Friday, April 25, 2008

Blue-Scarf Housing "STANDS" Spread to 13 Vancouver Street Corners as Olympics Loom

Can’t people think of a color other than blue for a scarf? I thought the Blue Scarves were conservatives who meet at the Vancouver Public Library on Thursday evenings to discuss the threat to modernity by Islamo-fascism. But now people on the political Left are wearing blue scarves too, as they stand on Vancouver street corners to demand social housing.

Blue Scarf Housing “STANDS” are the latest action by the Citywide Housing Coalition, a group started by the Carnegie Community Action Project [CCAP] in 2007 to ensure that governments keep promises to make affordable housing a legacy of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Every Saturday people wearing blue scarves and holding blue banners meet for an hour between 1 and 2 p.m. on street corners in Vancouver. They are there to demand that City Council protect Vancouver renters from having their homes converted to condos and that federal and provincial governments restore programs that built permanent social housing for low and moderate income people. They also want welfare rates raised and barriers to getting on welfare removed. “We believe that these changes are the primary means of ending homelessness in our city and beyond”, Wendy Pederson, a full time paid CCAP organizer, wrote in the April 1st Carnegie Newsletter.

The STANDS began on Feb. 23 on nine intersections and have now spread to thirteen intersections.

(Photo above: A mini house used as a prop for the STANDS sits outside the door of the CCAP office inside Carnegie Center.)

The idea for STANDS came from the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo whose children were “disappeared” by the military from 1976 to 1983. “They stood every week in a city square wearing white scarves until the generals capitulated”, Pederson wrote. “The scarves became an international symbol for protests against unjust and inhumane governments.”

Street corners with stands so far are:

  • Georgia & Burrard
  • Burrard & West 4th Ave
  • Arbutus & King Edward
  • Edward & Main
  • Main St. & 33rd Avenue
  • Broadway & Commercial
  • Commercial & 1st Ave. (this one may have moved)
  • Heather & 6th Ave.
  • Broadway & McDonald
  • Cordova & Gore
  • Oak & W 49th Ave.
  • Sasamat & West 10th Ave.
  • Burrard & Nelson

If you show up to stand with the social housing advocates on the street corner, you will get a blue scarf handed to you. If you show up to meet with the conservatives at the Vancouver Public Library, you have to bring your own scarf. That points to a fundamental difference in the outlook of the two Blue Scarf groups.


Dag said...

It figures that so many of these so-called social activists not only take other people's money to run other peoples' lives, they then take other people's ideas and muck them up too.

Why do Povertarians do their work on the poor? Because the poor are easily manipulated and often can't fight back against the Povertarians, not the "system." For most people, 'poverty'is a lack of cash in pocket. For the Povertarians it's a religion and a moral stance, a whole world-view. If they can grab you and rope you in to listen to the sermon, to sing the songs, to bang the drum and join the choir, they have you for good, all the worse for those who get hooked into this rubbish. Make your own money and see what thee people look like then. They ain't no friends of nobody.

The Povertarians are religious fanatics, and poseurs on top of it. They're not poor. Tammy Faye Baker, anyone?

reliable sources said...

I've since seen a photo of one of the Blue Scarf Housing Stands. The scarves around the necks of the participants were light blue, leaning toward tourquoise, whereas the Blue Scarves who meet at the library are a darker blue from what I've seen. (I'm going to post the photo this weekend.) One of the organizers told the Vancouver Sun that they chose the color because the fabric was on sale.

Today, Saturday, the blue scarf housing stands will be on 80 street corners throughout the province. They are certainly good organizers.

Dag said...

Mussolini's lasting claim to greatness is that he made the trains run on time. Sometimes efficiency is not admirable. Sometimes it's merely well-conducted madness and harm, delivered on time every time. Highly efficient dysfunction isn't something I'd want to lay claim to. But that's me. I'm not a "community" person, being instead an individual with thoughts of my own, thoughts and opinions derived from Reason, experience and cautious recourse to intuition, finally based on empirically tested tradition. Surprisingly, I 'm sure to many, such an approach is Revolutionary, an inheritance from our Enlightenment as opposed to the neo-feudalist ideologies of Left dhimmi fascism, of the collectivists and communitarians, of the group-think Deth Hippies who do what their Gnostic phantasies direct them to from the aether.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, me and my false consciousness leading me to think I'm independent of the hegemonic Base and the oppressions of the superstructures. Well, duh, I'm just not as smart as Ethanol and the lot who do their ritual deeds to fulfill their needs as religious fanatics.

Eighty sigils of mass action and group-think. Gee, why do I still feel good about my revolutionary status? Maybe because I'm one person. Maybe because my comrades are individuals too. Free to think and act without ideology and a need to conform to the mass-man's Gnostic Pied Pipers.

truepeers said...


An individual who reasons is part of a community. Housing is a real problem in Vancouver. We can't be closed to reasonable discussion on the matter. And I could use a new blue scarf. Maybe I'll check out one of these meetings and see if there's a decent discussion. otherwise I'll be moving to Port Alberni soon.

Dag said...

The individual who reasons is part of the community, but is he part of the "community" as that word is expropriated by communitarians and tagged to those who are not community members in any real sense at all but rather are outsiders who prey on communities? Community is often in this context a euphemism for one select group of people used as a stick to bang society in the hope of gathering money for the religious needs of an extreme few, i.e. the so-called "poor" are "The Community" in the same fashion that the mafia is "The Family".

