For the last three nights, I've been camping at the Olympic Tent Village in the Downtown Eastside. The Village, supported by dozens of groups, is located on a lot owned by Concord Pacific but rented by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (VANOC) for use as a parking lot during the 2010 Vancouver Games. The action is meant to raise awareness about the lack of safe and affordable low-income housing; the high number of homeless persons across Canada; gentrification; and the criminalization of poverty.
Tonight, I'll be camping somewhere else, but for a similar cause. Pivot Legal Society has been distributing red tents city-wide throughout the Olympics, also to raise awareness about housing and homelessness. In order to vamp up their campaign, Pivot is hosting a Red Tent Solidarity Sleepover on the north lawn of Science World. Allies are encouraged to come out and "show...support for thousands of people across Canada who sleep outside every night and to help spread the message that Canada needs to end homelessness NOW!" Pivot's primary goal is to campaign for a national housing strategy.
The Right to the City: Rally for a National Housing Strategy, is also taking place this weekend, on Saturday at noon at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Whether you choose to lay your weary head on Hastings street or Science World on Friday (or beyond!), or joining the Impact on Communities Coalition in calling for a national housing strategy on Saturday, this weekend you have your pick of pro-social housing actions.
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