At a thwarted benefit concert for Insite, the supervised injection clinic in Vancouver’s troubled downtown Eastside, Uncle Weed chronicles the massive show of force by the Vancouver Police Department who shut down the Bedouin Soundclash concert and blockaded a full block of Hastings Street – ironically because, “pedestrians or motorists may be unduly put at risk by the event”.
The volunteers continued the civil disobedience bar-b-q to feed homeless folks despite the hullabaloo by the cops and vocal demonstrators attempting to incite a confrontation. Joined by the Quebecois Correspondent, UW discusses the political situation, harm reduction strategy, and gives a shout out to former Vancouver mayor Larry Campbell (now a Canadian federal senator).
I wrote to a Belgian pal planning to move to Vancouver, thusly:
Don’t listen to the right-coast curmudgeons, Vancouver is the best city going.
While Belgium undoubtedly has the best beer (please bring me some Grimberger Dubbel), Canada does alright … though the industry is kind of caught between micros which have been purchased by macros, and micros which are still figuring out the zen of brewing and, as such, the CDN beer industry has lost of wee bit of the cachet it enjoyed for years.
The whining about raining is the local pasttime but honestly the rain is not intolerable (don’t hardly need an umbrella or rain jacket most days) and the constant drizzle just makes the shiny, glowing summers even more enjoyable. Plus amazing scenery all year round and fantastic food and eclectic neighborhoods make the area very livable despite the burgeoning pre-Olympic and condo-mania construction craziness fueled by speculators and hype.
As for weed, well, the short version is “yes” – though not Amsterdam, liberal smokeeasys do exist which is as much a comment on Vancouver’s strategic political climate of harm reduction as it is for preferred recreational habits … and yup, you’ll get to see a higher does of urban plight (homelessness, meth-addicts, flop houses etc) than you are accustomed to in Europa.