When property renters have a right to housing, then property owners don't have property rights to housing. What kind of society do people want? There are housing problems here because the housing market is distorted by a clique of socialist ideologues who don't grasp elementary economics have bullied the people, even those who think clearly, into believing in a sectarian religious cult's fire and brimstone sermons. There's no reasonable discussion to be had with religious fanatics / cynical manipulators using society's most desperate members as props for a sermon and a money grab.

Port Alberni is the kind of place one does move to if one is poor if there is work available that pays one a wage that allows for housing and living. If th e mill closes, Al and Bernie Alberni move t the next place in the hope of living. That's life. The rest is infantalization of the masses, a pseudo-life.

truepeers said...

There's no doubt a lot of manipulation of the market and a lot of socialist parasites. No doubt prices could be brought down with less regulation but only to a point: the greater problem, i think, is lack of land in Vancovuer area; people who have few children and can afford to live singly in high priced digs (which becomes another relatively unproductive way to tie up capital), creating a desire and inertia in others to do the same (who can afford a good family size home when competing with DINKs?); and on the other hand, large-scale immigration, often people with money.

But there's no such thing as a market that isn't framed by one or another set of political realities/regulations, and this can be no more true than with real estate. So, while greater freedom and lesser regulation is generally a plus, generic libertarian arguments won't go far in this discussion.

Dag said...

A self-correcting market happens when we find "the rich" serving each other at Starbucks because no one else can afford to live near enough to work there. The same scenario at -- whatevertown-- Arizona, filled with retirees who shot up the price of housing till there were no workers left. Then, rather than giving religious fanatics a tax-payer financed career, the market stepped in and provided low-cost housing to create the organic community the retirees didn't have a clue about. Not some phantasy utopia of "affordable housing," but a real place where real people live and work, i.e. a community

People often don't or won't fix a problem till it hurts. So let it hurt till it gets fixed-- by the marketplace. It's simply better to do that than expropriate property and rights from society for the sake of religious yearnings of Social Gospel fanatics. No one else benefits from their work anyway, and all others suffer.

truepeers said...

So, bottom line, is it wrong to be a parasite going after a blue scarf from some taxpayer-funded parasites?

Or is that getting even?

Dag said...

I know I snagged a few blue scarves so I can cut a dashing figure at our weekly meeting, and if you do the same, I won't snitch if you don't.

reliable sources said...

Thanks for the comments. I'm printing them out so that I can read them when I have my coffee.

truepeers said...

i would add, rs, that I don't like to call people parasites. I think we have to take it for granted that any kind of free society will have members less capable, for whatever reason, of succeeding in the marketplace. There will always be some people who have trouble keeping a roof over their heads. If Dag wants to condemn how some people address this problem, he needs to articulate his own vision of how a minimal social safety net can be maintained. However nice it is to idealize, the economic market alone cannot take care of every exigency. Inevitably, the political marketplace must address this question as well.

Dag said...

I'm not the heartless bastard i might seem to be. I'm a different kind of heartless bastard, no doubt, but I'm not condemning people who haven't got the means to support themselves, for whatever reason. My point isn't to bash anyone at all but to make it clear that some are bashed for their poverty by professional religious fanatics who use the poor for props in a theatre of the mind, a religious rite set up and conducted solely for the benefit of the religious elite in charge of it, i.e. the Povertarians.

There's no need to do anything further to anyone, if punishment were called for, than to let loose the Povertarians on the poor. But this is not, nor am I willing to advocate, a Puritan Trial By Life. No one but a fool would argue for further harm, and there are fools, the Povertarians who make poverty their religion. It's they I cannot stand, not here in the Modernity of the West, especially not in the lands wherein the Povertarians rule even more unrestrainedly.

My emphasis, if it's been missed in the reading is to stop the exploitation of the poor and the dispossesed, whether people in Vancouver or abroad, to keep them from dying by the acts of the Povertarians, whom i rightly refer to for good reason as Death hippies. They kill people. I'm against it. I think it's a bad thing to kill poor people. I get extremely angry when povertarians kill by proxy for the sake of fattening their egos and their moralisms. I'd hang-- well, not around with them.

truepeers said...

I mostly agree with you about the povertarians, dag, and I think I have a fair sense of what it is you're trying to say. But i'm my own kind of social worker just trying to pose the next question for our intellectual development.

reliable sources said...

“who can afford a good family size home when competing with DINKs?”

tp, I’d never thought of DINKS as putting families at a disadvantage until you mentioned it. Last year a columnist in one of the local papers said he was noticing something new in Downtown Vancouver: children. He attributed the emergence of children to the fact that some affordable housing for families had been included in the Yaletown developments.

Dag said...

I have a problem with poverty as a philosophy. I suspect that poverty can be eradicated in some time long distant, but in Canada, where that has already happened, we don't think so; we refer instead to relative poverty; and in answer to that, there is the endless demand of social and economic equality, which is unlikely at best but is made worse when it's discovered that it really means that all should be, in the Kantian sense of a Moral Imperative, all should be poor on moral grounds; hence I refer to Povertarians. And if that sentence isn't long enough there are more where it came from. Longer ones. Real long!