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25 Hours at the Homeless Camp in Abbotsford

December 16, 2013 Leave a comment
AHA Media arrived at Jubilee Park in Abbotsford at around 9pm on Wednesday, December 11th 2013. It was cold and windy, the winter weather was harsh on the 30 or so homeless men and women that had set up here in there last place of refuge.

“When we first got there, the homeless people were quite amazing, very respectful, they’re wanting to know what’s happening with their lives, it was a situation where they all pitched in, got the wall in the parking lot”

In Abbotsford, you can only stay 5 days out of the month in a shelter. If you smell like alcohol or use drugs you are kicked out for 30 days minimum – very strict policy. Where are the homeless people to go? They are forced to build their own camps. 

The City of Abbotsford chased them out of location after location. Chicken manure was spread on one spot, and then another camp was invaded and torn to shreds. Pepper spray was used on defenceless citizens who only wanted a safe place to sleep without harassment and intimidation.

These following videos and pictures chronicle our 25 hours at Jubilee Park. The City of Abbotsford has served them an eviction notice, but they are staying. They were camped in the park for almost 60 days. Now this parking lot next to the park is their last refuge.

 

What are their demands? A low barrier shelter that won’t kick them out or judge them or intimidate them.

 
“During the evening, when they were putting up the 8 ft wall barricade to protect them against the wind,  the Cops came to investigate but didn’t do anything. But the next morning, the big bosses got on the high agenda to get a court injunction and they didn’t want the homeless people to be there. The cops arrived at 1pm, stapled a bunch of Court notices saying that they had to be out of the new structure that was built last night by 6pm. It was heart wrenching to see all the bullying police officers, 5 By-Law officers, 4 Cops, to staple up the Court notices.”
 
“20 minutes later,  Abbotsford  Police brought along City of Abbotsford Maintenance Dept, blockaded the parking lot, towed a bunch of vehicles away, which is heart wrenching to see. Spending all that money just to put up a Court injunction for the homeless people ..very sad. They got surveillance cameras – drones, They Bullied them to show the Homeless People.. “We are the City of Abbotsford”,  You don’t dare disrupt what we do, and you have to do what we say”
 
“It’s so heart wrenching, the homeless people are just people looking for some help, to live their lives in a peaceful manner. A lot of these people don’t want to go into a shelter, because they feel they are institutionalized, they feel abused, it’s hard to imagine what they are going through.”
 
They banded together,  the homeless people but then they got a court injunction to stop everything at 6pm,  police action occured,   City of Abbotsford said that they were going to appeal it,  they put up a new injunction on Friday morning, and this is an ongoing legal process.
 

Barry Shantz was our guide through the camp. He is the head of the Abbotsford chapter of the BC Yukon Drug War Survivors, and is the recognized leader of the group.

 
“The homeless people just want to be left alone, and live  in peace, there are a lot of beautiful people who come down and brought coffee, doughnuts, apples and fruits for them. The supporters are very kind and nice. One lady bought pizza for them.”
 
“But there are other people who scream ‘Not In My Backyard’, I don’t want these people to stay here.”
 
It’s absolutely unbelievable how much the city is divided in this situation. You have churches who are helping them out, organizations helping them out, but then you have churches who scream “Absolutely No Way!” You can’t have the people here, get them out!”
 
It’s a very divided situation, it’s going to come to a conclusion soon, hopefully a peaceful conclusion”
 
The homeless people are there for the long run, they are going to make a stand and say.. “You cannot do this to us, we are human beings!” We are very proud and we’ll take it as it comes”
 
 

1  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 2  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 3  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 4  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 5  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 6  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 7  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 8  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 9  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 10  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 11  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 12  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 13  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 14  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 15  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 16  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 17  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 18  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 19  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 20  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 21  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 22  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C. 23  AHA MEDIA at BC Yukon Drug War Survivors Homeless Standoff in Jubilee Park, Abbotsford, B.C.

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Creating websites and social media connections for Drug War Survivors, BCAPOM and WAHRS

May 30, 2010 Leave a comment

AHA MEDIA is pleased to help create websites and social media connections – Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Youtube for the following Harm Reduction organizations based in Vancouver:

BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors – Drug War Survivors,

The BC Columbia Association for People on Methadone BCAPOM

Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society WAHRS

AHA MEDIA is helping to give Drug Wars Survivors, BCAPOM, and WAHRS more ways to stay connected and educate through social media

AHA MEDIA thanks VANDU and Keith Smith of BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors

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