Carnegie Association Statement on Gentrification and Anti-Gentrification Protests

Gena Thompson, President of the Carnegie Community Centre Association, issued the following statement today April 11

Carnegie Community Centre Association CCCA is a grassroots organization that supports programs at the Carnegie Community Centre and works to give voice to low-income Downtown Eastside DTES residents. Our board of directors is elected democratically and represents some 5000 members of the Carnegie Centre.

There has been considerable confusion in the media and in the public eye about our project, the Carnegie Community Action Project CCAP, and its role in the various anti-gentrification actions currently underway in the DTES. We formed CCAP 17 years ago to be a research and advocacy organization whose goal is to track the real effects of poverty and gentrification on low-income DTES people, and to seek to protect and expand the assets and tenure of the low-income community in the neighbourhood. At the core of this work at present is CCAP’s 2010 document, “Assets to Action: Community Vision for Change in the Downtown Eastside” and the 12 key actions the report identified after collecting the stories and views of over 1200 DTES residents.

CCAP, its few employees, and numerous volunteers, occasionally plan and execute protest actions in support of the 12 key actions. These actions come from the grassroots, street level, straight from the minds of low-income people living in the Downtown Eastside, and have the complete support of the CCCA. Recently, some neighbourhood protests have been attributed to CCAP which they have not organized. CCCA endorses Homeless Dave’s hunger strike, along with numerous community organizations including the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, but had no role in organizing it. Other actions, which have included smashing windows and stealing private property, are completely outside of CCCA’s mandate from the community and go against our non-violent values, yet have been wrongly linked in the media with CCAP and its organizers.

CCCA supports the democratic right to protest.

Sincerely,

Gena Thompson
President
Carnegie Community Centre Association