I am grateful for…

I am grateful for being able to have this extra bike to ride while Bruce Dean and his friends help build up a bike I now forgot how I got, bought this and that and dropped stuff off, last time I saw it my mind was already blown, its hot!  He has added a lot of cool accessories, just wait till you see it!  I am grateful its happening, all a gift.

So, yesterday I was able to take this extra bike and go out bottling, enjoying sun on skin, warm air, no wind, went to ocean and got cooled off, back home with first load, then back to ocean and james bay (one of my fave communities to bottle in) where I saw that most amasing full moon.

As my mood got grumpy of late, I decided I needed to share gratitude stories cause I get down about things like misrepresentation, how many within social justice sadly have learned how to misrepresent, how to pretend a thing is something it is not.  Colonialism taught us too well how to be showing a different better story or narrative, one that matches our vision rather than one on ground, one NOT directed by the poor (or people of colour or women or first nations) in this case the poor and their voice and their stories.

I get grumpy when outsiders “stay neutral” yet often control movements.  They find folks who fit into their vision of what they think “we need to do”.

There are a lot of hirstory’s to learn from. Sadly, these years most poor either hide their poverty hirstory or they do not get hired.

Poor are usually muzzled so, we got no freedom to speak.  When we are aasked to speak, folks nervously stand by ready to grab the mic if needed.


Too many fear punitive retaliation at every level, daily often.

Its why we organise, Idle No More is a great example.  I am grateful for Idle No More and Black Lives Matter.  Inspiring.  I will not wait for an invite or approval or bring forward what I think you or anyone wants to hear.  I will be respectful in every way possible.

BAck to gratitude and sun, riding skin thru warm air towards ocean with trailer slowly being filled with bottles and cans…

I am grateful to smell that sun on my skin the next day… as I head to the Depot, just to get jacked up today but, that is not this post, this is gratitude post…

What lifted my grumpy mood day before at same Depot  was when I saw James.  He was ahead of me, it was quiet, lots of room and early in day.  I say hi quietly and wait as he is being directed as to how to get his name in on the Bottle Depot web site money draw they do.  After all was said and done and set up for that, I wished him good luck, He said thanks.  Then he walked a bit, turned and said “It was really good seeing you today.”  I told him “Thanks James, it was real good to see you as well.”

My spirit was lifted.  I missed him since his move out of tent city, it was harsh as communication was held tight like a power trip.


We move forward, we reconnect. When I heard folks sharing sad feelings of SIC being dismantled, I shared that nothing will be the same after SIC.  SIC changed everything.  Our community of homeless unhoused bonded with housed folks like never before because we had public space.  We who knew each other for 20 years never had so much time together, most don’t give a shit about that but for us, it was awesome! It reminded us about how our time is so kontrolled by organisations/others who work in those organisations, well intentioned or not.  Those who get to have a strange kind of privilege of being in kontrol of movements while being enslaved to the system that oppresses, I did it for years, its a tight ripe to walk: Having so much responsibility, must be hard for us.


Anyways, many made new and deep connections.  We had many local first nations at SIC, many you never met in media, not all in agreement as to how police were handled, yet, we all learned a lot for the next time:

We had much diversity but all were poor and dependant upon each other.

The web of life grows, my connections grow, some falter but, got to trust, we are all messed in an oppressive system after all.  Political work, community building is easier said and written about then done.

Well, for some its easier to write about, painstaking for me, I’d much rather chat, even a phone call…

James is the fellow Bert was building this fence for, James was squatting in video until I yelled out for some help, then he got up… I care deeply for James and the caring bond that he formed with many of us over 10 months at Super InTent City.

I had to search for the last hour for this video, its being suppressed for some reason?

I am grateful for the simple honest love.  Thanks to all of you and your patience, your kindness, your forgiveness, I thank you for what you bring to our community and in how you help others, I see it, I appreciate it.  I appreciate it from all allies and community members who work to fight justice in their own ways, I am grateful.

Does not mean we are always going to agree on everything.




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Build Community Not Just Buildings…


Diverse Social Housing Proposal For Anonymous Societies:



Please suggest links to your fave articles on squatting and why folks do it, hirstory etc.

Life Is Squat Without Sharing.  That is mine and I’d love an image to go with it, only it has not come to me yet.

I am open to suggestions?  Do share any ideas for art, I’ll credit you for sure.  Email me if you like.

Steph Lovatt did above design People Mean A Lot To Me, and is working on developing it.

I also can use some help with bio stuff, needs help I think?  Maybe not?

ps: I got 2 gigs I was asked to do from DSHP, one at Anarchist Bookfair in September and other was a request to do a slide show talk at Cook Street Community Center on October, I am honoured and thrilled to have guest’s come with me to both as well.

Hope my bad mood goes soon. VICPD police state at SIC was hard on my spirit.  I am better every day though.




