Here’s a bit of breaking news on the PiDGiN controversy:
The DNC shares many of the goals of the anti-gentrification protesters, but feels that the specific actions in front of 350 Carrall St. have served their purpose. The DNC therefor disagrees with the continuation of this action, and calls on the protesters to move on.
The DNC is the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council, a large elected group of DTES residents. From their website:
We are a representative group of Downtown Eastside residents who advocate for the needs, interests, and aspirations of our neighbourhood.
How does this change the politics of the PiDGiN picket? With the community council denouncing the picket, should the protestors feel obliged to leave?
Community support for the protest is mixed. In three days of covering the protest, we saw the spectrum: residents who shouted at the protesters, residents who cheered them on, residents who were ambivalent, and residents who accused them of being privileged, university-educated kids who live in Mount Pleasant and know nothing about the neighbourhood.
The PiDGiN protestors should take this very seriously. If they continue their picket in the belief that the community and its council is mistaken (e.g. ‘they don’t know what’s in their own best interest’), then they run the risk of creating serious resentment — resentment between the community and the protestors that purport to support them.
At the same time, does the DNC actually speak for the community? What motivated their decision? Is this a short-term political calculus that could be detrimental in the long-run?