Nice to see residents heating up some pizza’s and a big pot of soup even!  I recognize Kevin! Help me tag other fellow?

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Bruce Dean and I went and hung out, drove around on our bikes.  We were there when police did a walk thru.  I have to say,  they were not so friendly and I gave them some feedback about it, first I come out of a tent I was visiting folks in and police were right outside door, a dog happened to walk by whom I recognised, one officer asked “do you know whose dog that is?”  I answered “its a residents dog.”  The same officer quickly walks away turning their back to me and stating loudly “that is not very helpful.”   I said “that was rude, you ask me a question than wave me off and walk away?”

I decided to follow them around as they felt intimidating to me and I am not even homeless.  They eventually start to question a person who was sitting off of parkign lot on edge of tent city by court house.  I began to film, the court house security also came over and began to film.  I asked the person if they needed any thing, if they wanted me to let tent city folks know they were here?  I did that and folks went over, I also went and got Bruce and asked him to go back, he did and that is when the officers left scene.

I am grateful it ended well, good stuff.

I do respect that residents are continuing to work so hard at organising to meet with and work out stuff around fire and safety and the growing council of SIC residents, they been listening and responding, good for you folks, all the power to you’s.  I was relieved to hear lots of discusion today on thee issues.

Myself and others have committed to stopping by more often and help with moral support and try and help coordinate needs.  We are going to bare witness and film or photograph when needed as well as be available to anyone whom might want to say their own words to a camera and we can help get that out for folks, its nice to have a concerted effort and to be working in more of a team now, as I have been overwhelmed actually.

I am happy that the Raging Grannies are coming on Thursday to share songs and inspiration from struggles in times past!

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I am also wondering if folks who sing in choirs might want to come as well and bring some musical love?  Raging Grannies are going to focus on unity songs.  I wonder if you might share this with folks who are in a choir and ask if they can bring some love in song to our Family at Super InTent City?

Yes, as does happen, there has been some conflict and they are getting thru it and they can use some love.

Anyone can get in touch with me on email, leave a message here or call me if yo’d like to join us.

NOTE:

Today Bruce and I  both noticed that folks had cleaned up already since yesterday, even before the Times Columnist Article, and have yo noticed the nice gravel and more clear pathways?  I went tonight to let them know about Housing Minister Rich Coleman’s warning today in media saying SIC has got to get “cleaned up” by the 26th, or else…?

Or else what?

Hmm?

Here is article from Times Columnist

 

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/courthouse-campers-told-to-meet-fire-safety-order-or-face-ouster-1.2259642

People camped on the grounds of the Victoria courthouse have five days to comply with a fire safety order or the B.C. government will head back to court to try to get them removed, Housing Minister Rich Coleman said Thursday.

People camped on the grounds of the Victoria courthouse have five days to comply with a fire safety order or the B.C. government will head back to court to try to get them removed, Housing Minister Rich Coleman said Thursday.

The Office of the Fire Commissioner inspected the encampment May 5 and ordered the property’s owner, the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services, to fix multiple safety hazards by May 25.

“If [the campers] fail to comply with that, I don’t think we have any choice but to go to court, and with all the other information we’re compiling about who’s there, the crime stats, all of that stuff,” Coleman said.

The fire order states that the camp is in such a “state of disrepair” that a fire “might spread rapidly to endanger life or other property.”

The order highlights concerns about open fires, spacing between structures, the use of flammable tarpaulins, inadequate exits, people cooking too close to combustibles and “excessive storage of combustibles.”

If the campers fail to obey, Coleman said it’s unlikely the province will wait until a court hearing for a permanent injunction in September.

“If it’s not complied with, we have no choice,” he said. “We would immediately go to court.”

Stephen Portman of the Together Against Poverty Society said that would be a “bad route” for the province to take.

“The pragmatic approach here would be to work with the residents of the tent city to address these safety concerns,” he said.

Portman said there has been considerable progress made at the camp in recent weeks. “You hear all the media and it sounds like it’s descended into the worst dystopic novel you’ve ever read, when really there’s been a lot of positive moves in terms of safety. There’s been fire extinguishers that are installed on the grounds now. There’s gravel pathways . . . so that there’s access and egress at all four corners of the camp.”

Tent city residents are working with the Portland Housing Society to address concerns about the lack of spacing between tents, Portman said.

Still, Coleman said he remains concerns about other issues at the encampment, including a spike in crime in the neighborhood.

He said government officials have a range of housing options for people at the site and continue to offer those options every day.

“You can’t make them go, so you need an injunction to say they have to clear the property,” he said. “The frustration is I need the legal standing to be able to go any further and right now we’re watching this to … see if by end of next week whether we have compliance.”

lkines@timescolonist.com

 

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