada’s Refugee Crisis

Over the past month the plight of refugees has been gaining attention in mainstream and social media. When the bodies of the Kurdi family were found on Turkish shores as they tried to reach Greece…

A Tale of Two Art Galleries

One costs $20 to get in. The other is free. One is backed by the rich. The other is revered by low-income Downtown Eastside (DTES) residents. One got $50 million from the province, $23 million…

Tales from the Regent

I live in an SRO (single room occupancy) hotel in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) of Vancouver, in what I devoutly hope is a temporary living arrangement. The Regent is rated the second-worst hotel…

Time to Flood the System

Another year and another climate conference. This December, 196 countries will meet in Paris to address the ongoing climate crisis, as they have done for the last 21 years. Twenty-one years of…

End the War on Drug Dealers

On July 16, 2015, the Victoria Police Department issued warrants for 16 suspected drug dealers accused of preying on people who use shelters in Victoria. The result of a 6-week undercover sting in Our…

Homeless Counts for What?

Every year since 2010 the City of Vancouver has counted its homeless residents. Around four hundred volunteers are recruited, trained, and sent out to lie in wait at Vancouver shelters…

Special online-only articles

September 15, 2015 A grassroots reply to the City of Victoria’s “Sheltering Solutions”: The Needs of the Homeless in the Interests of the Housed By Ashley Mollison and Flora Pagan On September 16,…

Death by Cops on the Rise in BC

Despite new training programs, police are killing people at increasing rates in BC. Over the past 12 months there have been 16 known police-involved deaths in BC. All of the victims…

Honouring Bea Starr

We are sad to note the loss of Beatrice Lucy Starr, wolf clan of the Heiltsuk from Bella Bella, who passed away this June 14th in the company of family. As a community member, an organizer with…

The Plight of Migrant Workers

In recent years Citizenship and Immigration Canada has been shutting its doors on migrant workers. The Conservative government has made immigrating to Canada more and more difficult for working…

The Ugly Reality of Anti-Poor Hatred

“People who sleep alone in the woods are in more danger than people in the camp. They’re always in danger,” Mum said. “Living here in a community like this is safer because you can’t be targeted just…

Kwantlen – Pipelines and Sovereignty

My name is Brandon Gabriel. My education was in Cultural Anthropology and Visual Arts. I studied at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Emily Carr University of Art and Design (BFA 2006). I have…

Unist’ot’en Oppose Bill C-51

Deep in the forest, surrounded by the rapid on-going destruction of ancient lands, there grows a powerful place of healing and decolonization. Despite what can often seem like a concerted effort…

Organizing Against Austerity

Austerity is not a lack of money. Austerity is a lack of democracy. When government says we have to tighten our belts, they are hoping we won’t find out how their tax system helps the rich and…

Metrotown – A developer’s Heaven

Metrotown is one of the fastest growing, densest areas in Canada. It includes the spectacular Central Park, Western Canada’s second largest shopping center, Metropolis, and one of the most…

Housing First or Housing Farce?

The federal government’s idea of Housing First is to subsidize landlords, not build housing for homeless people. That’s what an official of a non profit group that provides services to homeless…

Welfare Rates are Tough all Over

At a meeting in early May, some MLAs from the NDP told a group of Vancouver activists that low welfare rates are a problem only for those in the Downtown Eastside (DTES).  Raise the Rates attended the…

Our long Summer of Evictions begins: By the Editors

When the Volcano editorial collective got together in April to plan this issue we had a different issue in mind than the one you’re holding in your hands. As the summer approached a theme imposed…

Seeking Refuge

The following is the personal experience of Karla Lottini, a Mexican refugee and journalist who came to Canada as a refugee. Contrary to popular belief that “Canada accepts so many refugees,” it was…

Honouring the Life of Phuong Na (Tony) Du

On Nov 22, 2014 Phuong Na (Tony) Du was shot and killed by Vancouver Police officers at the corner of 41st Ave and Knight Street. Tony was 51 years old and lived with a mental health illness. At the…

The Chinatown Shockwave

Redeveloped in 2009, anti-poverty activists have described the Woodward’s project as creating a ripple effect of gentrification throughout the Downtown Eastside. This redevelopment…

