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We're back!...because of Prototypical Gentrifier™ who yelled at us for existing
A story of why visibly occupying space in Chinatown with our culture is important
You didn’t think the cooling weather will stop us from continuing to occupy space in Chinatown with our culture right?
Let us tell you a story on why we’re continuing the work:
Last Sunday afternoon, we protested 105 Keefer with poetry and readings from the community and allies at bao and brew: poetry at the plaza.
At the end of the event, a woman, let’s call her Prototypical Gentrifier™, showed up to crash the party.
Imagine this: A well-dressed middle-aged blonde white woman with bleacher blonde tips carrying a massive baby blue Dior logo bag yelling at a group of Asian women and femme who read their hearts out earlier: “You don’t live here! I live here! And I’m looking forward for this piece of shit to become condos. We all want it!”
This was real. It actually happened. And it’s a stark reminder that gentrifiers aren’t theoretical, but actual human beings who walk among us. Our mere existence practicing our culture in our historic neighbourhood sent her in a rage.
This is why it matters for us to continue the work. This is why it matters that we continue to visibly occupy public space in Chinatown with these events, because people like the Prototypical Gentrifier think that our cultural spaces is a “piece of shit” and do not want us here at all.
So, we’ve decided to line up an exciting fall to spring season of cultural events that’s guaranteed to make Prototypical Gentrifiers throw a fit.
To help us plan, let us know what you thought about the summer events and what you’d like see by completing a survey here (you’ll also get a chance to win a Chinatown tote bundle from lucky.munyi!). If you’re able to, please consider donating to the new community events fund for the fall to spring season to help us cover event expenses.
In this new season of events, we’re also going to try hosting events in different public and citizen-owned spaces to reclaim those spaces for the public.
First up, we’re going to bring back Tea & Paint with lucky.munyi this Saturday, Oct 7 from 1-3pm. We’re going to learn how to paint koi at the Sun Yat-Sen Public Park to reclaim the public park for the public.
Why reclaim the public park? Isn’t it already public? Well, since the pandemic, the City of Vancouver Parks Board has permanently locked the eastern entrance gate (facing the Chinatown Memorial Plaza) into the park. Not only is the permanent gate closure unwelcoming, it also forces people with mobility challenges such as seniors to walk an entire block to get to the public park. Recently for the Qixi event with the park tour, we had to walk a senior with a cane around the block, and it was difficult.
To further the inhospitality, the Parks Board has significantly reduced the public park hours to close at 3pm, making it impossible for many to be able to enjoy the park.
Lastly, the private Sun Yat Sen Garden that supported Beedie’s 105 Keefer project is increasingly privatizing the public park space. They recently turned the public park into an extended gated paid admission venue for their Mid Autumn Festival event touting those measures are for “safety and security” reasons.
We need to free the park and reclaim it for free public and community use. The eastern park entrance should be re-opened when the park is opened and park hours extended for public to enjoy.
Join us in reclaiming the Sun Yat-Sen Public Park for the public by attending Tea & Paint Koi with lucky.munyi on Sat Oct 7 1-3 to sip some tea and paint some koi, and occupy the park together.
Two more actions:
Complete this survey to tell us what you thought of the summer events and how you’d like to see them continue. You’ll also get a chance to win a Chinatown tote bundle from lucky.munyi!
Donating to the new Community Events Fund to help us cover costs for Fall to Spring events.
Save the Date for Chinese School: Lunch and Learn (Sat, Oct 21 2-4pm)
Pssst….save the date! More to come.