What: All-community demonstration for housing justice
When: Saturday, April 21st 2:00pm
Where: Metrotown Skytrain Station (Meet at the corner of Beresford and Sussex)
Renters and homeless people everywhere in southern British Columbia are are facing evictions – renovictions, demovictions, or evictions by high rent – and nowhere is that crisis so intense as in Metrotown. In July 2017 Burnaby City Council voted unanimously to pass a new “Downtown” Metrotown Plan that increased allowable building heights throughout the residential Metrotown community in order to demovict thousands of affordable apartments and build luxury high rise condo towers in their place. By the time the NDP-affiliated Council’s redevelopment is done, more than 6,000 people will have been displaced from their home community. Unless we fight back and stop evictions.
The majority of evictions take place because of failure to pay rent in Metro Vancouver. With vacancy rates below 1%, renters are forced to compete for scarce apartments and landlords take advantage of our precarity, charging far more than working class people can afford. City governments make this crisis worse when they (like the Burnaby Council) demolish older rental apartments, making vacancy rates even lower. The Provincial government makes it worse when they leave loopholes in tenancy laws that allow landlords to evict tenants and raise rents. All evictions are a direct result of capitalist landlords in a colonial state that prey on low-income working-class and Indigenous people.
Join us in Metrotown, the epicentre of the province’s evictions crisis, to fight the laws, landlords and government that have forced people into potential death on the streets across stolen and occupied Coast Salish Territories. Our protest will demand amendments to the Provincial Residential Tenancy Act to stop all evictions, specifically 1) to stop landlords from raising rents between tenancies and 2) to declare all purpose built rental apartments a protected rental stock so municipalities can’t demolish them. We also call for the Province 3) to build 10,000 units of resident-controlled social housing every year throughout British Columbia in order to end homelessness and stop displacement.
We will also march in solidarity with the resistance of tenants and homeless people who are facing “lawful” but unjust evictions and displacement by police, eviction law, and sheriffs. We oppose all evictions and stand with people who break eviction and property laws to support tenants who can’t afford their rents, and homeless people who occupy empty lots or empty buildings.
Read more about the Metrotown’s We Won’t Go Campaign here.
We acknowledge that this protest against displacement is taking place on the unceded territories of the Qayqayt, Kwikwetlem, Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) peoples.