June 16, 2020
UBCIC Statement on Police Raid of Namegan/CRAB Park Tent City
((Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaʔɬ/sel̓ílwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C. – June 16, 2020) The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) stands in solidarity and shared outrage with the residents of Namegan/CRAB Park Tent City who were forcefully displaced this morning. The Province of British Columbia and the City of Vancouver have continued their pattern of prioritizing corporate interests and colonial property over the lives and safety of unhoused community members.
“By raiding a peaceful encampment at dawn with dozens of armed Vancouver Police and no presence from or coordination with housing providers, danger was created, not prevented,” stated Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. “During a pandemic in which the Province committed to preventing evictions, the VPD seized this opportunity to evict some of the most vulnerable residents of the Downtown Eastside, many of whom are survivors of ongoing Indigenous genocide. Once again, dangerous state sanctioned violence was needlessly perpetrated against poor and homeless Indigenous peoples. This conduct is absolutely deplorable. Residents were given a sheet of paper with a few phone numbers to call for housing, but the outstanding issue is that we understand no housing is available at this time. Where are they supposed to go? We call on the City of Vancouver and the Province of British Columbia to commit to providing more permanent housing options immediately, and to completely overhaul the processes that allow for such violent displacements to continue.”
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs: 250-490-5314