Fiery Displacement from View Towers

At 7:00 am on the morning of May 15, 2014, a fire broke out in a suite of the infamous View Towers in Victoria, British Columbia. The fire was visible from the street with flames shooting out the…

Hogan’s Alley and Gentrification

Wayde Compton is a poet, writer, and advocate for histories and legacies of the Black community in Vancouver. In 2001 he edited Bluesprint, an anthology of Black British Columbian literature and…

Mining and Gentrification

The mining company Tahoe Resources is currently being sued in a Vancouver court by seven Guatemalan men who allege they were shot and injured by Tahoe’s security personnel during a protest against the…

One last chance to save the SRO Hotels

Vancouver’s Single Room Accommodation (SRA) Bylaw has been in place for over 11 years and has proven ineffective at protecting affordable housing. The Bylaw was passed in 2003 to protect single…

Mewa Singh’s legacy still relevant

On January 11, 2015, hundreds of Sikhs gathered to mark the centennial commemoration of Mewa Singh. For many in the South Asian community, Mewa Singh is respected as a political activist and a martyr…

Welcome to The Volcano!

By the Editors The Volcano editorial collective gratefully acknowledges that we live, work, and struggle for justice and liberation on the unceded lands of the Squamish, Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh…

Voices from the Oppenheimer Tent City

It’s about 12:00 in the afternoon, on a sweltering day about 4 weeks into the encampment at Oppenheimer Park. The camp seems to grow and become more and more intricate as days turn into weeks.…

Homelessness is Still a Huge Problem

The homeless count for this year was the highest it’s ever been: 1803 homeless people in Vancouver, and 2,777 in the Metro Vancouver area. And even the counters say that is an undercount. The…

昭倫大廈的勝利!

作者:陳敬望 勝利!因DJ Larkin (樞軸法律協會/ Pivot Legal Society) 和另一位倡權人士的支持 及工作,住宅租務處會 (Residential Tenancy Branch;RTB)撤銷業主(昭倫公所)向 RTB 申請向奇化街325 號的昭倫大廈加租,加租超過40%! 在二月尾一個晚上,我幫昭倫大廈一位租客翻譯RTB 的文件。在過去的五個月,這位租…

Victory at Chau Leun Tower!

Victory! With the support and work of DJ Larkin from Pivot Legal Society and MPA advocate Stephanie Smith, the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) dismissed the Chau Luen Society’s application for…

We are poor because they are rich

Finally, the proof we have been waiting for. Most of us have long suspected that the government of BC was in bed with the richest 1%. On April 1, 2014, this was confirmed. During Raise the Rates’…

Gentrification and the DTES Chinese Community

Read this article in Chinese here: 華人社群在市中心東端與昂貴化的關連 Not much is known about how gentrification is impacting the Downtown Eastside (DTES) Chinese community. There is still much that I have yet…

The Rebel Queen

I'm asking why women's achievements are written out of history by making Feminist Zombie Dolls. I'm researching and creating notorious bad girls and freedom fighters. These strong, independent…

In memory of Lucia Varga Jimenez

News broke this past week of the tragic death of Lucia Varga Jimenez while in the custody of the Canada Border Services Agency. Lucia was a 42 year old Mexican migrant and hotel worker in…

Mental Health Crisis?

The Mayor’s problematic five-fold solution: Increase Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams; Increase supports at BC Housing; Enhance urgent care at the hospital; Pair the VPD…

Homeless in the DTES

What happens to your tent and belongings when the cops take it away?  It took a lawyer and a long-time advocate to figure it out and get the possessions back for Donny Miller, a local homeless man.…

The Stanza Project

The Stanza Project (Vancouver: Otter Press, 2013) is a DTES book of poems and writings, drawings and sketches. It is a collaboration of architecture and words. Edited by Elee Kraljii…

Taking a Stand for Social Housing

“STANDs for Social Housing” is a campaign strategy currently used by the Social Housing Coalition BC to draw public attention to the housing crisis in the province and the need for social housing.…

The Myth of the Wealthy Asian Invader

As low income and working residents of Vancouver continue to face the devastating consequences of an affordable housing crisis, many of us grapple with how this happened and how we can change it.…

New DNC Board Elected

On December 8th 2012, the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council held elections for a new board for the upcoming year of organizing and actions. Board positions are divided according to housing type,…

A Very Chilling & Alarming Contrast!

