With the opioid crisis continuing to claim the lives of many people, some activists are wondering if the commitment to fix the problem is really there.
With around 140 people dead so far this year, activist Charlie Hannah organized a protest at Victory Square, which had around 50 people lying silently to remember those who passed away.
The protest was organized in response to what she says is a lack of attention paid to the issue in the provincial election campaign.
“I haven’t seen any direct action plan from any of the people who are running for premier at all. That’s sad, if this was a different community that this was affecting then this wouldn’t be happening.”
— Jeremy Lye (@JJLye980) May 4, 2017
But Hannah says it’s not just politicians in this election campaign who have not addressed the crisis, she claims others don’t want to either.
“‘This opioid crisis is fixing the problem of the Downtown Eastside,’ I’ve heard that from people’s mouths,” Hannah says. “When you hear stuff like that, and you also have friends and people that you care about dying every couple of days, it’s devastating.”
Hannah was prompted to organize the protest after she lost another friend to the crisis just last week.
“I felt very hopeless last week so I called a few friends and we organized this peaceful and quiet demonstration, mimicking that of the AIDS epidemic that happened with ACT UP in New York that happened in the late 80s and early 90s.”
In 2016 over 900 people across B.C. were killed by overdoses, and 140 more have died this year alone.
Last week was particularly bad for overdoses, with the Vancouver Police Department officially confirming 15 deaths.