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Housed SIC Resident:”noted that the relationship between the city’s homeless and law enforcement officials has improved as a result of the camp, and called it a “lasting legacy” of tent city”

Just to be clear: No, it did not.

“Activist Chrissy Brett told CTV News she intended to stay on the lawn and be arrested if necessary.”

“She (Chrissy Brett) also noted that the relationship between the city’s homeless and law enforcement officials has improved as a result of the camp, and called it a “lasting legacy” of tent city.”

Again, No, it has not!



Published on Aug 4, 2016

Remember the Orwellian Ending to the Supportive Housing Public Information Session July 19 at the Victoria Conference Center?

Watch as the same officer invades a tent city resident’s space who had a short verbal argument with a friend with some yelling. Many of us heard it and it ended. However, VICPD who were on site (as usual since Rich Coleman pressured them to) and they “had to do a wellness check”? I found it unbelievable, shocking as to how he spoke to the resident in an invasive, patronizing and inappropriate manner, totally unprofessional as far as a “check in”. Something is just really wrong about this. Right?
So, I was at SIC because a homeless resident called for a march against censorship and asked for help as well as more filming of this last week at SIC.
We were unable to leave SIC after many attempts due to a lot of folks emotional and mental health needs, these needs were significantly heightened by the intensely growing police state surrounding them, such as what you are about to see.

I found this disturbing and have been for months now, I am not proud that I react verbally to police, just fyi: I DO try and not speak. I am in late stages of PTSD from early abuse myself, was homeless myself as well.

I am finding this past couple of months at SIC challenging yet, I am learning a lot and growing a lot, not to mention I get to advocate for those whom media, police , the public and even some housed supporters judge.
For that, I am grateful to be learning and find I must speak out.

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You Know Names Of These Two? Badge Numbers?


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Homeless deserve end-of-life care, but aren’t getting it Kelli Stajduhar and Ashley Mollison

The tent city on the B.C. courthouse lawn has shown us once again how hard it is to live on the streets. Poverty makes daily life dangerous and unhealthy. Systemic roadblocks, from poverty and racism to the stigma of mental-health issues and the criminalization of addiction, obstruct possible escape routes out of homelessness.

Donald Peter Prevost’s story tells us even more about the precariousness of life as a homeless person in our community. Prevost is the man in our community who was discharged from Victoria General Hospital this month with nowhere to recover from surgery except on a shelter mat or on the street after doctors removed his gallbladder. He also suffers from severe arthritis and other disabilities. Even if a shelter bed could have been found, staff would not be equipped to ensure Prevost’s healing.

Death looms close for homeless Victorians.

While life expectancy for British Columbians averages between 80 and 84 years, homeless people die at a median age of only 40 to 49. Between 2007 and 2013, Victoria had the highest per-capita number of deaths of homeless people in B.C. At least 10 aboriginal people have died on the street here already this year, according to outreach worker Bernice Kamano.

Death can come in an alley, a shelter or a car. A big fear, not surprisingly, is of dying anonymously or undiscovered.

Still, homeless people are survivors. They must be to keep going when they have nowhere to sleep, nothing to eat and face discrimination at every turn. Dealing with chronic illnesses and isolation means good health is rarely attainable, yet homeless people feel unworthy of care; biases, both societal and from health workers, tell homeless people that they are undeserving.

Shelter staff who are well-equipped to work with this population can’t always recognize a dying person. Someone with advanced lung cancer who comes to a shelter for the night would not necessarily look or sound different than any other client to a medically untrained eye.

The final injustice for homeless people is to have no palliative or end-of-life care available.

If you or I want to register for hospice care, we provide a home address where we can receive an assessment. We get a referral from a doctor, oncologist or health-care provider who knows we have a progressive, life-threatening illness. A homeless person has no address and rarely has access to a professional to provide a diagnosis or transportation to appointments.

The University of Victoria and the Palliative Outreach Resource Team are looking at what happens when a health-care system designed for “average” people meets those with multiple barriers to health care as they near death. The three-year study launched in 2014 is working to identify these barriers to inform targeted interventions and equitable health services and policies for end-of-life care.

(this angers me, kym hothead)

One Victoria man, who slept in a shelter, explained to researchers how he tried to get help for severe back pain. He was labelled as “drug-seeking” because of previous illicit drug use and homelessness and was refused. In worsening pain, he went to emergency and refused to leave. He was finally seen and was diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the diagnosis of an incurable disease still doesn’t unlock the gates to timely, appropriate end-of-life care for homeless people.

PORT brings together members of the Victoria Cool Aid Society, AIDS Vancouver Island, Victoria Hospice, Our Place and the Dandelion Society to improve quality and access to palliative and bereavement services for dying homeless people. They work to bridge the rigid institutional silos in our health-care system that prevent the co-ordination of services that homeless people need and deserve.