I think we have now come full circle with the insanity and cruelty known as gentrification. There is no room for doubt about the message that is being sent to this neighborhood: “We do not care about…

Life in the Downtown Eastside

By Joan Morelli, DTES Power of Women group Life in the Downtown Eastside is very often tinged with violence from strangers, service providers, and the police. We suffer particularly from the…

Who are the real bullies?: By the Editors

Downtown East editorial The very existence of the low-income communities of the DTES is threatened by rapid condo development and retail gentrification. The area is being invaded by high-end…

Film review – My Brooklyn

“My Brooklyn” is a moving, informative but ultimately very sad documentary about how a vibrant diverse neighbourhood can be wiped out by the forces of gentrification. It is a story about the…

Good news for Asia hotel residents

ATIRA women’s resource society will be the new manager of the Asia Hotel on Pender St. owned by the Mah Society. This news comes after over a year of uncertainty. The building was scheduled for…

Under pressure of gentrification: By the Editors

Throughout the history of the DTES, resident-based groups have arisen to build and strengthen the community through the struggle for social justice. Today, determined work continues to defend our…

The bottle depot block is home

On May 16 Vancouver City Council passed a motion to support the United We Can bottle depot to move from its long-time home at the 000 block of East Hastings to an industrial area south of Terminal…

Amalia lives on

Her name was Amalia, Amalia from Hastings, Amalia from Guatemala. Amalia was one of the first Latin American women to live and work in the DTES. Amalia had a history of pain, a history of…

A housing crisis in Canadian fields

By the Agricultural Workers' Alliance - Surrey Support Centre The next time you visit Richmond, Surrey, Langley, the Okanagan Valley, or other places in BC, pay attention to the fields where…

Speculation Fever

Gentrification in the Downtown Eastside is fueled by real estate speculation, investment, development and the promise of the already super-rich buying-low and selling-high. These speculators are…

DTES Historic Plaque Gone Missing

A historical plaque that was supposed to have been put on a light pole near the Patricia Hotel at Dunlevy and Hastings is MISSING. The plaque is about the death of Olaf Solheim in 1986. Solheim…

Oppenheimer Park Film Program

Every Tuesday at 2pm, in the field house of the Oppenheimer Park, documentary and experimental films are screened, followed by a group conversation. The intention is to create a space where everyone…

Gentrification and Hipsters

You’ve seen them: the hipsters, walking down our streets and having expensive fancy coffees at the gentrifying shops along the west side of the DTES, like “Nelson the Seagull” and the shop below the…

For the Love of Our Community

I’m from Morson, Ontario, near Minnesota close to the Manitoba border. I’m from the Ojibway Nation from Big Grassy reserve. I’m adopted. My uncle and aunt adopted me and my siblings-- six of us…

Tenant Power and Rent Control

The Social Housing Coalition BC is demanding that the province outlaw renovictions and slumlording and begin enforcing maintenance standards that landlords now make a mockery of. …

the past is not past: A poem

Spoken at VANDU’s memorial march, Dec 18, 2012 the past is not past the dead are not dead the past is experiences of suffering and loss and joy and achievement the many lives in each of us in…

Responding to media attacks

Pidgin’s owner said he wanted to start a conversation - he got more than he bargained for! Low-income people are speaking out against forced relocation and economic exclusion/segregation in Vancouver.…

Why Picket the Pidgin Restaurant?

Determined picketers have been opposing the very pricey gentrifying Pidgin Restaurant since it opened in early February. Pidgin is located on Carrall Street right across from Pigeon Park which for…

We need homes

The City and Province are trying to create the impression that lots of housing for low-income people is being built in the Downtown Eastside.  Councilor Kerry Jang says that hundreds of new units are…

Displaced & then replaced

We, the displaced, and about to be displaced, are wondering what happened to some of our neighbours. We feel totally disconnected from some of them, and for all we know, they could have been…