The Pivot Blog
Pivot's 2021 Annual Report - another year of community response to a pandemic which has continued to exacerbate ongoing and overlapping public health emergencies. Our team worked alongside community and grassroots organizations to mobilize...
Community rally at Carrall and Hastings to protest the City of Vancouver’s brutal practice of street sweeps
This year’s blog features an interview with Gabrielle Peters. Gabrielle is a disabled writer and policy analyst and a commissioner on the Vancouver City Planning Commission. She is co-founder of Dignity Denied and the Disability Filibuster. Gabrielle’s work often focuses on further developing the radical theory of accessibility by integrating the lessons of disability justice, harm reduction, trauma-informed practice and grassroots community development and transformative change activism. On Access Awareness Day, we are reminding municipalities that accessible and inclusive communities don’t rely on municipal violence to displace people. To better understand the place of #StopTheSweeps within broader disability justice struggles, Gabrielle Peters shares important insights.
This Investigation uses stigmatizing assumptions and terminology, and is a rushed and inadequate process that is not centered on people’s basic human rights and their lived experience of criminalization.
R v Ellis at the BC Court of Appeal: Fighting for a New Approach to Sentencing in Drug Trafficking Offences
On December 29, 2021, we were thrilled to receive an affirming decision from the BC Provincial Court in the case of R v Ellis. Alongside Sarah Runyon of Marion & Runyon, we successfully argued a departure from BC’s steep sentencing range of 18-36 months for street-based drug trafficking offences involving fentanyl. Rather than serve up to 3 years in jail, our client Tanya Ellis was instead able to access the health supports she wanted and to focus on raising her children. Despite our government’s routine claims to support evidence-based, health-focused drug policy, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada quickly appealed the decision. That means we will be at the BC Court of Appeal defending the provincial court decision on May 26, 2022.
#StopTheSweeps report is a part of a broad campaign to end the constant displacement and dispossession of unhoused people in Vancouver.
Advocates Respond to the Final Report & Recommendations from the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act
SCORPA was tasked with understanding the role of police with respect to complex social issues including mental health and wellness, addictions, and harm reduction. Community advocates have reviewed the report and its 11 recommendations, and have responded to the proposals for transforming policing and community safety in BC.
Daniella Barreto and Meenakshi Mannoe encourage Vancouver City Council to firmly oppose any calls for the expansion of CCTV in our communities.
Poverty and social exclusion from services are not inevitable. Rather than contributing to stigma-driven, reactive policies which have long harmed residents in the DTES, Canada Post can help prevent further harm.
Next week, City Council will receive the Report on the Vancouver Police Board Budget Increase. We’re asking our allies to sign up to speak or write in support of Council Member Jean Swanson’s Motion “Rejecting the Increase to the 2021 Police Budget.”
Pivot Legal Society's Staff Lawyer, Caitlin Shane, wrote a letter to the Canadian Minister for Mental Health and Addictions, Carolyn Bennett, outlining how low threshold quantities, if set too low, "will undermine the goals of decriminalization", while also causing more harm to the people who use drugs.
Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA) harms sex workers; the people it claims to protect. Pivot and PACE Society wrote to the Standing Committee and will be presenting today calling for a repeal to laws that criminalize sex workers.
Today marks the 1st anniversary of the VPD killing of Chester. This year, Pivot is supporting members of the Defund 604 Network and VANDU, who are coming together to mark the first anniversary of his murder.