On Viaducts Closing for Deadpool and Looking for East Van’s Autonomous Zone

Tea & Two Slices is a long-running local news round-up by NEEDS frontman and veteran dishwasher Sean Orr, who lives and works in Gastown, deeply aware of his privilege.

Welcome to Vancouver, a dystopian neoliberal nightmare; a pacified milquetoast militant centrist hellscape with a spinning chandelier; a fishing village-cum-resort for the 1%; a banal green-glass coloured wannabe World Class City™ where the debate whether or not to open Stanley Park up to cars is the most rancorous topic conceivable.

Welcome to the Greenest City, where nazis and vegan juice bar owners team up to scream at nurses about a lockdown that wasn’t even a real lockdown, and where Deadpool can block the viaducts for weeks and nobody gives a shit, but god forbid Black lives try to reclaim Hogans Alley.

Welcome to Hedge City, where condo owning cowards on Water Street write letters to our Dubai-owned port to complain about people living in tents in a completely unused parking lot and where a city councillor with a thin blue line profile pic thinks a letter-writing campaign to defund the VPD is some sort of conspiratorial script.

Christ, even our fucking candle company is racist…

And it all starts at the top. He’s the perfect mayor for this city. He’s exactly who we deserve: Kennedy Stewart’s Big Cop-out.

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart’s response to calls for police reform was painfully lame.

Someone should do something, he said Thursday.

But it certainly isn’t me.

Replace our official motto Splendor Sine Occasu with Someone Should do Something, But it Certainly Isn’t Me: Overdose Deaths Surge as BC Celebrates Virus Success. More British Columbians died of overdose in one month than died in the whole first wave of COVID-19. Our government could have taken action but it didn’t. Instead we lament the numbers in our particular west coast way. It’s theatre. It’s disaster porn. Covid has showed us how collective political will can radically mobilize to tackle a crisis.

Instead we are mired by this idea of personal responsibility. That somehow, it’s isn’t in the collective interest to prevent poor people from dying because it’s related to some choice they made. Look how entrenched that mindset is: CERB benefits contributing to spike in overdoses, outreach workers warn. No mention that the stresses of Covid might be impacting a population already suffering from trauma and that without their few remaining social connections overdoses are much more likely? No mention of supply chain disruptions? No. It’s money. We gave poor people money and they went and killed themselves. Tsk tsk.

And then there’s this: Proposed crackdown on CERB fraud won’t punish ‘honest mistakes’: PM Trudeau. The threat of jail is there to scare workers back into low paying jobs during a pandemic and give more power to bosses.

Thanks to the NDP, CERB payments to be extended for 2 more months.

What are the chances there will be jail time for this? Trans Mountain Pipeline Spills up to 50,000 Gallons of Oil on Indigenous Land in BC. I know, let’s triple the amount of oil that goes through there! Awesome idea

Rodney Levi was the second Indigenous person killed by police in one week. Quebec watchdog to probe fatal RCMP shooting of N.B. Indigenous man. In last two months, at least nine Indigenous people have been killed by cops or died in police-involved deaths. What the fuck is going on?

Still waiting: Vancouver police officers could face charges following 2018 takedown of Black man.

Vancouver woman sues city and police chief over surveillance trailers. Hero:

“The argument that I don’t have anything to hide, so what do I have to be afraid of, is inherently flawed because privacy is a fundamental right and I don’t have to argue about my fundamental rights,” said Papenbrock-Ryan in an interview with CTV News Vancouver.

It wasn’t me, I swear: Gastown’s “Gassy Jack” statue vandalized with red paint. “What did Gassy Jack do to deserve this?” Oh, boy. We have such a long way to go.

Sleeman pulls beer from Vancouver restaurant that wrote ‘obscenities about the police’. Damn you, Antifa. I want my Honey Brown!

We turn our backs for one second and this happens? Homophobic street preachers ousted by West End residents. “Grimard says the community is already making plans to counter the street preachers with a ‘Disco Task Force’ ready to respond to any future sermons with singing and dancing.” Amazing!

Can we get the Disco Task Force to patrol the city looking for US license plates while we’re at it? The Canada-U.S. border is closed, but Americans are still coming through. Here’s how. Here’s how? Er…we’re just letting them in, that’s how.

Just be careful how you proceed because you might end up having to literally babysit them. B.C. campground owners told to ‘babysit’ American travellers during quarantine. Omg, they are probably lapping it up. ‘Wow, Canadians are so dang nice they’re bringing us groceries and everything!”

Welcome to Vancouver, where nepotism reigns and conflict of interest is king: Coun. Michael Wiebe’s restaurant among 14 eateries, bars, and breweries that obtained temporary patio permits. Makes sense.

Another thing that shouldn’t have taken a pandemic to fix: Coronavirus: B.C. restaurants can soon buy discounted beer, wine and spirits. Make it permanent.

Speaking of the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch: Union not impressed by plan to gift chocolates to BC Liquor Store workers. Did anyone actually check if the chocolates were actually tax free lump sum hazard pay chocolate-covered gold nuggets?

Peak Vancouver:

If you don’t know, now you do: Why the Vancouver viaducts are a symbolically important place for an anti-Black racism protest. Pretty much every neighbourhood you love has been gentrified. Railtown was Japantown and then we stole all their property, sent them to work camps, and never gave it back. Coal Harbour was a multi-ethnic squatter community. Mount Pleasant was historically Filipino. Kitsilano was a Sikh neighbourhood and home to the first Gurdwara in North America. There was a Portuguese-Squamish settlement in Stanley Park. And on and on.

TIL Hal Johnson didn’t get a job at TSN because they already had a Black reporter and didn’t want to have two: Hal Johnson says popular ‘Body Break’ series was created to battle racism.

Where we gonna make the East Van Autonomous Zone? What’s Going on in CHAZ, the Seattle Autonomous Zone?

There is 1 comment

  1. “World Class Gaslighters”

    An accurate and measured description.
    Now if only they’d put that on a Top 10 List.

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