It’s important to understand why emergency measures are still what are needed in terms of the overdose crisis, if the fact that four people each day are dying unnecessarily in this province, and that that number will continue to climb slowly, inexorably, up. To do so, it’s helpful to take a step back and take a look from a wider perspective. Sometimes, you need to hear about something that you know close-up and very well from someone looking from far away, with different experiences. This is Johann Hari speaking in fall 2018 about harm reduction and the Downtown Eastside.
we are still doing #harmReduction but
>>>>>>we must expand our concept of HARM
[because clearly we did not]
[because everything became much more harmful very quickly
fatal, in fact
HARM is actually dynamic, a shapeshifter.
this is about inequality of possibility. the distance between us – in for example, the Woodwards building, emblematic of everything ever in this tiny world – on this stolen land on which we have built this city.
between the resident of the condo building and us in supportive housing – is a distance that capitalism measures in dollars, and therefore in value. it is an unfathomable distance, a gap that that can only be crossed by a miracle like celebrity, winning lottery, sports stardom
or the production and sale of synthetic narcotics.
And fentanyl is only the first.
and every day we are all a little poorer and more desperate, more harmed and capable of harm. and people have been so poor for so long.
this is Hugh Lampkin from the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users explaining the economics of fentanyl to you:
people get desperate. plus they see this unreasonable wealth all around, and no other ways to live! they would never raise welfare. things would never change. it’s very profitable, as Hugh makes clear.
everyone is poor and just needs one break. you don’t need to be a genius to make money with this, but it’s not an income if you err by a micrograin and all your customers die. it’s as complicated and difficult to make money in an illicit market as it is to be a pharmacist. not many people are good at both, it turns out.
and so hundreds are dead here.
this is the world that we all have created. All of Us.
it’s not about blame! but it is not a moral response to shut the cage and say “i’m sure you all know best.”
FIVE years – TWO years, at this point this is all we know, endless crisis
so thanks everyone for stopping bothering to ask when will we find a bit of time to relax, and sort out our lives. We Need Some Damn Help. NOW because there’s no time left. We have to make a decision, you too, that we have to End this Emergency.
i mean, of course we want to live. ffs, that we have to say so, after everyone’s friends are dead.
it’s like “being in a war that no one else sees.” we should listen to this speech by Vito Russo, at the height of the AIDs crisis.
and they DON’T GIVE A SHIT .
What’s happened is a moral outrage. So let’s not let it continue. because in the future (SHOULD SUCH a THING OCCUR), they will wonder how all this could have happened in such a beautiful, rich, decent place
i see you all trying to make this about “those” people who “aren’t from Here” but come on, there’s such fear in your nonsense: these are your children, and this is You, and ffs! this is your money! i thought you cared about that!
as Harm changes, we have to change how we respond. HARM isn’t a monument frozen in time since 2003! Insite is Very Important. But that Right Turn back around the turn of the millennium was much more harmful than even we realized then, and to people in this place in particular. it was a long fight, and we won, and that matters. but afterwards it’s as if it was frozen in time: like a Museum of Acceptable Practices on the 100-block. War is over if you want it, right? and nothing changed inside, it was widely believed , as if there had been an MOU signed with the external world that everything out there would stay the same too.
There was no MOU. Donald MacPherson of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition would say that the Iron Law of Prohibition holds: that prohibited substances become increasingly potent and dangerous over time, because of prohibition.
because of poverty > and the role of the #DTES in cda, >>> the Harm changed dramatically, and users sounded the alarm, and were ignored.
this whole misery-management industry is costing everyone a lot and also, it’s appallingly corrupt and just disgusting. and we’re trapped in it. like RATS in a Cage, not a Park. 20 years ago, they wanted to build Rat Park.
but this – these conditions – has become a terrible cage.
we ARE trying.
this is the fentanyl of place
we are trying to use capital to relieve pain
(it’s not going to work. well, it will, for a while.
but it’ll f@ck you up)
with Safe Supply we can remove the profit motive from the drug market….if we can do it there – we can do it anywhere– no bunk
we can End the War on Drugs, and on ourselves, but we have to be serious about ending this Emergency, because that must be the goal for us here.
but we can do this on the 100-Block, and we must do it now.