Re: “Whalley’s violent 135A Street claims yet another life,” the Now, Sept. 22.
Tom Zytaruk’s column is a terrible instance of blaming the victim that entrenches the dominant dehumanizing view of people who are forced to survive along 135A Street.
While Zytaruk lavishly employs pejorative descriptions of 135A, he fails to recognize the community of care and mutual support that exists in this space. But perhaps the worst thing about this hateful verbal assault on the community of 135A is how it masks the deep, dehumanizing, daily violence of poverty, homelessness and the criminalization of survival strategies legislated by all levels of government.
A recent study by Megaphone shows how homeless people die much earlier than those with housing and experience higher levels of violence and poor health. Who are the perpetrators of this routine, normalized suffering and death?
Zytaruk argues that violence within communities of homeless people calls for their ruthless displacement; but perhaps we should displace those with power who construct and uphold the social conditions of poverty and force people to endure the violence of daily survival on the streets.
Dave Diewert, Surrey