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Tent village packs up

Organizers of the Olympic tent village that has occupied a vacant lot in the Downtown Eastside for the past two weeks are officially dismantling it. They are declaring the demonstration a success, and vowing that it will not be the last time they set up camp.

“I think what you can see is that we are not afraid to take up space. We’ve been able to hold down 58 West Hastings for two weeks. We’re not afraid to occupy important sites in the neighborhood and in Vancouver and have our voices heard. We, the organizers and residents, are going to take a bit of a break, recuperate and come out with bigger better action,” said Nathan Crompton, one of the tent city organizers.

Crompton said that organizers are hoping to set up similar villages in the near future to get their message across: “end homelessness, end gentrification, and end the criminalization of poverty.”

“We have our eyes on possibly having an action at the athletes village similar to the tent village,” said Crompton. “We also have our eyes on sites of gentrification in the Downtown Eastside, which includes condo developments. “

Through negotiations between the tent village’s organizers, the city, and BC Housing, over 40 of the people occupying the tent village site have been placed in BC Housing units.

One of the residents was placed in a unit in the new Woodward’s complex, which is one of the sites that organizers are planning to occupy in the next phase of protest, calling Woodward’s the “guiding light” of gentrification.

Tents in the village already begun to be packed away.

Christine McLaren reports for The Tyee.

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