Unceded and Occupied Kwantlen, Musqueam, Katzie, Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen, Qayqayt & Kwikwetlem Territories
Red Braid began organizing in Surrey in 2015 alongside residents of the 135A Street “Surrey Strip.” Some referred to the Strip as a tent city, while others called it an “outdoor prison” because of the intense harassment and surveillance they faced from the police-run “Surrey Outreach Team.” In June 2018, the City of Surrey erected 160 ATCO trailer rooms and cleared the Surrey Strip of tents. Some residents were moved into the modular housing, others into shelters, and the rest were scattered across Surrey. Former residents of the Strip established Sanctuary Tent City in June 2019, defending it from displacement pressures until December, when the City of Surrey bulldozed the camp.
Leaders that emerged out of these struggles continue to organize for homeless survival and power as members of the Surrey Street Council, which meets weekly to manage the Whalley People’s Resource Centre and organize broader political interventions.
Updates and Events
On March 1st, bylaw officers seized Shiloh Cheyanna Ghostkeeper’s belongings, including the tent, bedding, and warm clothes she needs to survive winter nights on the streets of Surrey. The community is organizing to stop the street sweeps.
On the morning of January 11th at 10am, the bailiffs showed up at Natasha and Brandon's door, carrying a writ of possession. Eviction Defence Network organizer Listen Chen said, “The landlord, Top Vision Realty, got the eviction notice by lying about notifying the tenants about the hearing. Now they got a writ of possession by lying about the tenants hearing. This is an illegal eviction.”
We need your help to keep the Whalley Centre open! We have to raise $1000 in monthly donations or $12,000 in one-time donations by December 31st to have the financial confidence we need to renew our lease and pay rent for the next year.
The Whalley Centre is run by and for the community: people surviving on the streets, warehoused in shelters, and incarcerated in supporting housing. The founding declaration explains the need for a street-run space in the face of police repression, government neglect, and social worker control.
Jonathan is a long-term resident of the low-income neighbourhood of Whalley in Surrey. His health has deteriorated through years of fighting against his slumlords. We’re holding the Province of BC, the City of Surrey, and his landlords responsible for the hardship Johnathan has endured.
Yesterday homeless activists and supporters barricaded themselves in a wing of Nickerson Place modular housing, known as the "TD mods" to the local street community. The occupation lasted six hours, ending with the Surrey RCMP arresting 23 people without warning.