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
Homeless activists and supporters have occupied Nickerson Place modular housing, known as the "TD mods." They are protesting its closure and redevelopment as luxury condos and demanding permanent, low-income housing.
In the midst of a global pandemic and spiralling economic crisis, Surrey is demolishing one of its few non-market, welfare-rate housing developments.
BC Housing is planning to close down 46 units of low-income housing this week, as COVID-19 rates surge and hundreds, if not thousands, of BC renters face homelessness in the coming weeks with the end of the eviction moratorium in September.
On the morning of Wednesday June 24th, which is welfare cheque issue day, Surrey Bylaw officers returned to Whalley World Tent City and delivered a threatening eviction notice.
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.