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printable versionFNB + community activism

Two New Squats in Downtown Victoria, BC (Victoria, Canada)
by fnb list Monday October 21, 2002 at 09:53 PM

In solidarity with Woodwards Squatters, Vancouver- "Victoria, BC" - A Squat goes up!

At around 2:30 pm on Oct 16, homeless people,
anti-poverty
activists and supporters marched from Centennial Sq
to the
NEW Pandora St. Squat. Some of these people entered
the
building and dropped a banner from the roof reading
"Build
Housing Now!". About 80 supporters gathered around
the
building and many people spoke to the crowd about
the building,
the squatters' demands, and the issue of
homelessness and
cuts to social services. There were many police
officers around
the building on foot and bicycle. A few people were
roughed up
by police behind the squat on Fisgard St. who
earlier had served
free food to the outside supporters. The police
officers are trying
to get an injunction to remove any squatters and
could have one
in writing by Thursday morning, Oct. 17th.

Endorsed by Anti-Poverty Coalition of Victoria and
many
individuals.

Endorsement from community organizations is
necessary
through contacting the squatters' email address or
going down
in person. We urge groups to issue statements in
support to the
city of Victoria, the Ministry of Community,
Aboriginal, Women
Services (that deals with housing), and BC Housing
Corporation.

UPDATE/

Squatters' Email Address For Support and Endorsement


11 pm wednesday, all is well at the Pandora St.
squat. The
squatters have spent the evening meeting to discuss
all the
details involved in having a safe, respectful, and
liberated space,
as well as getting to know each other. The police
presence has
been almost non-existent as of dusk as they have
gone away to
get an injunction against the squatters which they
will probably
acquire sometime tomorrow. The absurdity that
motivates their
actions is astounding as they continue to protect
private property
with no regard for peoples health, dignity and
safety. The
squatted building is housing many who would
otherwise be
sleeping on the cold streets tonite. Is it a crime
to take over an
abandoned building that has been empty for 15 years
while
many people both sleep and die on the streets? The
city and
Victoria pigs certainly think so, but are we
suprised? It is nothing
new at all to see them protecting the agenda of
gentrification and
the interests of the rich and buisness owners and
criminalizing
poverty .

The time has been long overdue for the poor,
marginalized and
homeless people of Victoria to seize what they need
to survive in
the form of a public squat! This is new for Victoria
and hopefully a
step in upping the ante in our fight for housing for
all. As many
shelters' funding have been cut, as well as all
funding to
affordable housing, the Tenancy Act has been changed
to give
landlords even more power to abuse and expolit
renters.
Peoples' shelter support from their welfare cheques
has been
redused while rent is soaring high here in
Vicsnoria. These are
just a few of the attacks on the poor and
marginalized of this
province and it is clearly time to organize together
to fight back
against these injustices and demand what we all need
to
survive. By seizing unused buildings and taking
direct action
against the system that wants all poor people to die
or quietly
disappear we are making our voices heard through
this concrete
action instead of begging someone else to do it for
us.

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