This is the first in the video series “Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside: Past and Present.” Libby Davies, former NDP MP for the riding in which the Downtown Eastside (DTES) is located, discusses the history of the community.
Having started out as a community worker, then moving to municipal politics as city councillor and subsequently to federal politics, her 50 years of experience in the neighbourhood provide her with an insight into its history. Davies, among others, helped start the Downtown Eastside Residents Association (DERA), a grassroots organization that challenged the status quo.
Bruce Eriksen, her partner until his death in 1997, was an activist who fought tirelessly for the DTES. As an artist he created a mural that now hangs in a building named in his honour. The title of this video references that work.
Watch the full series here.
Jase Tanner has worked in the film industry for 30 years where he frequently serves as a shop steward. During this time he’s been active in social justice issues and has produced a handful of short, web-based documentaries.