Wednesday November 12.
What a day! I realize today I need to do more walking meditations in the Buddhist style right in my home. I am that disassociated. Anyways, one we go.
I got out to the CTEHV 130 Our Place Chapel meeting only because Alison phoned me and reminded me it was not at Sands tonight but @ Our place today!
I also missed the GVCTEH advisory meeting, all is well though, spoke with Flora and will get an update as well as date for next meeting time. I am still recovering from Vancouver.
I bumped into Booby in the courtyard, always great to hang, he was with a friend and the three of us touched base, and inside I went.
We had a lived experience chairperson today and did they ever do a great job! We all helped the chair today, which is our job and shows a kindness. Our notes will be up on web soon so I won’t go on about details.
However, I do feel its important to share some issues that need our immediate attention that partially came up in meeting time and again at dinner time.
Mustard Seed has had to temporarily stop serving meals and are dealing with internal issues. They will run food bank and have drop in but, no meals. They serve a lot of people, some of which are barred at Our Place for illicit drug activity. Many will have no where to eat in downtown, many are Red Zoned from Our Place area and these people are people whose lives are in duress for what ever reason and we punitively judge them and have police stalk them night and day. Red Zones are illegal, its when folks are given ticket after ticket for hanging out or what have you, and the day comes when those tickets are collected in the form of an officer taking you in, deals are made in order to get right back out and, one of them is a “choice” to be Red Zoned and released OR, wait in jail to see a judge. Old school do the time and do NOT get red zoned!
To go on, we already have 9-10 Club at Our Place a bit longer yet; Homeless, staff and community need help I’d say! Word from street is: allegedly aggressive drug dealers who are new and from outside our community are moving in on Victoria streets and they’ve been feeling it at Mustard Seed, now its moved to Our Place. One man not involved with illicit drugs has witnessed this and even saw staff at Our Place be fearful and overwhelmed, it was alleged that much crack was sold that first day within the walls of Our Place.
This is what happens when we criminalise a drug and thus people seeking pain relief for using it, an underground wells up wanting that money made on giving relief to folks in pain, basically the market is created by criminalization if illicit drug laws.
These new folks are allegedly being quite violent, a homeless persons cart and all their belongings were torched in front of Mustard Seed recently allegedly due to a drug debt, yes, this stuff happens and where is that person’s krew?
Who is their peer to say “HEY, your over the limit and owe!” Where is the buddy to straighten their friend out? Teamwork is often needed, right? Family. So, sadly, they, allegedly owed and now their home was burnt down. Yes street know the risk’s involved. However, pain driven addiction gets a hold and debt brings violence far too often. If you owe you can be killed for that and a message is sent, sometimes thru an overdose, sometimes people are thrown out a window, sometimes people “go missing” or their home is “torched”. Why are people still using illicit drugs under these harsh conditions? They are in pain!
This system of divide brings a lot of pain and its why we are changing it! Only you and I can. Don’t wait for a politician cause no politician will end homelessness, WE WILL!
There are however politicians like Lisa Helps who understand we need alternatives and we need them NOW! We CAN build permanent homes for poor and disabled and those suffering in this unhealthy system of inequity.
Please step up in your hearts folks and bring that idea to build homes to City of Victoria. Why not vote for Lisa Helps and lets move forward with the work we’ve done so far? That is what I am doing, I bottom-lined a working group off of CTEHV and we are developing a rough draft proposal in order to et homes! I do not have much time left, I am a pensioner in 12 years or less and am a “crack faller” as I only have my daughter 40% of time due to my disability. All that Dean Fortin has given is what ever the masons in control have allowed. Temporary controlled homes for poor, always hanging by a thread kind of home!
NOTHING is available for folks like me!
We need energy, vision and action, which is not always temporary and is brave enough to lobby Federal government to do what it is supposed to! Fund Social Housing and Build Homes Now!
It’s also why I am sticking with Ben Isitt and Marriane Alto! Charlene Thornton Joe shows some hope, and this new Jeremy Loveday fellow looks promising for youth endeavours that are radical and inclusive!
Many levels here folks, WE NEED TO FINANCE extended Outreach hours: Needed immediately till Mustard Seed opens.
Many illicit drug involved people are barred or red zoned from Our Place, some who are not barred are bringing the Mustard Seed illicit drug involved street life to Our Place, I hear staff are nervous.
Again, allegedly NEW Drug Dealers are trying to move in and are INTIMIDATING our homeless family members. To be clear: Many others from Mustard Seed are happy to be at Our Place and are NOT involved in illicit drug underground activity.
That is the word I heard on streets: How do we deal with this violence and abuse? Ironically this was also brought up at CTEHV: how do we deal with repeat violent offenders and why are these repeat offenders released to Rock Bay Landing where family’s are? Must I remind folks of how the outreach worker who used a false name to get a job at AVI was found to be a sex offender and it’s why he used a different name to get the job in the first place? Why was a deal garnered out of him with police whereby he was allowed to be released with time served to Rock Bay Landing where women and children are housed and vulnerable?
Maybe we need to go back to Clifford Olson’s early years here on streets of Victoria whereby he was a petty thief turned informant turned, well, you know right? Serial killer!
Police stalk illicit drug individuals due to direction from Feds and, crimes occur as a black market is established, money goes to top, small drug dealers go to jail as minimal sentencing tries to push itself into our communities. Under-covers try and trap people and create informant networks, some dealers are left alone, they are often violent, and why are they left alone and not stalked daily by police once this is established?
