This year, on Access Awareness Day, Pivot is picking up the theme of “Inclusion Starts Here” to highlight how accessible and inclusive communities don’t rely on police violence or carceral interventions disguised as benevolent care. I’ve interviewed Vesper Moore, who is working in the US and internationally to advance the perspectives of Mad, disabled, and psychiatric survivors. Vesper Moore is an Indigenous political activist of Kiskeia and Borikén Taíno descent. They are a leader, organizer, public speaker, and educator in the psychiatric survivor and disability rights movements. They are based in so-called Massachusetts, Nipmuc territory and homelands. Vesper is currently a board member at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy, and MindFreedom International. They are also a member of the Massachusetts Special Commission on State Institutions and the Chief Operating Officer of Kiva Centers.
News & Media
Amid escalating local government efforts to undermine the health and safety of people who use drugs, Pivot and the 2022-2023 Boards of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) have co-authored a new drug policy report. Talking Back to the City: A manual for winning – and resisting – local drug policy explains what local governments can do (and stop doing) to better serve people who use drugs in their communities, plus insights for democratic organizing at the grassroots level.
On May 5th 2023, Pivot, alongside PACE Society, submitted a written brief to House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women re: its study on human trafficking What we know? The harms that flow from police-led anti-trafficking efforts have detrimental impacts incl. increased criminalization for sex workers and migrant communities with intersecting identities, shaped by race, gender, disability, and citizenship status. For instance, sex work prohibitions, exacerbate barriers to status for migrant workers, which puts already criminalized, migrant communities at risk of various abuses and systemic oppression such as heightened surveillance, detention, arrest, and deportation.
Members of a Violence-Prone Department brutally killed Myles Gray - The coroner’s inquest jury classified this death as homicide.
Situating Pivot’s sex workers’ rights campaign within its colonial roots and possibilities for new directions
A human rights-based, intersectional approach to sex work advocacy is an invitation to rethink the ways in which we approach systemic advocacy that supports the rights of sex workers. This will necessarily involve recentering the lived experiences and voices of sex workers, particularly Black, Indigenous and Asian migrant sex worker communities whose work is traditionally erased from public and organizing around sex workers’ rights. Stay tuned for ways to get involved in our upcoming human rights work!
Pivot has submitted feedback to the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction for the Ministry’s first five-year review of its poverty reduction strategy for BC. A community consultation with people who have lived and living experiences of poverty informed this submission and their top priorities are increasing social belonging through increased opportunities for peer work and civic and social engagement, finding new ways to fund poverty reduction by eliminating the criminalization of people living in poverty, enshrining the protection of people living in poverty in provincial law, and funding free and accessible public transit in metropolitan areas and especially in rural areas. #defundthepolice #socialconditionprotections #freeaccessibletransit #endthewaronthepoor #peerworkiswork
MEDIA ADVISORY When: Monday, April 17, 8:00 AM Where: Burnaby Coroners’ Court, 4720 Kingsway, Burnaby BC - Meet at the entrance to Metrotower II at Metrotown [ https://goo.gl/maps/nNhvavQ33RtiVo226 ] - Livestream by Pivot Legal Society [ https://www.instagram.com/pivotlegal/ ] Who: Support rally for the family of Myles Gray & their supporters, to mark the beginning of the Inquest into the VPD killing of Myles Thomas Gray [ https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/life-events/death/coroners-service/inquest-schedule-jury-findings-verdicts/inquestlivestream ]
PRESS RELEASE - Pivot's position paper, Involuntary Treatment: Criminalization by another name, comes amid government movement toward the expansion of involuntary treatment in BC, including by Premier David Eby and Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Jennifer Whiteside. Recent rumblings from municipal, provincial, and national politicians indicate that the latest call to expand involuntary treatment directly targets people who use drugs. Involuntary treatment - for any community - is a harmful and degrading intervention at odds with healing, wellness, and best practices in drug policy and mental health care. In the context of the drug toxicity crisis, this expansion could be deadly.
Say NO to involuntary treatment! Check out Pivot's position paper and send a message endorsing the 7 recommendations for life-affirming solutions: https://act.newmode.net/action/pivot-legal-society/say-no-involuntary-treatment
Honour Their Names, an art exhibit and organizing space presented by #JusticeForJared returns to Gallery Gachet, opening on March 15, International Day Against police Brutality, and runs until March 24, 2023. #DefundThePolice #JusticeForJared