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.
After living in their apartment for seven years, Michelle and her partner are facing an imminent eviction. Their building was sold at the end of March for $3.4 million. "They want to throw us out in the middle of a pandemic with no time to find a place," says Michelle.
Homeless activists are calling a press conference to demand that the government redirect resources to poor communities, so that they can take care of their own health and safety in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Five homeless people lost their belongings when police and bylaw officers raided their tents this morning. “They left us with nothing but the clothes on our backs,” said one of the victims of the raid.
Tent city residents worry that the City of Surrey will use "fire safety" concerns to justify displacement, which would ultimately undermine campers' safety.