Over the years, Red Braid has organized nearly a dozen tent cities in as many communities. We believe tent cities have a dual character – as survival spaces in a dangerous world where homeless people have half the average life expectancy of the general Canadian population, and also as spaces of political transformation where homeless working class and Indigenous people can realize their collective political agency. Out of these spaces, political leaders emerge with visions that transcend their immediate conditions. In 2019, our years of organizing alongside unhoused leaders crystallized in the formation of the June 8th Poor People’s Network, which stretches throughout British Columbia, uniting poor people’s struggles and making revolutionary politics relevant to unhoused people.
Updates and Events
Residents named the new tent city "Whalley World" in honour of the low-income neighbourhood that the City of Surrey is trying to rebrand and sell off to developers. People are tired of watching luxury condo towers go up while their friends are evicted to the streets, and they are fighting back!
On Saturday June 20th, residents of Whalley are rallying on 135A Street, the former site of the tent city known as the Surrey Strip, against Mayor McCallum’s plan to push low-income residents out of the neighbourhood and hand Whalley over to the rich.
In response to the Stewart Squat, Red Braid received questions and critiques from Indigenous youth and others who support the struggles of low-income Indigenous and working-class people against the forces of colonialism and capitalism. We’ve been going through posts and comments, grouping them under some themes, and have responded here.
On April 17, homeless and underhoused residents of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside took over a vacant school building, launching the latest #SQUAT2SURVIVE action: the Kennedy Stewart Squat!
Homeless and low-income women have established a wing in the Hothouse Squat as a space for women’s community, solidarity, and collective struggle against patriarchal power and violence, which has increased during the COVID-19 crisis.
To survive COVID-19, we have to protect Indigenous spaces. We have to protect our physical spaces where we can see and care for each other. We have to defend all our relations against being controlled by building managers, surveilled by police, and killed by colonizer violence.