Comment 33117

By LL (registered) - website | Posted August 31, 2009 at 19:30:58

"How does one "resist gentrification"!?"

Well, being a Hamilton activist, I don't have insight or experience into this question, since this has been the least of our problems. I do plan on conferring with comrades in New York, Toronto and Montreal who have been involved in such struggles.

Class alliance rooted in strong community is probably the short answer - especially if community is constituted in autonomous/grassroots political institutions.

The "yuppies", the artist/activist/bohemian set, and the urban poor need to find common ground in order to achieve some kind of stability in our cities. I don't like a lot of the anti-yuppie rhetoric that comes from certain anarchist circles because: 1) most "yuppies" are just white collar workers who face their own problems, 2) most anarchists are privileged white kids who CHOSE to shun the white collar world (and in fact many of us ARE white collar workers). We all need to be on our toes, as well, about the ways in which racial injustices (aka white privilege) distort our cities.

We have to have an eye to social justice and equity as planning, housing, and transport begin to transform. It's unfree and undemocratic that communities be forced to break up because of rising prices. Plus, the city gets sterile once the big money starts moving in. Look at Manhattan - interesting to visit, but I never really felt comfortable there.

Jason and Really?:

The problem of retail in downtown Hamilton goes further than companies not setting up there. The ones that do service us often do it poorly. Consider the corner of Dundurn and King. Everything about that corner is out of sync with the people in the neighbourhoods surrounding it. Probably one of the busiest transit stops in Ontario (between the B-line and the Go) and all they can put there is a drive-thru donut shop and a drive-thru drug store. I asked the drug store managers for a bike rack and they refused, even though biking is a very common way to get around for people in Strathcona neighbourhood as well as nearby Durand and Westdale.

Monopoly power at its worst. Someone should do a photo essay (not my forte) of that corner and spark some discussion. It's really bad.

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