Townhall: Individual Responsibility or Economic Crisis? The class & colonial roots of poverty and homelessness in Maple Ridge

On the one-year anniversary of the launch of Anita Place tent city, homeless campers and Alliance Against Displacement welcome you to come take part in a community townhall about the causes of homelessness in British Columbia. The Facebook message boards and newspaper comments sections are full of accusations against homeless people, accusing them of being drug users or people with mental health illnesses who are (one way or another) responsible for their conditions of severe poverty and homelessness. These explanations also bracket government policies that treat homeless people as patients in need of institutionalized care rather than as victims of unjust economic and social systems and structures of power.

When: Wednesday, May 2nd, 6:30pm
Where: Anita Place tent city warming tent (223rd Street at St. Anne Ave, 2 blocks south of Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge)

At this townhall panel, homeless residents of Anita Place, activists, and experts will critique the idea that poverty exists because of the fault of poor people. Instead, we will argue that homelessness and poverty is widespread because of structural, systemic problems with capitalism and colonialism. This argument is important because it brings our communities to a different solution. If poor people are responsible for their poverty then poor people must change. But if Canadian society is responsible for the existence of poverty, then it is Canada that must be changed – and it is low-income working class and Indigenous people who are leading this change.

These events will not be a venue for anti-homeless or anti-drug user hatred and we are not inviting anti-homeless bigots to a debate. You are welcome if you are supportive of the camp, if you are curious about the camp, and if you have questions and can come and hear with an open heart.