Window Seats

Downtown Eastside and Strathcona, Vancouver, April 2011

CopyLeft 2011 Elvin K. Wyly
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April, 2011:  I see an announcement that two of my favorite people -- Jean Swanson and Neil Smith -- are scheduled to speak at a forum in the Downtown Eastside.  Gramsci's New York Organic Intellectual, meet Gramsciian Vancouver Organic Intellectual!  I took a camera on a walk to Alexander Street and then back through parts of Strathcona.

From: "Ivan D. Drury" <>
Sent: Thursday, April 14, 2011 7:44:31 AM
Subject: [pr-x] Discussion on gentrification w/ Neil Smith & Jean Swanson (*This Sunday!)

Free public forum

No gentrification here or anywhere
Discussion with Prof Neil Smith, a gentrification expert from New York and Jean
Swanson, Carnegie Community Action Project

Sunday April 17, 2pm
Japanese Language Hall (487 Alexander St) (Free!)

Over the last three months the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council has taken on a huge struggle against zoning changes in Chinatown and the Downtown Eastside. Through door-to-door petition drives,  building and other community meetings, and five public hearings where  more than 120 community members spoke out against the city’s plan the  community came to understand how the threat of a building heights regulation change and a shift in policy at the city government level  will have a terrible impact on the lives of thousands of DTES residents.  The low-income community in the DTES understands that gentrification means displacement from homes, increased policing in the streets, and the loss of community assets that city government can’t understand and doesn’t value, like feeling at home in a community.

Join us (with short notice!) to have a discussion with Professor Neil Smith and Jean Swanson to talk about the DNC’s work for community control over planning and development and to protect the assets of the  low-income community as part of a global fight against gentrification…

Neil Smith is a professor in geography in New York. He’s written a  major book about gentrification that is one of the most cited books about gentrification ever written, “Urban Frontiers: Gentrification and  the Revanchist City.” His recent work continues to look at  gentrification as a global policy and process. You can see one of his  recent articles here: “Gentrification as Global Urban Strategy.

Jean Swanson has been organizing against gentrification in the  Downtown Eastside for decades. A founder of the Downtown Eastside  Residents’ Association, Jean is currently the coordinator of the  Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP) and a natural community member  of the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council. She wrote a recent  report on the gentrification threat posed to Chinatown by Vancouver City  Council’s proposal to raise heights to profit developers; you can read  the report in sections on the DNC’s “Fight the Heights” website here.