Since Feb 15, 2010 the Olympic Tent Village has been set up at 58 West Hastings, an empty lot owned by notorious condo developer Concord Pacific, currently being leased by VANOC as a parking lot for the Olympics. The first few days at the Olympic Tent Village have gone strongly and smoothly, thanks to the community effort to support and defend it. Hundreds have gathered during the evening and through the night, especially DTES residents, homeless people, and youth.
* Read Issue 1 of Tent Village Voice: https://olympictentvillage.wordpress.com/2010/02/21/tent-village-voice-issue-1/
* Watch videos of DTES residents and homeless people residing at Tent Village: https://olympictentvillage.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/media/
Over the next week, we are calling on all supporters to continue to defend the Olympic Tent Village and to support the residents. We need:
– Volunteers to help cook at the Tent Village anytime drop-in starting at 8 am till 8 pm.
– Supporters to be present during the day 8 am to 4 pm and overnight 6 pm to 6 am.
– Independent media, legal observers and others with cameras in case of emergencies (please note, due to privacy concerns, there is no recording in the Tent Village otherwise)
– On site medic support especially overnight from 6 pm to 6 am.
– Donations of non perishable food items, tarps, tents, blankets, sleeping bags.
The 2010 Winter Olympics has escalated the homelessness crisis in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside – Canada’s poorest postal code – and the Greater Vancouver area. Since the Olympic bid, homelessness has nearly tripled in the GVRD, while real estate and condominium development in the Downtown Eastside is outpacing social housing by a rate of 3:1. Meanwhile, a heightened police presence has further criminalized those living in extreme material poverty in the poorest postal code in Canada.
With the eyes of the world on Vancouver, residents of the Downtown
Eastside and our supporters of the Olympic Tent Village want:
1. Real action to end homelessness now
2. End condo development and displacement in the Downtown Eastside
3. End discriminatory ticketing, police harassment, and all forms of criminalization of poverty.
The Olympic Tent Village has been an inspiring action to take over public space and empty lots, a powerful testament to the building of community, and a reclamation of dignity and freedom amidst daily systemic poverty and injustice.
For updates, articles, video, photos, and further information on how to support: https://olympictentvillage.wordpress.com