Strathcona Park in Vancouver BC, use to be a family favorite in the neighborhood, with a skate park, climbing wall and a community garden. Now, however, it’s becoming best known for it’ ever growing homeless encampment run by self-proclaimed Indigenous leaders.
The same leaders who told me that I couldn’t practice journalism in a public park — or even make a donation to the homeless community there — without performing a spiritual offering first!
The lack of response from local government has caused some of the homeowning residents to take matters into their own hands by organizing a tax revolt, where they plan to refrain from paying their property taxes until the city addresses the demands of the camp and finds a resolution.
Social Justice Lawyer and Strathcona resident Jamie Maclaren is helping to organize the tax revolt. Maclaren told me that he is “currently working on the community declaration of intent to withhold taxes”, which should be available soon.
A previous list of protesters' demands circulating online suggest that returning the land to Indigenous people — but also providing 600 sq. ft. units with kitchens, and dropping the restrictions that prevent camp residents to live in the park indefinitely — may be part of the tax revolt conditions.
So now that you’ve got some background on Strathcona Tent City — which that goes by Camp KT, short for "Kennedy Trudeau" — WATCH this video to see it's like to report there from the ground!