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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On August 31, 2021 Moms Stop the Harm (MSTH), Drug User Liberation Front (DULF), Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) and other drug user groups across BC will be providing a clean and tested supply of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine to people who use drugs in BC. This giveaway will be accompanied by a press release infront of Minister Adrian Dix’s Vancouver constituency office with speakers from MSTH, VANDU and DULF. During the press conference, the representative from Moms Stop the Harm will provide the substances to VANDU. VANDU will receive the safe supply and will distribute the supply to their members in an equitable and ethical way.
Following the press conference, VANDU will hold a march commencing from 380 E Hastings Street. At the end of the march, a block party will be held on the 300-block of E Hastings and will distribute the substances to their members. During this event, we will not be giving drugs to the public, rather to the members of user groups in Vancouver, who are most directly impacted by current policy failure. Additionally, DULF will also be hosting an live-stream event to showcase the drug distributions across BC and local artists from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
This action is being held in protest of the proposed “Vancouver Model” of drug decriminalization submitted to Health Canada in June and to bring action to safe supply. Drug user groups and advocates have criticized the potential harm of Mayor Kennedy Stewart’s decriminalization proposal, including the plan’s lack of consideration of a safe drug supply and the police’s outsized role in determining drug policy.
The purpose of this action is to demonstrate that compassion clubs are a common-sense and reasonable response to drug poisoning deaths, and that the community of people who use drugs and their allies are willing to take the idea of safe supply from rhetoric to reality.
Our demands are:
1. All levels of government must immediately fund programs for safe and accessible supplies of all drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and crystal meth, by directly listening to user groups and people who use drugs, and adding these drugs to the formulary, or allow us to create routes of access ourselves.
2. All levels of government must immediately give us an accessible legal framework that decriminalizes, licenses, funds, and provides facility spaces for heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine compassion clubs.
3. Representation from drug user groups to all the tables relating to safe supply, decriminalization and legalization of substances.
We will demonstrate the possibility and feasibility of a community-led, drug user-centred overdose response in contrast to the ongoing regime of prohibition that will do little to end the ongoing drug poisoning deaths in Canada. In Canada 1,766 opioid overdose deaths occurred between October and December 2020. This number represents a 100% increase from the same time frame in 2019. Meaningful change cannot happen without addressing the source of these deaths: the unpredictable drug supply created by prohibition. The public event will demonstrate and show how safe supply can address the source of these deaths. Decriminalization without safe supply will fail to reduce this horrific loss of life.
For information please contact:
About Drug Users Liberation Front
Formed in response to the ever-mounting overdose deaths in British Columbia and across
Canada, the Drug User Liberation Front looks to provide tangible solutions to this devastating
crisis. We are an organized collective of people who use drugs empowered to make change
through direct action, courage and conviction, and fueled by the memories of the countless
friends, families, and loved ones whose lives have been taken by an unjust, broken system of
laws and policies.
About the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users
The Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) was formed in 1998 to bring together
groups of people who use drugs. VANDU is committed to increasing the capacity of people who
use illicit drugs to live healthy and productive lives. We do this by affirming and strengthening
people who use illicit drugs to reduce harms both to themselves and their communities.
About Moms Stop the Harm
Moms Stop the Harm (MSTH) is a network of Canadians families impacted by substance-use
related harms and deaths. We advocate changes to failed drug policies that contributed to the
deaths of our loved ones. MSTH provides support to families in grief and to families with loved
ones struggling with problematic drug use. MSTH demands immediate actions to stop further
deaths due to the toxic drug supply. For more information visit: www.momsstoptheharm.com
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