Video* Wendy Pedersen On The Pidgin Protests
Wendy Pedersen and Ivan Drury of the Carnegie Community Action Project have been leading and organizing the protests at Pidgin Restaurant.
Below is the Week 2 Pidgin Restaurant Picket Schedule.
PiDGin restaurant picket schedule: week 2
12:00pm Tuesday February 12 2013 – 11:00pm Saturday February 16 2013
Venue: in front of PiDGin restaurant
Address: NE corner of Carrall at Hastings
The picket of PiDGin restaurant is continuing. Please come out and support. Here’s our schedule for WEEK 2:
Tues Feb 12: 12-1pm & 6-7pm Wed Feb 13: 12-1pm & 6-7pm Thur Feb 14: Women’s Memorial March at 12, picket 6-11pm (Food Not Bombs will serve free food!) Fri Feb 15: 12-1pm, 6-7pm & 9-11pm Sat Feb 16: 9-11pm and possible 6-7pm as well NE corner of Carrall at Hastings, in front of “Pidgin” restaurant
Some reasons for picketing:
GENTRIFICATION DISPLACES low-income residents from their homes and community. As one senior poor resident said to picketers last week: “they want us out of here for sure.” As a First Nations resident said: “the police are asking us to leave Pigeon Park more now. We’re just sitting there not doing anything illegal.” Each new high end retail & condo project in the area cause ripples of gentrification: more real estate speculation, land values increase, rents go up, more low-income housing is converted or closed, yuppie stores move in, low-income stores close, residents no longer feel comfortable and at home, residents get more tickets for things like selling their belongings etc, police harassment increases, more homelessness. This process happens in every other big city with uncontrolled markets and it is happening in Vancouver right now.
PiDGin Restaurant is BLATANTLY VULGAR AND OFFENSIVE. Carrall Street is now a scene of gross disparity and the DTES has reached a saturation point where people’s housing and human rights are threatened. A plate of pickles for $6, an appetizer called “Tongue and Cheek” and $40 a plate main courses can be enjoyed at PiDGin, from seating intentionally designed (according to Scout Magazine) so that eaters can watch the “oft-sordid goings on” in Pigeon Park….the place where the victims of residential schools and other horrific abuses, have long congregated together, who describe their park as the one place that really “belongs to us”. This tectonic scene on Carrall can’t last too long as the shaming, policing & lack of housing will eventually drive unwanted & despised residents back into the margins where many will face worse neglect, hardships and danger. A First Nations woman pointed out to picketers how the images on PiDGin’s windows are “really gross.” Look closely at these images and see images of slaughter/wild animals/sexy women entertwined in a grotesque parody that reinforces the dehumanizing relationship created by PiDGin, between the eaters and the poor. Not only does PiDGin give permission to the eater to ignore the impact of their own presence, but also gives permission to ignore the poverty, the racist and gendered violence, ignore that the bottle depot next door is being moved, ignore that the women’s detox across the street just lost their funding, that a 15 story condo tower is slated to go up across the street, that Vision Vancouver made new zoning for more condos recently west of Carrall (and in Chinatown), that SRO hotels, the last housing before homelessness are falling apart and not being replaced —-and that the city is about to unleash their re-zoning revitalization forces again, but this time east of Gore, through the poorest area in Canada to Clarke Drive.
We will not ignore the impact of PiDGin. Oppose PiDGin & Resist Gentrification. No more high end retail. No more condos. Replace 5000 SRO’s with decent, resident controlled housing. Protect the assets and tenure of the DTES community. Join the picket.
Thanks to Homeless Dave, Fraser, Joe J, Joe L, Kim, Tami, Karen W, Paulo, Dave D, Harold, Brent, Rob, Tracy, Peter & more picketers than I know the names, & to residents passing by —- for sharing your poetic & needed thoughts about PiDGin and gentrification on the streets and on Facebook so generously.
More to come…..