Gorgeous Warm weather during Sunday Street Market had vendors and peer workers of the DTES Street Market Society enjoying a festival atmosphere in Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES)
Roland Clarke, Coordinator says:
Solidarity in Vending
The weather was awesome. Perhaps the last great day of the year, it was almost summer again. A great break from the two Sundays of rain we just survived.
There is a subject that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time, and it is a subtle, but important one. The subject is why we, as coordinators of the market actually spend a portion of the day selling things ourselves.
During the day, I, Roland spend a lot of the day selling coffee and pop to raise money for the market. Also, Jacek sells 50/50 raffle tickets. Between these two activities (and the renting of tents and tables) we manage to raise more than $200 per week on average that can help pay for street market incidentals. This allows us to fund experiments, like bannock and muffin sales, and also buy new tents and tables when they get broken. Having petty cash on hand is extremely valuable, and we couldn’t run the market without it. We also provide on average about $500 in change to shoppers that come in with $20 bills and need smaller denominations. This way the vendors also do not need to keep so much cash on hand.
There is an additional, very important reason that the organizers of a grass roots street market should themselves engage in survival vending. This is because it is an essential statement of solidarity with the vendors we are trying to organize and build community. We recognize that life is hard, and all the rest of the vendors must scrounge for ways to hustle and survive at the market, so we do it too. We have to find a way to sell coffee for $1, and still make a profit. We then provide this benefit to the community in the form of cheap beverages, which the vendors are happy to purchase from us. It is in this way that we have inserted ourselves into the ecosystem instead of just trying to manage it from above. This builds trust, it cements solidarity, and it allows us to understand and relate to the struggles of the population that we are trying to protect.
This is why we vend.
This is why we must continue to vend to keep the spirit of the market pure.
NAOMI RESEARCH SURVIVORS: EXPERIENCES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
08 November · 19:00 – 20:30
World Art Centre, 2nd Floor, SFU Woodward’s Campus, 149 West Hastings, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
NAOMI HEROIN ASSISTED TREATMENT RESARCH SURVIVORS: EXPERIENCES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
In January 2011, Dave Murray organized a group of participants from the NAOMI heroin assisted treatment research study in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.
The NAOMI Patients Association (NPA) meets every Saturday at Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU). Shortly after NPA began to meet, they decided to work towards conducting their own research about their experiences as NAOMI research subjects. They were particularly interested in recording their experiences during and following NAOMI and making recommendations for future heroin and drug substitution research experiments and programs.
Being the only contemporary “research participants” in North America to receive heroin maintenance, they believe that they have unique knowledge about the NAOMI projectand its impact on the lives of those addicted.
The recommendations for future projects and programs are drawn from lived experiences.
The following presentation draws from these focus groups and NPA meetings.
Chair: Donald MacPherson, Director of Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, former City of Vancouver Drug Policy Coordinator
Dave Murray, founder of NPA
Dianne Tobin, Vice-President of VANDU and member of NPA
Jewl Chapman, Member of VANDU and NPA
Susan Boyd, Professor, University of Victory, drug policy researcher