But PORT has no funding. And, typical for hospices across Canada, Victoria’s hospice receives only half of its modest ($8-million) budget from taxpayers, relying on donations for most of the rest.

Let’s act sensibly and humanely and ask our provincial government to fund and work with health-care agencies to provide an equitable approach to palliative care, including those who can’t die at home because they have no home in which to live.

Dr. Kelli Stajduhar and Ashley Mollison are members of an academic and community partnership between the Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health at the University of Victoria and the Palliative Outreach Resource Team in Victoria. For more information about their study, see uvic.ca/peol.

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Final camper clears out of tent city as remediation begins. CTV News

Interesting article / coverage, however, I and many many others absolutely DO NOT agree with this statement:

“She also noted that the relationship between the city’s homeless and law enforcement officials has improved as a result of the camp, and called it a “lasting legacy” of tent city.”

Oh contraire actually, the police state divided camp and next time, and there will be many next times, we learned a LOT and will use different style that the DSHP

(https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eo9qs2mMwU6g8XwWOkYtgeZs7WK1t3ymZLxrXQTE_z4/edit?usp=sharing ) suggests:

We must at all cost’s AVOID the horror of such days as June 8th:

( https://youtu.be/YYj8G_JX-yE )

That particular style of policing that Rich Coleman pushed is NOT the preferred one at ALL and once you’ve done enough street level anti poverty work, you learn this: One must learn to NOT talk to the police about anyone but yourself or you get played and community gets divided, and SIC was divided, so, lets not pretend, lets learn and move forward.  We do not have to be in a “Stockholm Syndrome” power over relationship  with police as the criminalized are.

Many of us preferred Lisa Helps style of policing and its approach as far as its potential to build community and respect all citizens rights and NOT stigmatise any one.

Final camper clears out of tent city as remediation begins

Published Friday, August 12, 2016 12:37PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, August 12, 2016 6:33PM PDT

Police and clean-up crews in Victoria have descended on a virtually deserted tent city to begin the long process of clearing out and restoring the courthouse lawn.

While the provincial government issued a release saying the site was vacant Friday morning, one activist dug in her heels and remained there until the early evening.

Activist Chrissy Brett told CTV News she intended to stay on the lawn and be arrested if necessary.

“I was told a few times that if I chose not to leave that they would carry me out or arrest me,” said Brett. “But that’s not what they wanted to do, and they wanted to deal with it peacefully, and I believe them.”

She said she wanted to send a message to the province that it needs to step up and provide more affordable housing for the city’s homeless population.

“The province really hasn’t addressed the state of crisis and neither has the federal government on homelessness,” she said. “I’m hoping that other people will look at it and possibly look in their own municipality, taking over Crown land.”

Asked what she felt when she looked at the barren courthouse lawn, a far cry from the bustling epicentre of activity it was only weeks ago, Brett was overwhelmed with emotion.

“The amazing job that this has community has done in holding itself together with no supports from this government,” she said. “I think that this community has been able to show that they’re people too, and work together so that this could become highlighted.”

She also noted that the relationship between the city’s homeless and law enforcement officials has improved as a result of the camp, and called it a “lasting legacy” of tent city.

Brett eventually left the premises on her own accord at around 5:30 p.m., making her the final camper to clear out of tent city.

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Thank You Tent City! Alison Acker

From: Alison Acker <alisonacker@shaw.ca>

Date: August 13, 2016 9:45:19 AM PDT

To: “Letters (Times­Colonist)” <letters@timescolonist.com>

Subject: thank you, tent city


A big thank­ you ­but not goodbye ­to all the residents of InTent City. To Mud and Anna and Bones and all the dreamers and organizers, the wounded and the lay-
abouts, the protesters and just the survivors.

You taught us that the street people are such much more than victims.

Remember, these “throw­aways” were sharp enough to find a loop­hole in anti-
camping laws.  They survived the rain and cold. They found lawyers. They shamed the authorities into providing toilets and showers.  They welcomed in the Rev. Al, the Anglican Cathedral, the Quakers, the Unitarians, Together Against Poverty and all kinds of supporters to join in daily talks around the “sacred fire”.

They dealt with the Fire Chief and police and the press. Sure, the camp was not Camelot. Over the summer there were conflicts and overdoses. Understandably, their neighbors put up with problems they had never expected.

Finally, they forced the province to open up its housing coffers to house 300 people who would still be stuck on lists of applicants, ­ some still on the list for 12 years if there had been no Intent City.

You’ll still be hearing from Bones and Anna and Mud.  New residents to the Johnson Street building have already demanded the right to name their own home.  And if there is to be an art exhibit in the Royal B.C. Museum and some sort of memorial for Tent City, they will be having their say. And why not? They have proved to the world that the poor have skills, courage and rights.

We are all citizens.

alison Acker, 1607, 620 Toronto St. Victoria V8V 1P7. 250 480 4854




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