Pushed or Fallen? – some recent photos
The Downtown Eastside is changing rapidly. Everybody agrees. Many would say for the better. Some might disagree. New shops, bars and restaurants, facelifts for heritage buildings, schools for the contemporary arts, outreach programs, bread-lines, drop-in shelters, needle exchanges, soup kitchens and supportive housing. Side by side and often overlapping. People for, people against, people being displaced and people who don’t know where they stand.
Recently, a young woman flew out of a rooming house window to land dead on the ground in the back alley below. Locals claimed her death was due to the brutal payment enforcement tactics of drug selling gangs and called for the police to take action. The police labelled the death as just another tragic drug related suicide and refused to consider local concerns as valid.
Over 15 years ago, neighbourhood residents were similarly dismissed when they began voicing concerns about local women going missing. An inquest has only just been initiated to look into why it took so long for the authorities to seriously address that situation.
Meanwhile, the re-development of the DTES gets pushed along and people continue to stake their claims on both sides of the gentrification issue. For some, the transformation of the neighbourhood is too rapid, for others, the change is long overdue. But some of the attitudes about the neighbourhood, feel like they will never change, and some people in the neighbourhhood, continue to fall between the cracks of opinion and ideology and disappear, forever.