Sunday February 21st

Surrey Street Council

Weekly campaign meeting of street community leaders in Surrey

This week, we had two new community members attend the Surrey Street Council meeting. One new community member reflected at the meeting: “This is what I need to be doing: something that matters and makes a difference.”

At the meeting, we debriefed about the Whalley Centre shift the previous night. We talked about how to support women and sex workers against violence. We also talked about our “Stop the Sweeps” campaign, and decided next Sunday instead of a meeting we’ll go out and do surveys in the community.

Coordinating Committee Meeting

Bi-weekly meeting of the Red Braid CC, tasked with planning organizational work over the coming week.

Monday February 22nd

Praxis Committee Meeting

Weekly committee meeting to plan Red Braid’s internal and public education work. 

We spent this meeting preparing for our second Dissecting Fascism political education class, on the “Middle Class and the Rising Fascist Tide”

Tuesday February 23rd

Eviction Defence in Maple Ridge

Maggie called Ivan from Maple Ridge Resistance this morning and said her slumlord had given her a 3-day eviction notice for “violating house rules.”

Her landlord, who rents out at least 3 different houses to people receiving Provincial rent supplements, forces tenants to sign “crime free housing addendums” when they move in. These “addendums” violate residents’ rights under the Residential Tenancy Act and are not legally enforceable, but the slumlord uses threats, intimidation, and hired muscle to force tenants to follow his arbitrary rules.

We did three things right away: filed a complaint under the Tenancy Act, phoned the landlord, lined up an interview with a reporter, and called 911 to report a threat – that a man was threatening to break into a woman’s room and steal her possessions.

The landlord was initially belligerent and refused to back down, saying, “I don’t care what the law says – she’s out if I say she’s out!” But after 24 hours of pressure, he backed down and withdrew the eviction.

Maple Ridge Resistance is working on a research project to expose the corruption that enables this publicly funded slumlord and abuser.

COS Education Series: Dissecting Fascism

Political education for Red Braid members, which we call Conditions of Struggle (COS). 

This week Red Braid held an internal COS on fascism, mirroring Nanaimo and Olympia’s branch series. We read Sojourner Truth Organization’s “Theses on Fascism” and Alberto Toscano’s “The Long Shadow of Racial Fascism,” and discussed the opposing definitions of “fascism” that these two articles posed.

Wednesday February 24th

Maple Ridge Resistance Action

Tina and Steve were evicted from their home in late January, and have been camping in the woods since. They’ve been facing harassment from Community Safety Officers who ordered them to leave their isolated sanctuary to stay in a shelter where there’s dangers of a COVID-19 outbreak. Manager of CSO, Chad Cowels handed them both a trespassing notice coupled with a 24-hour eviction warning, all while dodging Ivan questioning the officers protection of park property over Tina and Steve’s lives. “Instead, Maple Ridge’s system of poverty cops displaced the two of them into an acute danger of getting infected with a deadly disease.”

Read more at The Volcano newspaper:  Maple Ridge community safety officers push unhoused couple into path of COVID-19 outbreak by Ivan Drury

Eviction Defence Network

Weekly campaign meeting of members of the Eviction Defence Network.

We focused on preparing for our first regional assembly with the theme “How to create a tenant’s committee.” We are also finalizing the Eviction Defence Network website!

Universal Trans Care Now!: postering and outreach

Newly launched BRH campaign against medical discrimination and the specialization of trans care

Members of Bread, Roses and Hormones in Vancouver and Nanaimo pampletted and postered outside of 3 clinics: Three Bridges Community Health and Seymour Health in Vancouver, and the Vancouver Island University clinic in Nanaimo. We also managed to get posters into the PACE Society food delivery program, the MAP van (sex worker resource) and put up posters outside of a new supportive housing building for two-spirit and transgender people.

You can read the Universal Trans Care Now! demands here: Universal Trans Care Now! Transition is life or death!

Thursday February 25th

Bread, Roses & Hormones

Weekly meeting of Bread, Roses & Hormones, a campaign led by trans and non-binary people

This week BRH reflected on our first wave of outreach at clinics to promote our Universal Trans Care Now! campaign. We agreed that on top of handing out pamphlets at clinics that treat trans people, we will compile a “good doctors/bad doctors” list to direct people to places where they can access healthcare and identify clinics to target with picket actions demanding treatment. We also discussed organizing a rally outside of a mall in Nanaimo that is hostile to the low-income community and where one of our members was assaulted by a security guard for using the women’s washroom.

Marxist Center Delegates Council (affiliate)

Red Braid recently affiliated with the Marxist Centre Network, and we have a member who sits on the Delegates Council.

Friday February 26th

Whalley People’s Resource Centre

The Whalley Centre is open every Friday from 11pm to 7am. It is run by the Surrey Street Council. This Friday 24 people used the space to warm up, rest, or socialise, eat pea soup and Greek salad, get dry clothes, harm reduction supplies, and first aid. Overall it was a quiet night!

Donate to the Whalley People’s Resource Centre. If you have coats, blankets, extra socks, or gloves, please consider donating them as well!

Saturday February 27th

Eviction Defence Network: Picket at investor-landlord Bill Mitsui’s house

Eviction Defence Network picketed and leafleted the home and neighbourhood of investor-landlord Bill Mitsui, whose private real estate firm CWI had just evicted a low-income, disabled man, Curtis, from his home of 10 years. We shamed Bill at his doorstep with a megaphone and handed out 150 flyers to the neighbourhood!

Read more at The Volcano newspaper: Eviction Defence Network shames landlord at his West Vancouver home

Click here to see more photos from the action!

Indigenous Leadership Council

The Indigenous Leadership Council had our first community meeting since the pandemic started. We had mainly revisited and introduced Sovereignty As Methodology and decided how we are going to frame our Condition Of Struggle education classes. We are holding community meetings once a week with our social base and once a month with the ILC Coordinating Committee during welfare week. As we experiment with struggle – wish us power!!!

Publishing done in this period

Besides the various leaflets and local newsletters, we also published the following Volcano articles:

Eviction Defence Network, “Everything for the upper class, nothing for us”: Barrie’s eviction and the gentrification of Whalley

Listen Chen, RainCity Housing: Playing an NGO’s role in policing the poor

Ivan Drury, Maple Ridge community safety officers push unhoused couple into path of COVID-19 outbreak