The Law Union of BC supports the residents of Oppenheimer Park and condemns the actions of the City of Vancouver in attempting to remove them. We oppose the displacement of the Oppenheimer Park campers, who are already facing the most serious effects of the housing crisis. Oppenheimer Tent City, like other tent cities, allows residents to create community and stability where they may otherwise be trapped in uncertain shelter-hopping or living on the streets alone. As members of the legal community, we stand with Oppenheimer Park tent city residents and their allies in the fight for the right to housing and to freedom from displacement and harassment.
Colonialism, stigmatization of substance use and mental health, criminalization, racism, homophobia, and transphobia are among the many forces of displacement that create and perpetuate homelessness. These forces disproportionately impact Indigenous communities, continuing the colonial legacy of denying Indigenous peoples agency in where and how to live on their traditional territory.
The Law Union of BC supports social housing and the right for everyone to have not only a bed, but a home. We recognize and condemn the injustice of a legal system that continues to deny vulnerable people access to fundamental human rights and further denigrates them through violent displacement.
We call upon the legal community and others to join us in solidarity with the people of Oppenheimer Park. If you share these values and would like to volunteer your time and skills to assist with legal and other needs that may arise from the events at Oppenheimer Park and future confrontations with unjust exercises of state force that may require movement support lawyering, please sign up here to be added to our list of supporters.