844 Johnson, I went to their SOLID office for my fairly regular visit and check in, when I saw two or more VICPD come out of that room (in background, I did not get great pictures but, I saw it, not sure how many were PHS staff versus police, all plain clothes, seemed like at least 4-5 VICPD, two for sure) and I guess it happens all too often, like maybe daily. Residents who are being surveilled, like all the time, camera’s, SWAT and uniforms come and go and even have gone so far as to tell many of them when to leave their rooms before SWAT Action, or early on in a SWAT maneuver.
They treat many who have been in jail like they are in jail there, its why the term “Soft Incarceration”. Some residents know their rights, way more than regular citizens, they are under far too much duress and it is heart breaking to witness. I am PTSD myself so, it can be challenging but, since I have the privelege of community, I go as often as my health allows.
It has also been heart warming, inspiring and empowering to witness them fight back resist and even rebel. Helps balance the mental anguish we can suffer as we witness too much brutality and fear mongering. Many seem to be doing civil disobedience inside the building as a result of being oppressed by rules such as:
ID must be shown if you are a guest at 844 Johnson, BC Housing shelter run by Portland Hotel Society.
NO Public bathrooms and trust me, I am still flabbergasted, Unfathomable.
No Visitors After 10:00 PM.
That last one has got to be the most patrinising one yet and many inside are not doing it, others are, others have friends waiting outside all the time now, risking cold, as they wait they will use right there in front of everybody. No Where To Go! OHS seem fine with this, local poor and homeless are stating this is unheard of and we always tend to find a spot for folks to be safe, private,m not use in front of traffic when it is so unnecessary, people are in pain and suffer addiction, so lets corral them out to streets? And here they now have an overdose site inside now run by PHS staff .
I was warned, again, today, about the ID requirements, I have not showed any and refuse to. This was how I felt about being asked about it again today:
Snap! I was unable to upload, was having issues with 60.00 go pro, so, this video was other video I did but, suffice it to say, the video I wanted here shows me challenging PHS staff and I do use the word “shit”, but not to describe people but actions. I jsut am freaked out by sick curfews and how staff at PHS are pushing them! Gross shame really.
Managers at PHS seem to be fine with working closely with VICPD within a shelter situation, negating rights of individuals because they are poor, homeless, criminilised and some also struggle with mental health conditions usually brought on by poverty related stress, systemic oppression also creates a lot of abusive situations at home, many just need time to heal. I heard from friends that PHS in Vancouver are bragging about Super InTent City being its first tent city it managed and I am telling you that sends anger thru ranks of those who actually lived it whom many of us are still in touch with.
PHS WAS USED LIKE A RAG TO GET TENT CITY OUT OF PUBLIC EYE AND INTO CENTRAL CARE HOME, IT SEEMS THAT THEY ARE HELPING TO CRIMINALISE THOSE LIKE SIC SOCIETY MEMBERS. GIVEN PHS HAS COOPTED EVERY IDEA THEY HAD TO SELF ORGANISE, IT IS EASY TO THINK THIS WAY. PHS TOOK THE IDEAS AND BROUGHT THEM FORWARD AS THIER OWN:BEST EXAMPLE WAS RESIDENTS TRIED TO FROM A RESIDENTS COUNCIL AND CALLED MEETINGS TO HAPPEN TUESDAY’S. A MANAGER PUT UP A NOTICE SAYING “RESIDENT COUNCIL MEETINGS HAPPENING WEDNESDAY AM’S”. COMPLETELY COOPTING A PEOPLE’S ATTEMPT TO SELF ORGANISE! STAFF HAVE RIGHTS AND COULD USE THEIR UNION TO WORK IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE RESIDENTS, ESPECIALLY THOSE ATTEMPTING TO ORGANISE. DO NOT STAND IDLY BY AS MANAGERS DEMAND YOU ATTACK THRU COOPTION AND REFUSE TO BE SELF CRITICAL.
