Vancouver continues to decamp Oppenheimer during frigid temperatures

Vancouver Park Rangers and members of the Vancouver Police Department were back at Oppenheimer Park Friday, as efforts to forcibly remove people who have been camping in the park continued.

Initial decampment efforts began on Tuesday, with dozens of people forced to leave the park. About 20 tents were packed up and other belongings were discarded by officials.

Speaking to CityNews on Tuesday, Ryan Sudds, an organizer with StopTheSweeps, said these winter decampments not only endanger lives but also hinder people’s search for shelter.

“The process is so absurd and cruel,” Sudds told CityNews. “People could go to a line-up and wait for a shelter, but they can’t leave their stuff, because the park rangers will take it. So, the problem with these sweeps is it’s actually stopping people from seeking housing and getting into shelters [the city says] are there for people.”

The forced displacements come as Metro Vancouver and much of B.C. shiver through an arctic outflow, with temperatures on Friday not expected to get higher than -7°C. With windchills, it won’t top -15°C.

In November, StopTheSweeps urgently appealed for a winter eviction moratorium, a plea that, according to Sudds, has been ignored.

More to come.

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