Why, it might get some arrest’s and arrest’s is what they are trained to make!
We the people want to end this painful experience and professionals have shown us how. Sadly and sickly, we allow a federal government to dictate laws that punish and try and stop us from moving forward to healthy community!
Many people’s lives are crushed by this cycle of addiction and often violence kills.
If we had DECRIMINILISATION it would stop this violence in its tracks.
We need safe consumption sites to help folks heal and we can love them till they can love themselves again and they all can.
If I had not been supported to go and help my brother in Northern Alberta who was lost in crack addiction and dying, having run a crack shack and crack house, he was at deaths door.
I walked right in as “sister” and he is still alive thanks to love and community getting me there! I dealt with his crew, we ate pot cookies and I’d watch them sleep for the first time in years for 12 hours, wake up hungry and I fed them. We worked it out folks.
If we had a safe consumption site here in Victoria there would be more safety for ALL COMMUNITY; as staff and peers would insure illegal drug activity stay out, staff in teams of two have to go out and do regular rounds to insure no dealing happens within range of site, we need to stay alive and open so, folks tend to help so police do not have to be involved unless called for.
NOTE: Police MUST hand out a receipt when they jack up and take illicit drugs from a street person so that street person can prove where drugs went. Often cops do not give proof that drugs were taken nor do they arrest each time and the drug user pays a harsh consequence for this, as they now have to explain where dope went right?
Rats are formed thru pressure like this from police, “fall people” chosen thru pressure, its not right! Divide ands rule is kicking our collective ass and we must unite and educate and support each other thru this!
Hey Victoria community heads up and lets help out.
VIHA must give emergency money to outreach teams to work over nights to help deal with this health crisis they helped create; partly by closing down the Needle Exchange and NOT opening anything since 2009. Thank goodness for AVI and their hard work that they got one going, SHAME on VIHA for cutting AVI’s Tuesday Night Dinner funds, and it was so little really!
You VIHA attack and attempt repetitively thru sick policy’s to divide us! For example: you take the one meal that was healthy for those of us who are past or present illicit drug users! You hurt our family! You divided us and now we are in desperate need and angry to boot!
Love can heal and fight against the abusive tactics of our police and VIHA!
I am relieved Our Place is 24hrs, I hear good things about the other night and the court yard being a refuge. We can create a safe security culture around this, lets do workshops on this, I AM OFFERING NOW! Makes me sweat to think about it as I really want to just go and rest by a river and do art sometimes, yo know what I mean?
You really want to know how to get thru this, invite me and I’ll work to bring friends who are living it to help bring home what is needed, allies who are great at security culture and teachings on solidarity, can I brag about our very own Gord Hill! Tami Decolonise would do something with me I am sure! Oh, and lets get some martial arts trainings at Our Place, that would be cool! Anyone know any aikido or tai chi folks who’d come and do volunteer sessions?
At tonight’s Our Place dinner I spoke at length with a man who is so fed up. He shared something powerful.
“I will help a bird, or butterfly, or dog or a tree but I cannot help humans anymore. Why? I think its because we have become victims, its sad. It’s depressing. You can help over and over and reach out your hand and folks seem to end up in same place, why? He is right, it’s angering and depressing and confusing until we all get educated about anti oppression and decolonization reeducation.
It’s not all or nothing folks!
Its systemic is why and we need to empower our selves to move forward together and fix this up right! We can all learn why it’s systemic and how it got so messy.
Its what I think we can do to move forward together and heal while we do so.
We can get some compassion and know that many actually will NOT understand unless you teach them cause you know.
Stop being arrogant about this, the time is NOW to move forward and many have no idea about colinisation, I never did till I was taught! Unity is now.
NOW in this moment as communities, we all must reconcile to the fact we all got work to do, true? That we all are in this mess together and no one is free from unhealthy power dynamics right?
De colonisation education helps us to understand our role in the conflicts we are in, take some responsibility and heal as we reconcile with each other. Receoncile to the fact we have a lot of work to do and it will not be easy. Happily, we all have a place iin productive healthy communities.
ON the other hand, I totally disagree with the use of the word reconciliation when it came to residential schools and the government micro managed healing around that abuse and near genocide of a people.
I believe the process of healing should have been called “Truth and Accountability” and not Truth and Reconciliation as, the original people were not guilty of anything but welcoming colonist’s with bad intentions into their lands. To reconcile means, in small print if you read the long version of word in dictionary, both parties are accepting guilt.
Used and abused, abuser and the abused.
Accountability therefore needs to happen so that healing can truly happen, we take our power back as colonised people or we become like the coloniser.
Many of us do not want that, we need our own identity to be fought for and we can still have business and not have it be “death industry”. We can live in diversity and work shit out if we take space and meet on our own terms. Any business idea you have can be healthy, if not, its because its too greedy in the first place and unnecessary.
WE need beer, we need food to share, we need business and it can be healthy and equitable and support community. :)
We need air and water to survive not gas and oil! We can have healthy business, we can have equity and health for all, we can do business with love and all can indeed have a place in production, we got thru an Ice Age people! We can house people. If you cannot imagine, move over cause many can and are and will move forward and we do not want to leave anybody behind.
Lets go and get involved, take risks with others and move forward.
Respect and in Solidarity,
kym hothead hines