It is NOT supposed to be a jail, it is supposed to be a shelter. Folks from tent city who formed SIC Society said they’d give it a try, I’d say they been coopted at every turn, its a shame and those coopting actions will no doubt have consequences.
PHS staff and VICPD get together and see what they can see almost daily? What has happened in Victoria that we do not properly heed the call/concerns re: loss of civil liberties? We just have to look down south and know we are in days where cheap talk disgust’s most of us right off. No more nice, its time to deal with real.
I have NEVER in all my years seen such a loss of civil liberties as I and others are witnessing now. More and more we are speaking out and up and it is definitely the time to do so, I commend all of you who have of late spoken out, stopped to witness, did not just keep going cause you did not not want to be late. Middle class are more and more challenged to share their privileges which are merely our rights taken from us dolled out to the managing class to quell the rebellions which managers do well, sadly. I want to thak those of you who are stepping up as citizens so that we do not have to say we said nothign when they came for our criminilised citizens.
I see direct action happening as opposed to random acts of violence.
It is why Unions are the only solution we got. You are the energy behind them.
We are the ones we all been waiting for and I know we know what that means, thanks Nelson Mandela for that one!
To go back to this story of VICPD presence, ID Requirements, Restrictions on guest’s and so on…
As soon as I took the camera out the people in that meeting shut the door. Two of the plain clothes officers hung our for at least an hour across at Ageless Living Market, I guess they made a deal with them cause thats just weird.
Its not like they were shopping. But, as soon as I went across street to dispensary one of the two plain clothes officers, the male gendered one, came and opened door, stood with door open and obvious badge on belt, i looked back at him jsut as long. Hi. I says.
After he left and it was my turn and I got my gram, I asked if they were aware of that officer coming and standing in doorway and glaring, do they do that often? “Yes” and “yes”. Policing is a job after all.
Why was the VICPD so involved in the wall, for example?
Sarah Petrescu / Times Colonist
“A concrete-block wall and a black metal fence are going up in front of Central Baptist Church, at 823 Pandora Ave., to keep drug dealers, drug users and homeless campers away.
“The idea is to reduce crime and make it a safer space for everyone,” said Pastor Barton Priebe.
Central Baptist has struggled for years over what to do with a covered entrance area. The street community gathers on its steps each night, using it as a shelter and meeting area. Priebe said church staff pick up used needles and garbage daily from the front of the building.
“Police told us this is one of the most prominent areas for drugs in the city,” he said, noting the church has been in the downtown core since the 1920s and wants to stay.
“We’re committed to it. We know there are many challenges and we’re trying to take a positive approach by volunteering at organizations that help people [on the streets].”
Victoria police helped the church identify ways to alter the area to discourage crime. The new wall with a fence on top will block access to a covered area next to the front doors. Garden plots will be installed behind the wall. All the work is being paid for by the church.
Rev. Al Tysick of the Dandelion Society charity said he’s disappointed to see the church shut out the 25 to 30 people who seek shelter there each night.
“They are the most destitute, needy and suffering,” said Tysick, who for years has brought coffee, muffins and supplies to people outside the church in the mornings.
“I get it. I see both sides. Sometimes it’s disgusting what the church has to put up with,” Tysick said.
“[But] we Christians are led not by suffering, but by the gifts of God … Jesus said, ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ Christ gave his life for us, for God’s sake.”
Tysick said he wished the church had reached out to the community for solutions and that building a wall will just push the problem to another corner for another resident to deal with.”
ENuff Is ENuff! We do not need hopeless, we want action. Love in action.
Like Allen Tysick stated, there are a lot of ways to deal however, who had their ear? Not he community at large, not even ministers who work with this community and SOLID, CTEHV, other non profits such as AVI, residents of Our Place, Central Care Home, why not ask them as stakeholders who LIVE right there?
I would love to help bottom line a group which would begin to meet now and build community where you put that wall! If interested get a hold of me here, we are creative loving people who want love in our families lives and I have family at Central Care Home, some of whom are the most criminilised.
Respect, lets work together.
kym hothead hines