Demoviction protesters rally in Burnaby a month after arrests
A month after protesters were forcibly removed and arrested, they've gathered again in Burnaby to voice their opinions about "demovictions" in Metrotown.
The group gathered Monday morning, holding signs asking, "Where do our renters go?" and "Don't tear down our affordable homes."
Many of the protesters are part of the B.C. Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) a group with chapters across Canada fighting for affordable housing, a higher minimum wage and other social and economic issues.
They met with media to voice their opposition to a movement in Burnaby's Metrotown area known as "renovictions" or "demovictions." The terms refer to a situation when apartment buildings that provide affordable rental housing are demolished to make way for new, flashier condo towers.
- Read the full Metrotown Development Plan Update
ACORN members said they take issue with the way Burnaby consulted the public about the area's development plan. They're upset that the people most affected by the changes weren't given more of a voice in the discussion.
"What we would like to see is a process that gives priority to the renters in the Metrotown area who face displacement, rather than the entire city," member Murray Martin said.
The group is also irked by the consultation period – between May and August – saying the public wasn't given enough time.
During that period, a group of protesters squatting in an empty apartment building were evicted and some faced arrest.
On July 20, the group who'd been living in the vacant building for 12 days were asleep when about 20 RCMP officers smashed a window and entered. The development company that bought the building had filed a court injunction for their removal, and some of them were taken into police custody at the time.
One of the arrested protesters said they were all released without being charged after signing an agreement to stay away from the area.