So, I dove into the deep-end and went to the #OccupyCondo event against the Pantages theatre. Shortly after I arrived I noticed we were marching the wrong way down the road! It turns out the story on the Pantages was a decoy- the real target was Sequel 138– a new development labeled “A Downtown Artist and Housing Project”.
This is a strange choice really, on their website they describe themselves as something that sounds rather positive:
“Sequel 138 will provide affordable, entry-level housing for artists & entry-level housing for workers in non-profits helping the people of the Downtown Eastside. Sequel 138 will provide social housing run by a Downtown Eastside non-profit.”
So, to be honest, I’m not sure why this building was being protested against! Perhaps there is more to the story, I will research and share if I find anything out…
A number of people got themselves inside of the building- people I recognized included Lauren Gill & Richard Porteus.
Harsha made a short speech- it was well received by the crowds:
After, people gathered to block the front entrance of the building so that the police were unable to remove the demonstrators:
I then went to the back of the building to get a picture of the demonstrators blocking the back entrance. Walking through the alley I ran across Harsha Walia- she stopped me and took time to shake my hand in friendship! I have the feeling we will be able to do great things together in the future. And to imagine, it happened in a dark alley in the DTES!
I was a bit uncomfortable with the words they were chanting: “The middle-class don’t understand or care!” I had to make mention that I am of the middle-class and I do indeed care! (that said, still confused by the choice of building.)
I ended the evening with a walk through the DTES middle-class haven called “W”. Saw some kids street dancing inside…