It’s a “fucking class war” in a “fucked-up city”.
Anarchists have launched a “ghetto revolt” against “capitalist assholes” and “gentrifiers”, claiming responsibility for a number of attacks on Vancouver property in postings on an anarchist website.
They’ve claimed responsibility for smashing the windows of the Bank of Montreal branch at 2515 East Hastings Street on the evening of March 13. “BMO was targeted not only because it is a symbol of capitalism but because it banks with Compliance Energy Corporation,” the post reads. “They are in the coal industry.”
Unnamed parties also took credit for the theft of a sign from Save On Meats restaurant at 43 West Hastings Street “to let the gentrifiers know that they have entered an area with a long history of class warfare”. They also blasted PiDGiN at 350 Carrall Street as a “restaurant for the wealthy and well-dressed bourgeois/up-and-coming class”.
In one post, a group calling itself the Anti Gentrification Front claimed responsibility for smashing the windows and one of the surveillance cameras of Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria on Commercial Drive. “We are also inspired by the picketers of the new yuppie restaurant in the downtown east side called Pidgin,” the group declared.
This group also claimed that they were responsible for shattering the windows of two trucks and a tractor belonging to the City of Vancouver.
Sgt. Randy Fincham said the Vancouver Police Department is looking into these events.
“The incidents that recently happened on Commercial Drive and the smashing of windows, those are currently criminal investigations, and we will attempt to identify the people that did do the damage,” Fincham, a VPD spokesperson, told the Straight by phone.
Antipoverty activist Ivan Drury, who recently helped organize pickets outside PiDGiN, stressed that the anarchist attacks are “not connected to the community struggles in the Downtown Eastside”.
“But in my opinion,” Drury told the Straight by phone, “these actions are inevitable…when the city is pouring all of its resources into supporting the development of high-end shops and businesses and continuing gentrification drives that affect people who are vulnerable to displacement and systemic violence.”
Describing himself as someone who is “not hung up on tactics”, Drury said he was not condemning the attacks: “I think that Vision Vancouver’s tactics and their planning and zoning regulations, which are all done on paper and very neat and tidy by legal people, these hidden acts of violence have far more impact on the lives of people in the city.”